Pic of the tank - how to catch the real colour?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by GDawson, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    My pics suck. I've not been able to capture the colours I see when viewing the tank. All the pics either look out washed out or drab. How can I get that pop we see with the human eye. With out Photoshop please.

  2. A_Lee

    A_Lee Guest

    Unfortunately, many of the colors you see in most, if not all, of peoples pictures of their coral has been processed through some sort image editing software.

    When you say,
    do you mean no image editing at all, or not not using the specific program photoshop?

    Most people use image editing software to tinker with some basic curves adjustments, while others adjust the vibrance, saturation, contrast, blacks, luminance levels.

    If you'd prefer to not use any editing software of any kind, look in to whether or not you can adjust any in camera settings for saturation, and contrast.
  3. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Guest

    The fact is that all of my professional photographers friends do post production work in photoshop. I use a free program called GIMP if you are worried about needing to buy something. One trick is to make sure you get your white balance right. You can insert a white plastic card into your tank and use a custom white balance to get the colors closer to what you see.
  4. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I use photoshop for my pictures, usually just an auto-adjust type setting which very often gets rid of the overly blue hue that the camera tends to pick up, however the end result is something extremely close to what I see with my eye.

    Other than that you can turn off the auto-adjust on your camara and manually adjust the white balance (if your camera supports it).
  5. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    I'm not adverse to Photoshop/image software specifically for any monitary reason I just kinda thought it was a cheat for photographers that were either not good at their craft or in a hurry.

    Now I see that this was in error.

    I'm new at this so let me look at the camera's manual about white balance and install Photoshop. I have an old copy of Photoshop 5 which should suffice for my merger needs.

    When I have more questions I'll be back....

    Thanks guys

  6. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    This is not to offend anyone:

    I am really sick of people thinking processing is "cheating". This is an easy excuse for people to say: "of course other people take better photos than me, it's because they cheat, I'm better than that, I'm better than them".

    Ansel Adams, if he didn't process is photos, then they would just be sitting on film, ugly. So why is processing called cheating now? The above excuse is why.

    With technology empowering a lot more people with the tools to take the photos, they need more excuses to why they suck. Rather than figuring out how to make the most out of the entirety of photography, they just say: "I don't cheat, that's why I suck, and everyone that gets good photos will never get better because they're just cheating." Wrong.

    Photography = composition, usage of tools, and processing. If you have all three, you have great photography. If you have one, you still have good photography. NOTHING is cheating. All you have is photography being more mainstream, and a crapload of people being "ANTI-something" influencing the world about something they don't understand.

    If ansel adams was not good at processing, his photos would have sucked. I'm not knocking on the other three aspects of the skill (again, I'm generalizing a bit, there's more than those three things). If he didn't know HOW he could process a photograph, how would he know what to take a picture of?

    When he takes a photo, he thinks of a few things, and any good photography will think of these things when taking a photo:
    - How will the end result of the photo be?
    - What will it be printed on? Or only on Flickr?
    - How big is it going to be?
    - Where will I put it?
    - What processing skills will I need to set myself for the above?
    - What composition will I need to process this correctly to get the above results?
    - How to I get my equipment to take such a photo?
    - Does my darkroom have enough chemicals? Does my macbook pro have enough batteries to process this in the car? Will I be able to climb out of this ravine? Does that girl at the mall really like me?

    I hate it when people tell me my photos are good because of my camera, or my cheating photoshop skills. They dismiss your work just because you're cheating. Take a look at my photos, and tell me I cheated! F you, I've worked hard at learning all of it, and it's not easy.

    Anyway, not an attack on anyone, just a general thought I have about how people perceive photography and photoshop. Photography is just as much about processing as any other aspect of it.

    Processing is a skill. Not a cheat.
  7. Joost_

    Joost_ Guest

    I think the main reason that people feel PS is cheating in this hobby is because a lot of vendors will oversaturate their pictures to a point where it looks FAR from reality. When the buyer gets the actual coral he feels ripped off, and rightfully so, but instead of realizing that it just has been overdone, PS is discredited all together. The buyer often ends up posting all over forums how horrible PS is and unfortunately most people buy it and end up posting the same crap on other forums. I completely agree with you that PS is a very useful tool, but only if not overdone to a point where it just isn't reality anymore.
  8. yardartist

    yardartist Guest

    Art, thanks for equating processing and developing. It was a great connect for me.
  9. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Ah, you bring up a good point. When you take photos for selling something it's a totally different animal. You can make a photo unrepresentative of what it actually is for a profit, that's just wrong. Cheating people there is definitely a problem.
  10. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    I wasn't offended. I'm learning. And if I had a legitimate purpose/reason to use a tool and others thought it was a cheat I'd be a PO'd too. Especially if it called into question the integrity of my work. I, like others, was under the impression that in the hands of a skilled photographer a camera was able to capture exactly what the eye was seeing. My post was about how to learn that skill. Now I’ve learned that there is actually a process to achieve that goal of which skill with a camera is but one step.

    You are correct. Most of the people I know do equate using software with taking a “shortcut” to the final image and is often used to cover up an inadequacy of camera skill. However, the term “processing” as you used in reference to the software is not what is perceived. It is always referred to or thought of as “enhancing”; making something artificially appealing as opposed to the reality.

    Sorry to push your button with my ignorance of the subject.

  11. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Yes, that really made a good touchstone connection.

  12. A_Lee

    A_Lee Guest

  13. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest


    Great post Art.

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