7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 22, 2010 7:39 AM by RASouthworth

    Basic question about making images appear cooler or warmer?

    mediafred Level 1

      Can anyone give me some examples of what types of images you might go for to make an image appear cooler and what types you may want to make appear

      warmer? I am guessing if you want to make an image appear dreary or sad you might add blue? I 'm just looking for some other ideas.

       

      Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Basic question about making images appear cooler or warmer?
          Yammer Level 4

          It's not really a Camera Raw question - you need a photography post-processing forum for that - but I'll try to give you a short answer, in order to be a little more helpful.

           

          Like Automatic Exposure, the trouble with Automatic White Balance is that it tries to make everything neutral, and often that means boring. You can make hot sunny days look warm, and blizzards look like mild spells. People are influenced by heat, smell, sound, emotions etc, and the colour balance of a photo can attempt to recreate some of this.

           

          One simple technique you can try is to meet an image halfway. If a hot image has been cooled down, try warming it up again, but by 50%. Similarly, try the same for a cold image. This assumes you're trying to recreate the original mood.

           

          But really, you should just make sure you have a calibrated monitor, and adjust your images so they look "right" to you, remembering that "right" is fairly subjective.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Basic question about making images appear cooler or warmer?
            mediafred Level 1

            What do you mean by "neutral?" what does that mean?

             

            Thanks.

            • 3. Re: Basic question about making images appear cooler or warmer?
              Yammer Level 4

              mediafred wrote:

               

              What do you mean by "neutral?" what does that mean?

               

              Thanks.

              Well, in this context, I mean Average, or Common, or Middle-of-the-Road. What I'm saying is, the camera isn't human - it's programmed to calculate its 'best guess' at exposure, and it does this by looking at the range of tones and colours in the image, and (based on man-made algorythms) come up with a correctly balanced (neutral) shot. This is why sometimes high-key scenes are under-exposed, and why woodland scenes contain purple bark.

               

              The object of automatic white balance (AWB) is to neutralise colour casts on subjects, so that the colour of the illuminant colour becomes less apparent. Greyscale subjects become grey, rather than the colour of the illuminant (or some false colour miscalculated by the camera's AWB). The problem is, even though the brain automatically compensates for different coloured illuminants, it still remembers the background colour, possibly as a "mood", which is why I suggest it might sometimes pay to meet it halfway, recreating the mood by applying a slight colour-cast, similar but scaled-down from the original illuminant.

               

              I'm not saying this is a "rule", and I'm not saying it always works, but it's something worth trying. You might also try the opposite, if it creates a good effect. People generally leave the "tint" (green/magenta adjustment) alone, once it's set, but there's no reason why you can't play with that either, if it floats your boat.

               

              I've already said too much, and am in danger of being criticised for talking rubbish. I just thought I'd throw in a suggestion, even though, like I said, this isn't really the place. Over and out.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Basic question about making images appear cooler or warmer?
                Level 4

                mediafred wrote:

                 

                What do you mean by "neutral?" what does that mean?…

                 

                 

                In the simplest of terms: neutral means pure white, pure black or pure gray,  In other words a white, black or gray without any other color.  No red, no green, no yellow, no orange, no pink, no blue, no cyan, no magenta, no purple, no violet, no brown, etc. etc.

                • 5. Re: Basic question about making images appear cooler or warmer?
                  RASouthworth Level 3

                  For an image rendered in a "well behaved" colorspace, including sRGB, Adobe1998 and ProPhoto, a neutral pixel is one that has Red=Green=Blue.  At the extremes 255-255-255 is white and 0-0-0 is black, and anything in between with R=G=B is a shade of gray.

                   

                  Richard Southworth

                  • 6. Re: Basic question about making images appear cooler or warmer?
                    Level 4

                    RASouthworth wrote:

                     

                    For an image rendered in a "well behaved" colorspace, including sRGB, Adobe1998 and ProPhoto, a neutral pixel is one that has Red=Green=Blue.  At the extremes 255-255-255 is white and 0-0-0 is black, and anything in between with R=G=B is a shade of gray…

                     

                     

                    That is correct, as stated in my previous post:

                     

                    ——> In the simplest of terms: neutral means pure white, pure black or pure gray,

                     

                     

                    ____________

                    Wo Tai Lao Le

                    我太老了

                    • 7. Re: Basic question about making images appear cooler or warmer?
                      RASouthworth Level 3

                      Actually IMO my post was not redundant, as your reply suggests.  As a color management consultant I have encountered many people who did not know that neutral (or white/black/gray) implies equal r-g-b values in editing colorspaces.

                       

                      Richard Southworth