Working with difficult colours...

It is true, red really is one of the hardest colours to work with (as is bright yellow). It was my Achilles heel, my kryptonite when I first started out. I adore red, I wear it a lot and I adore red flowers, roses, gerbera, tulips and more. But I always seemed to fail to capture it correctly - it always seemed to burgundy or too pink (usually too pink - see below), and no amount of adjusting the Vibrancy or Saturation seemed to get the ‘right’colour either. I played around with so many different programs and colour adjustments, sure I got results, but not always WHAT I was expecting….

Julie Powell_MD Flowers-6.jpg
4200K.jpg

I then started learning about light, white balance and colour temperature and how it is all related to colour, the rose above was set to 4200 Kelvins and shot a little to the left on the histogram (red really needs to be photographed a little under-exposed to capture the depth of colour) - see the screen shot above and below.

Julie Powell_MD Flowers-5.jpg
Same roses, same light source but my colour temp was set to 5400 kelvins

Same roses, same light source but my colour temp was set to 5400 kelvins

Now I am not saying that there is anything wrong with pink roses, I adore pink roses, but that perfect red, just captivates my heart. So perhaps if you have all your exposure settings correct, the lighting is all good (and don’t forget your lighting can play a big part in colour temp as well). Try, in Lightroom, adjusting your colour temps as well. A little more yellow and a little less magenta can do wonders. Bother rose images were shot with the same settings, it was totally the adjustments in Lightroom, which got the colour I was after..

Alternatively you can play around with your White Balance in Camera, as an experiment try all variations and see what you come up with. It really is all about learning your camera and what the various settings can do for you…not working with the limitations of Auto settings. Then learning how to pull it all together in your editing software. This is also another reason to shoot Raw, more room for adjustments.

Is there something you struggle with, is it colour, lighting, something else? Let me know I am only too happy to help.