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Adjust color tone

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  • Adjust color tone

    Hi all,
    In the first time in touch with photography, my first impression with picture is color. So my most wonder is how to adjust the color tone of photographs.
    There's a word for setting color in movie: "color timing". All of movies I've ever seen, the frames were changed a little bit, such as:
    In thriller movies (Jason Bourne, Minority report, fracture): the color was cast with blue/cyan in shadow and highlight.
    In romantic movie (Enchanted, You've got mail): shadow and highlight have yellow or red.

    All I was trying to do is using color balance to add some color in shadow and highlight but the result is so bad: the color wasn't "cast" in the picture but just like drawing some color.

    I don't know what exactly the word for adjusting the color tone of photography and the concepts to deal with. Can someone help me with this problem?

  • #2
    Re: Adjust color tone

    There are many ways to affect color with Photoshop. However, Color Balance, which you tried, is one that should be capable of doing what you seem to be after.

    We might need some visuals of what you are trying to achieve vs what you got to know better how to help you.


    • #3
      Re: Adjust color tone

      As Flash said, Color balance will work if the image is overall off color. If the image looks as if it's almost correct but seems to have a hue or cast of color you can use the Hue/Saturation too. If you are good at seeing color and the isay the image has a cyan cast you can choose cyan in the fdorp down box of the tool, use the eyedropper and touch the cyan in the image and then adjust the saturation to your liking. If you thought it was cyan but click on it and it's not the tool will actually changge your drop down to the correct color.



      • #4
        Re: Adjust color tone

        Sweet, I don't think the OP is looking to "correct" color, I think they are looking to use color expressively. They want to use color to reinforce a mood or aid in conveying a story. An example might be where a movie features cool somber hues when a family is in dysfunctional crisis, moving toward warmer, sunnier hues as relationships are healed.

        But for reasons unknown, they find color balance gives an overly artificial sense of color.

        ajack, did you use color balance as an adjustment layer so that you can revisit it and either tone down your moves with the sliders or adjust the layer's opacity? I suspect you are simply using too heavy a hand with the adjustments. Also, try checking and unchecking the Preserve Luminosity box.


        • #5
          Re: Adjust color tone

          My first stop would be Selective Colour. This might nail it or, at the very least, get in the ball park.

          My next stop would be to extract the luminosity and get busy with the ChOps.


          Do a search for the phrase 'chromatic adaptation'. Interesting reading that might give some insight into what you are looking for. Probably nothing terribly specific, but insight and understanding. Then think more about technique.


          Wait... maybe not 'chromatic adaption' exactly. I was reading about chromatic adaptation and doing some link hopping and came across some stuff about highlights, shadows, and colour cast. Can't seem to find the exact link now. Either way, chromatic adaptation is still good stuff.
          Last edited by Stroker; 07-03-2009, 01:23 AM.


          • #6
            Re: Adjust color tone

            If you are using photoshop cs3 or 4 you could select highlights and feather the selection 2 or 3 depending on how large the photo Just experiment with the feather till it looks right. then use color balance for the highlight using all three colors until you get the color you are looking for, then select the shadows and do the same procedure.


            • #7
              Re: Adjust color tone

              Thank you very much for answering my question. I really appreciate it!

              First of all, I want to say that using color balance for adjust color tone is just idea to add some color in shadow and highlight. But, I really don't know if there are another way to change color tone of picture.

              Let assume that in movie, people change color tone by setting seperate frame, and each frame is just a picture. I wonder how they can change the color tone. Anyone has any concept about it? Moreover, when I using color balane, just like Flashtones had said, it give an artificial color...

              I'll will upload some adjust color tone of pictue in order to make it easy for all you realize what trouble I thought about


              • #8
                Re: Adjust color tone

                ajack, a picture of what you're trying to get and what you did get would be really helpful.

                There are a zillion ways to change color in PS. I generally go for curves first because they give you a lot of control, but maybe something like gradient maps, HSL or even Color Filters would work better for you.

                What version of PS do you have? And in any given image, are you generally trying to give the overall color a certain hue (easy), or are you specifically trying to give the shadows a different color from the highlights (harder but still quit doable)?


                • #9
                  Re: Adjust color tone

                  Hi all,
                  I'm really sorry for not reply for a long time, cause I have some project in my class.
                  Back again about color toning, I find some pictures which impressed me much about the color tone. Here are some example:
                  The shadow and highlight have the some yellow (I think so?)
                  Although to get a good picture, you must have a great shot first, but IMO, learning about some skill of photoshop with photogpraphy is also needed.
                  I'm very impressed by the color timing of Hollywood movie: all frames have same color but the skin tone still remain truly.
                  And this is the picture which I think it has "movie toning":
                  This picture was shot by Dani Brubaker, so, I just post it here to give an example.


                  • #10
                    Re: Adjust color tone

                    Another thing you might want to try is using a gradient map. Not the gradient tool in the tools pallet but from the adjustments menu this might give you what you are looking for.


                    • #11
                      Re: Adjust color tone

                      Post a photo from your side or taken by yourself but with good exposure and we will try to do some color toning.


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