Project: Optimising Tone and Colour

This is an important project, as the way in which you process your images has considerable impact on their quality, and ALWAYS needs attention. The word ‘Optimising’ is used to describe basic adjustments (Usually quite small), tone and colour, that are considered standard by most people.

If the exposure you gave to the image was spot on, and if the white balance setting gives it a normal appearance without an obvious colour cast, then there should be almost no reason to alter or correct it. However, you may decided when you look at the image on the computer screen that the settings you chose on the camera menu could have been different. The camera’s LCD screen, valuable though it is when shooting, is not the perfect display of nuances of an image.

More important is the fact that you can measure several important image qualities, such as brightness, contrast and colour. For this reason, it makes good sense to check each image to make sure that it is technically as good as it can be. This is the process of optimisation, and the best place to undertake it is during image editing. It should be a regular procedure, the first thing to do once you have logged and saved your images on the computers hard drive.

In optimising an image, you’ll do the following.

  • Set the contrast range
  • Adjust the brightness
  • Remove any overall unwanted colour cast
  • Make sure that white and blacks are not tinged with colour

It is essential that your monitor is calibrated, and that the viewing conditions are appropriate. You must be able to rely on your eye when judging such qualities.




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