Join Derrick Story for an in-depth discussion in this video Making sure the color is accurate, part of Aperture: Enhancing Product Photography.
Let's take a look at colour for a moment, because I think colour is super important in product photography. In some ways, it's more important than with portrait photography, because in portrait photography you have, I think a little bit more artisitic leeway. I want the skin tones to be warm or cool. To depict the mood, a lot of times in product photography you want the colour of the product to be accurate. So, we pay attention to colour when we do this type of post production work, now to help me do that I have a little gizmo here let's open this up right here.
So, as we look at the image itself, we notice that it has a bit of a blue cast to it, and what I do is, before I really get into shooting it. I have this little gizmo in studio, it's a black lens cap and some white gaffers tape and an 18% gray square on it. It's not too big and I can just set it in the first shot and the last shot. And then I can use that with my eyedropper for exposure and for colour. And it comes in really handy.
And I recommend that you come up with something like that. Now you can buy them, also. They charge more money than I want to spend for that. I'd rather put my money towards glass. But, at any rate. So, this is what I use and, let's take a look at colour. And maybe how we can use this little tool here. So we go to the white balance brick. Now, one thing that we can do, is we can just use Auto. And Auto will give us first whack at it, and I think it made a nice change, it improved it a bit.
And you notice that it selected natural grey, we have three different modes here. White balance, natural grey skin tone, temperature and tint. Most of the time for product photography, we're going to be using temperature and tint, or natural grey. I like temperature and tint a lot, and we did get improvement, we can un-check the box to see that it removed some of that from the cast. So I'm going to reset, right here, and go back to where we were.
Let's try the eyedropper tool with temperature and tint. So I'm going to click on the eye dropper tool. I'm going to go to a neutral grey area, this is not how we bring in this thing, right? Because you're not always going to have a neutral grey or white area to work with. So I make sure that the dropper fills up the loop here, click on it, and we get a colour correction. And we go from our previous sort of bluish tine to a little warmer tint.
We're at 5570 and 7. And I un-check that, you can see blue. And pretty nice balance there. In fact, I think it's just a bit nicer. So I have the numbers now for an accurate reading, so I could go to the next shot and plug in those numbers. You can see. Right here, that we have different settings. I could plug in those numbers, but I would rather, instead use the Lift and Stamp tool.
By the way, just so you know what we're working on here. Let me back out for a second. So far our colour correction reading. We're using the Edit one version here. And then we're going to apply that to Edit one, with the shot. Just so you have your bearings, okay. So now I'm going to use the Lift tool. And it will lift all of the adjustments. I don't need exposure, I just want the White Balance.
So I'm going to highlight the adjustment I don't need and hit the Delete key. going to close that. And then I'll go to the next shot. And now I'm going to stamp it. And there we go, look at that. Let's check our work. I'll un-check the box here. Sort of a bluish cast. And now we have a much more accurate rending, of the image. So I'ma hit the V key to back out, right here.
Now, if you wanted to, if you had a whole bunch of shots, then you could use Lift and Stamp on all of them at once. You would just, select them. I'm holding down the Cmd key to do this. And then snap them. It's really that easy. So, I find that the Eye Dropper tool with temperature and tint or natural grey is a great way to go. And I like having a little gizmo like this around the studio. It helps me if I don't have a neutral grey or a white in the shot to create an accurate colour rendering.
- Evaluating the image quality before editing
- Making sure the color is accurate
- Determining the most effective color
- Working with highlight recovery
- Targeting areas for sharpening
- Adjusting the background
- Changing the color of objects
- Round-tripping with Photoshop
- Converting to black and white with Silver Efex Pro
- Applying effects