How do I get so nice colors in my photographs ?

September 17, 2018  •  1 Comment

The title of this article not to be taken as self-appraisal but it is the most frequently asked question to me frequently. I have come across this question by my friends & followers mostly. That is the reason I considered to document it whatever I know about my process. Honestly speaking I have not analysed on this earlier but after coming many queries I started to do that. I am listing some few points & I hope you may find it useful.

The Little UmbrellasThe Little UmbrellasCloseup of leaf patterns. Example 1 : The Little Umbrellas 

I like to shoot colors, shapes & patterns of an interesting subject mostly in everyday subjects. I have worked on many subjects like paper, water, fire, flowers, architecture etc. with an intention to explore hidden beauty in it. I think when it comes to everyday subjects the presentation becomes very important especially color tones, to take attention of viewer in everyday subject with different point of view. The reason is to overcome known form of the subject which is mostly boring in nature as everyone sees it often. I do take liberty to experiment with white balance/light temperature to get the required feel/mood in the photograph. Example 1 is closeup of beautiful leafs processed & visualised as little umbrellas. Example 2 is macro shot of color papers seen as mystical curves or caves. Example 3 is closeup shot of weathered window exploring texture & patterns.

Example 2 : Mystical Curves

  1. I play with EV (Exposure Value) during shooting if subject is having too much contrast (high/low) than average tone. For example if overall exposure is lighter push my EV to higher side (+1, +2) or lower side (-1,-2) if darker.
  2. I always shoot in RAW. It gives me more flexibility to play with white balance also to compensate highlight/shadows in greater depth. The downside is higher size but I don't think its major problem by the availability of storage devices at reasonable price now a days. If you are not shooting in RAW then set your camera color profile to Adobe RGB if this option available in camera. But after processing & before uploading on web don't forget to change color profile to sRGB.
  3. I experiment with white balance a lot, till I get perfect tone as I need in my image. Though it’s nice tool one need to be careful not to loose the natural look of image by pushing it too extremes.
  4. I do play with camera profiles in Lightroom sometimes when not satisfied with white balance adjustments.
  5. I play with exposure, contrast & light adjustment in RAW processing. Play with it & find your personal favourite settings.
  6. I play with selective colors instead of Hue/sat adjustment in Photoshop. It gives me more fine control than Hue/Sat adjustments. 

Weathered WindowWeathered WindowCloseup photograph of an old window showing interesting tyexture & patterns. © 2018 Nilesh J. Bhange Example 3 : Weathered Window

That's it ! It may seem very basic discussion but this is the procedure I follow. One has to develop his own style/workflow. Ultimately its personal choice when & where to stop the adjustment sliders & there is no standard settings for that because it is unique for every image. Keep shooting & experimenting !


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I have seen your photographs and I found all your photographs already looks so beautiful.
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