Thursday, May 28, 2009

Improving the color

Recently, I have been asked how I am able to achieve such richness of color in my photos. I believe that comes from a combination of things.

First the technical stuff. I almost always use a polarizing filter. This has the effect of slowing down the shutter speed and thereby exposing the sensor for a longer period of time. I also always shoot using the "cloudy day" white balance too. I believe this has the effect of warming the colors. Not real sure how your specific camera can be set up this way. Read your manual if you are not sure how to do this.

I have disabled, or turned as low as I can, items like contrast and saturation in my camera. I have also biased it ever so slightly to the red spectrum. These setting then allow me to adjust color and contrast as part of post processing to my liking instead of the preference of some engineer or marketing guy. Again, check your camera manual for specifics on your equipment.

Be sure to watch the light. You know, the old "golden hours" thing. I know it is an old saw but the longer and more yellow light of sunrise and sunset really enriches the reds, the oranges and the yellows.

Lastly I like to shoot in or just after a storm. The precipitation really darkens the soils and brings out their colors. It also makes for more interesting skies than just a plain naked blue one.

Follow these tips and see if your photos don't come out richer and with better saturation of color. If your would like to see examples of what can be accomplished without expensive equipment, take a look at

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