why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
Ellis Vener
Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 13,848
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

57even wrote:

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

But its about proportions, not numbers. On a scale of black shadows to almost clipped highlights, where do you want the various elements to end up?

can you explain this a little further? is this where histograms come into play??

Much of the impact in a portrait comes from how the tones and colours in the subject (the person) relate to those in the rest of the scene (the background).

i'm trying to figure out how i can separate the tone of the person from the background with ambient light.

It starts with using your eyes.It ends with using your eyes and maybe your feet.

For instance, if the subject doesn't stand out from the background, you can reduce exposure to darken the background slightly and add a subtle kick of angled flash, or a hold a reflector off to one side, to brighten the subject.

is this through exposure comp too?

No. it's about paying attention to the relationship between the person ( or object) and the background.

You also want to prevent highlights in the subject from clipping. Caucasian skin can get very close to clipping, which is where histograms and blinkies come in.

this is what I need to look into and the zebra that you mentioned?

As I said, use your eyes. It also helps to know somethign aboutthe medium you are working in and with digital photography that means knowing something about color spaces and the dynamic range of the camera you are using.

Sometimes you can let the background blow out (high-key) but you normally have to use a white screen background and flood it with light to make it work.

would this be in a studio setup?

Not necessarily.

However, it's always possible to tweak relative contrast in post. When you see the image on a big monitor you may want to change the overall tonality a little - ie move the subject further up or down the scale.

Faces generally look better slightly above midtones for instance, but not too close to the highlights.

Just helps if it's nearly right to start with. Gives you more breathing room in post.

Also note, cinematographers and location photographers love diffuse indirect light. It's kinder to skin and doesn't stress your cameras DR. There's a good reason why studio windows point north, and when I used to do home and business portraits, I worked in a room with a north facing window, if I could find one.

dynamic range?

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/dynamic-range-explained?BI=572

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