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Matching Colors From a Tear & Using Kuler

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  #31  
Old 02-06-2014, 04:47 PM
r*po r*po is offline
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Re: Matching Colors From a Tear & Using Kuler

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Originally Posted by AKMac View Post
.....but most of what's done involves no special techniques...theoretically you can achieve 90% of the colour/tone looks using just curves and some masking.
There's no secret sauce.

noted...
Lots of special sauce though.. Just not in a fix all, magic button way which I wasn't asking for, but would have been a welcome surprise.
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  #32  
Old 02-07-2014, 01:38 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Matching Colors From a Tear & Using Kuler

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Originally Posted by r*po View Post
If I hadnt left such a long winded post earlier ( which i find is the only way to get to useful information on here)...
My experience is a bit different. From what Ive seen, the posting of a starting image and a target image that you are trying to achieve is the best way to get practical info.
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  #33  
Old 03-08-2014, 09:00 PM
Shot4Shot Shot4Shot is offline
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Re: Matching Colors From a Tear & Using Kuler

Thanks for the lengthy reply R*Pro....I appreciate the fact that you understand where I'm coming from - I feel like we're a bit in the same boat. The experience/benefit you gained in having a digital tech is interesting...I haven't even considered that. I definitely understand the benefit of a good MUA, which I never try and cut corners on in terms of budget, but your post leads me to believe that the difference in the good vs great makeup artists may be much greater than I assumed. That said, I have no interest in chimping an image or simply trying to copy a color palette (for the simple sake of copying), so even if such a palette existed it wouldn't be much help to me in terms of what I'm looking for...I'm simply trying to learn how they are graded as beautifully as there are, so I can grade my own images to my own vision. Being that the editing world is so guarded (especially when it comes to color), I feel like the best (or maybe the only) way to learn how to do so is "backwards" learning, in terms of backing into an image and deconstructing how the editor did what they did to achieve the final outcome. After learning some of the the techniques it will undoubtedly be much easier to develop the color grade that I AM going for. If that makes sense... That said, I also find it interesting that there seem to be a handful of color grading styles/techniques that you regularly see rotated over and over. I'm obviously not a retouching pro but if you were to take 2-3 years worth of W magazines, International Vogues, etc and make piles of interesting color themes/palettes, I think you would quickly notice the repitition. I'm not sure if this is because 1) I have an untrained eye, 2) art directors seem to gravitate towards what they like, thus creating a market around their own appetite, or 3) that the "smart" photographers and retouchers notice this and quickly learn how to imitate that style or color grade themselves but I assume it's likely a mix of all of those....Anyway, thanks again for the reply!!
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  #34  
Old 03-11-2014, 06:32 PM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Matching Colors From a Tear & Using Kuler

You need to work on a clean image. And if that one isn't particularly clean, you need to have images from the series that you can borrow from, or at least a suitable image to borrow from.

You set up the file making it as close of a mach to the final look you're after as you can.

You go back and forth with masking "color blocks" such as hair, make-up, clothing, skin, parts of the backdrop...

Then you do that to all the images in the series to be sure they're looking good together.

You deal with color from the start, not as an after thought. Everyone from the set planner to photographer ,make-up artist, stylist everyone needs to respect the color theory an be on the same page.

Tinting shadows will do nothing if the garment is ugly/ill fitted.

I won't go into color theory there are so many books and it is so simple... plan ahead, start with a good image, make it's great elements stand out and subdue the distractions. We're not fixing people, we're enhancing the image. We don't make people prettier, we simply enhance their features so that the impact the image makes is strong.
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  #35  
Old 03-12-2014, 05:40 AM
jklier jklier is offline
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Re: Matching Colors From a Tear & Using Kuler

If you need to match color in a pinch, the ideal process is to obtain a good electronic copy of the target image (luckily most editorial are online now, so you can get at least a web color space version of it with a bit of Google). Bring that image into PS, change your color mode to HSB, sample the color, note the color values. Then create a Hue/Sat layer in your working file, create matching sample points and shift H/S/B until you get close to match. Mask as necessary and repeat in other areas. H/S/B mode is most conducive to matching as opposed to RGB or CMYK, not that it couldn't be done there too.

Unfortunately that technique works great for product images with clear and defined areas and more global colors. A refinement is to repeat that technique once in the shadows and once in the highlights with a matching pair of luminosity masks to blend. Used that many times in catalog shoots when a particular product sample wasn't available in all colors. Match color of a sample product, then shift other catalog items accordingly.

However, in an editorial photo, very often color grading is accomplished via curves adjustments in the individual channels, and often worked in local areas. So the color grading will vary across the luminosity range and sampling/matching it will not get you very far. It really is a matter of just getting your feet wet and get a good feel what curves adjustments will get you the right results that you like as your personal style.

As a side point. I've been shooting with Canon/LR and P1/C1 for quite some time now, and the way colors come out is quite different. Also, in C1 not only can you create custom profiles more easily, you have a color editor that works much more like video color grading console with local adjustment based on selected source colors, and a control surface dial. Attempting to achieve the look of one with the other (substitute Nikon if needed) while technically feasible seems like mounting a horse backwards. Either find a style of color that suits Canon/Nikon from the start (many folks have succeeded at that), or find a way to shoot P1/C1.

Bringing in Kuler to the mix (which is btw a fantastic tool) would mostly make sense if you design either a photo more on a graphic design front, or if you designed a set/shot before looking through a camera. The primary purpose would be to sample your primary color, and then use color rules (complement, analogous, etc.) to find other colors you should find throughout the image to follow color theory. Now, if you're trying to match a shot that was designed that way, that might be helpful if you can reverse decode it. But so many creative decisions happen along the way, that it's doubtful anyone would have followed a color that close to a t, unless it was in the creative brief as a requirement.

Last edited by jklier; 03-12-2014 at 05:48 AM.
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  #36  
Old 03-12-2014, 09:00 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: Matching Colors From a Tear & Using Kuler

Quote:
Originally Posted by jklier View Post
If you need to match color in a pinch, the ideal process is to obtain a good electronic copy of the target image (luckily most editorial are online now, so you can get at least a web color space version of it with a bit of Google). Bring that image into PS, change your color mode to HSB, sample the color, note the color values. Then create a Hue/Sat layer in your working file, create matching sample points and shift H/S/B until you get close to match. Mask as necessary and repeat in other areas. H/S/B mode is most conducive to matching as opposed to RGB or CMYK, not that it couldn't be done there too.

Unfortunately that technique works great for product images with clear and defined areas and more global colors. A refinement is to repeat that technique once in the shadows and once in the highlights with a matching pair of luminosity masks to blend. Used that many times in catalog shoots when a particular product sample wasn't available in all colors. Match color of a sample product, then shift other catalog items accordingly.

However, in an editorial photo, very often color grading is accomplished via curves adjustments in the individual channels, and often worked in local areas. So the color grading will vary across the luminosity range and sampling/matching it will not get you very far. It really is a matter of just getting your feet wet and get a good feel what curves adjustments will get you the right results that you like as your personal style.

As a side point. I've been shooting with Canon/LR and P1/C1 for quite some time now, and the way colors come out is quite different. Also, in C1 not only can you create custom profiles more easily, you have a color editor that works much more like video color grading console with local adjustment based on selected source colors, and a control surface dial. Attempting to achieve the look of one with the other (substitute Nikon if needed) while technically feasible seems like mounting a horse backwards. Either find a style of color that suits Canon/Nikon from the start (many folks have succeeded at that), or find a way to shoot P1/C1.

Bringing in Kuler to the mix (which is btw a fantastic tool) would mostly make sense if you design either a photo more on a graphic design front, or if you designed a set/shot before looking through a camera. The primary purpose would be to sample your primary color, and then use color rules (complement, analogous, etc.) to find other colors you should find throughout the image to follow color theory. Now, if you're trying to match a shot that was designed that way, that might be helpful if you can reverse decode it. But so many creative decisions happen along the way, that it's doubtful anyone would have followed a color that close to a t, unless it was in the creative brief as a requirement.
That's what I meant when referring to getting colors from the RAW. Capture one gives you hassle free color shifts so that you can color block your image without having to do a 1000 little local adjustments.
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