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Colour Balance using LR4 and colour blindness


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I am noticing a bit of a blue hue or cast when I look at the photos on LR4. I am totally colour blind and wondered if there were any good tips I could use. What I currently now do is -: 

 

Use the dropper in LR4 (usually turns out on advice to be not warm enough)

 

Then use the Auto CB in LR4

 

Then set the CB manually somewhere between the Custom (via the dropper) and Auto.

 

Is there a better or another way I am missing?

Edited by Gervais Montacute
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The white balance dropper is the most accurate method but only if you can find something that is a neutral grey tone in the photo.  Looking at your portfolio this shouldn't be too difficult in most cases (tarmac, slate tiles, underside of clouds, etc.)

 

I'm not sure where the blue cast is coming from (especially if you're totally colour blind) but perhaps you need to re-calibrate your monitor.

 

Chris

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Gervais, I once worked on a film set in Rome alongside a rather famous color-blind photographer (so famous I've forgotten his name :) ). We had lunch a couple of times and discussed his particular problem; he said it wasn't a problem because he shot for content, not color. Of course digital post processing is all about adjusting contrast and saturation and color. Lightroom has all those sliders to adjust things, so very useful. And you of course you have your wife to help. I was and am dyslexic and before the spell checker my ex-wife helped me with my terrible spelling. 

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I would recommend, where possible, to take a small gray card around and take one shot including this in the same light as you are shooting. All shots in similar light should have the same WB. Looking at the stuff you do, I think you could easily do this. Then all you have to do is use the eye dropper on one image, synchronise the rest and you should have well-balanced images.  As Chris says, you may need to recalibrate your monitor - use a hardware calibrator to remove subjectivity of judgement.

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Yes Ed. Shooting for content is the way to go although not my strongest suit. :)  I may just let my wife take all the photos in future.

 

The grey card is a great idea and if anyone could recommend a photography outlet based one I would be a great benefit.

 

Calibrating the monitor is a great idea and way forward, but unfortunately, if you think about it, colour blindness does not allow for that. :)  I could calibrate it over and over again and the monitor would be perfect and I would still be completely colour blind. 

 

If there is a way to calibrate one's eyesight for colour blindness then someone is going to make a lot of money.

 

Many thanks for the ideas.

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I would recommend, where possible, to take a small gray card around and take one shot including this in the same light as you are shooting. All shots in similar light should have the same WB. Looking at the stuff you do, I think you could easily do this. Then all you have to do is use the eye dropper on one image, synchronise the rest and you should have well-balanced images. As Chris says, you may need to recalibrate your monitor - use a hardware calibrator to remove subjectivity of judgement.

The grey card technique is be a good starting point and is great for studio work, but a note of caution for outdoor work as it will remove the warmth from a sunset (for example) and so can completely change the atmosphere of a shot (in the same way that Auto WB does).

 

I'm red green-colour deficient so can appreciate some of the difficulty. This is what I do. I always shoot in RAW so I have the flexibility to adjust the colour temperature during post processing if needed. If I'm photographing outdoors in good light (sunny day) I set the WB on the camera to sunlight and process with LR4/ACR set to use "WB As shot". I find this to be the most reliable default starting point. After that I rarely adjust the colour balance and if I do it's by changing the WB setting slightly in LR. I did have a period where I shot everything with WB set to cloudy, but decided everything was coming out too warm after I'd calibrated my monitor - oops!

 

As a cross check to see if there's a major problem you could try photographing a sunlit grey card around mid morning or afternoon with camera set to Sunlight WB and then check what RGB balance you're getting. Alternatively if there's some white or grey clouds in the shot, check those. Hopefully it will be about equal. If it's only a little way out you could tweak the WB in LR until it's neutral and store as a preset and use that setting for pictures taken in daylight from then on. If it's a long way out then maybe something's going wrong somewhere in your workflow or with your gear?

Edited by M.Chapman
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I would recommend, where possible, to take a small gray card around and take one shot including this in the same light as you are shooting. All shots in similar light should have the same WB. Looking at the stuff you do, I think you could easily do this. Then all you have to do is use the eye dropper on one image, synchronise the rest and you should have well-balanced images. As Chris says, you may need to recalibrate your monitor - use a hardware calibrator to remove subjectivity of judgement.

The grey card technique is be a good starting point and is great for studio work, but a note of caution for outdoor work as it will remove the warmth from a sunset (for example) and so can completely change the atmosphere of a shot (in the same way that Auto WB does).

 

True. It wouldn't work for everything but, for a lot of the stuff that Gervais does (daylight shots in straightforward lighting), it might be useful. 

 

Gervais - grey cards are readily available on the web (see Amazon). The reason I mentioned monitor calibration is that it is important for whoever is advising you, assuming that they are looking at the images on your monitor,

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Now you've got me confused - I distinctly remember you saying that your photos had a blue colour cast.  In which case it sounds as though either you have not used a good reference point for your dropper, or your monitor needs calibrating.

 

Chris

 

Calibrating the monitor is a great idea and way forward, but unfortunately, if you think about it, colour blindness does not allow for that. :)  I could calibrate it over and over again and the monitor would be perfect and I would still be completely colour blind. 

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Now you've got me confused - I distinctly remember you saying that your photos had a blue colour cast.  In which case it sounds as though either you have not used a good reference point for your dropper, or your monitor needs calibrating.

 

Chris

 

Calibrating the monitor is a great idea and way forward, but unfortunately, if you think about it, colour blindness does not allow for that. :)  I could calibrate it over and over again and the monitor would be perfect and I would still be completely colour blind. 

 

Yes that is confusing and it is of course what I had been told. A lot of people would quite naturally not really know what colour blindness is. It is not the inability to see colours. It is the inability to see colours on top of other colours. The red/green one is probably the most common.

 

Anyone with CB will tell you that colour is red, that colour is blue etc. Colour temperature is even more difficult to explain.

Edited by Gervais Montacute
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