Brightening Color Through In Camera Settings

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by George Ohler, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. George Ohler

    George Ohler New Member

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    I shot some outdoor photos yesterday using a Canon Rebel EOS SL1 with the kit lens and once downloaded, I found the colors very dull and lifeless. I used a editing app call PhotoPad to tweak the Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow to lean about 30'ish percent to lean red, green, blue respectively to get the colors to stand out better. Actually the blue was more about 15 percent. The photos look good to my eye with the edits now, but I feel that maybe there are some settings that I'm missing that can make this happen without the external app edits. Can anyone recommend any in-camera settings I can use to make that happen without using a photo editor or is the issue with the lens? I'm using AWB, btw.
     

  2. johnsey

    johnsey Site Moderator Staff Member Site Supporter

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    Not a camera/lens issue. Different lighting situations will be read differently, different camera sensors will react differently and may favor certain colors or tones. Generally the idea is for the camera to shoot and have a neutral exposure so you can season to taste You can go ahead an try bumping up the color saturation or tone in the picture styles. You could also try a grey card and set your white balance based of that for each scene your shooting.

    With film you would shoot different film based on the scene and the color preferences of the film. The common approach with digital goes the other way. Most of us shoot raw, try to set the white balance based on the lighting and season the photos to taste in an editor of some sort. Applying tone/saturation in camera is tricky, you probably will not get the info from your display to edit these on the fly. Also what works for one scene/lighting situation will not necessarily work for another. So in short my advice would be to ultimately embrace the photo editor in your work flow.
     
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  3. George Ohler

    George Ohler New Member

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    Thank you very much for your answer, johnsey. I sincerely appreciate it.
     
  4. JohnReid

    JohnReid New Member

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    Bracketing might help as well, a third of a stop can make a big difference in color saturation.
     
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  5. George Ohler

    George Ohler New Member

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    Ok John. I'll give it a shot. Thank you!
     
  6. porkphoto

    porkphoto Active Member Site Supporter

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    You can customize your pictures in "Picture Style" setting. I find that on all my camera bodies "Landscape" offers the best all-around colors, saturation and contrast. You can further customize each individual style to your particular likings.
     
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  7. George Ohler

    George Ohler New Member

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    I'll give it a shot. Thanks porkphoto!
     
  8. porkphoto

    porkphoto Active Member Site Supporter

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    It slipped by me, sorry...welcome to the forum
     
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  9. George Ohler

    George Ohler New Member

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    Thank you!
     
  10. Craig Sherriff

    Craig Sherriff Active Member Site Supporter

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    Hello George and welcome to the forum, I was having a look at your problem and I believe in the saying "get it right in the camera first".
    Have a look at your view finder when you are focusing and there is a exposure meter. Most people try to set there exposure at the zero setting and then take a photo.
    The exposure meter gives a lot more information. Look at the far left and when the meter reads at this position. it shows you are in dark shadow. go to the far right and your meter is reading in the bright highlights. Now we need to be in the very middle called midtone.
    Midtone is the range of numbers, -1 to +1. or one stop of light either side of zero. With the shadow on the far left and highlights to the right, the colours are found in the midtone range.
    I suggest you set your camera to 1/3 or 2/3 of a stop of light, this will brighten the colours up.
    Now take your camera out take a photo with the exposure meter set on zero and then with 2/3 of a stop in midtone and check out the difference.
    Hopefully this is not too focusing and it helps a little bit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019

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