Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Using White Balance creatively

On the article Great Color starts from WB I talked about the things you can do to get a correct WB. But sometimes “correct” is subjective and WB is a subject of personal taste and creativity. Sometimes we want to achieve a totally correct WB, so that colors are reproduced accurately. Some other times we may want our pictures to have a “wrong” WB, in order to communicate a certain feeling.

The image above is a composition of 2 copies of the same image with different WB settings applied to each of them; a custom WB was applied in ACR to bring out the soft saturated qualities of the blue sea and sky, but this caused a blue cast on the white surface of the boat. The problem is, although our eyes don’t perceive the sea and sky as problematic, they do with certain colors such as white, which is a well-known color. In other words, white has to be white, if it doesn’t, something is going wrong. So I made a second copy of the image and applied a “correct” WB. Then I opened both copies in Photoshop and composite so that the white surface of the boat is the copy with the “correct” WB and the rest of the image is the copy with the custom WB. The result is a more creative approach to a rather ordinary image.     

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