Color Correction

Generally if an environment is important to the photo I like to maintain the practical lighting and allow it shine through in the final image generally within 2 stops of an ideal room exposure. Unfortunately, This often results in mixed lighting situations, which aren’t always ideal. This notion is demonstrated below. There are three separate light sources that are relevant to this portrait.JON_3986

Source 1. is the light from the decorative hanging lights above the bar. I will leave some of this along the side of the head, but reduce the color cast across the face.JON_39861

Light 2. is that from the ambient tungsten. (You can tell it is tungsten, because it is warmer than the daylight balanced flash which is responsible for the blue cast down the center of the face.) This represents the  only “correct” white balance in the photo. The other colors will be more or less matched to this.JON_39862

Source 3. as alluded above, is the fill light provided by the on camera flash, which, as also referenced above, is daylight balanced (more or less).JON_39863

So, with a variety of separate adjustments we bring the lights more neutral. It’s not completely one color, and visually it wouldn’t make sense for it to be. The goal is to force the viewer to be less distracted by the other elements across the subjects face.JON_39864

The image is a little flat from where we started, because when we evened out the sources we removed a bit of the dimensionality. So here we add that back in, in the form of overall contrast and in increase to highlights across the face.JON_39865

We then dropped the exposure along the background and added a bit of specularity to the subjects skin.JON_39867

The last step is assign a more neutral color to the background. It too has a mixed lighting situation partly from the room, and partly from being set “incorrectly” for a more “correct” color temperature on the subject. Im this case, all I did was pull some yellow out of the highlights and midtones.JON_39868The final is below. Gave it one more look over and made a few more adjustments to skin hue. The sRGB color profile doesn’t highlight as well the changes.JON_3986


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