Understanding color theory will make your photographic jounrney much easier if you understand some simple basic principles.
Even though you have a high tech camera that has white balance built in and photoshop's power of a "click" or two to fix "color (s)" is not enough.
You must understand HOW COLORS WORK. with each other. This is essential to learn if your ever going to understand the "Art" of photography.
Red Green Blue are primary colors you see the "sliders" in photoshop RGB -
each of these three colors has a "compliment" or secondary color.
the opposite of red is cyan
-- - green is magenta
- - blue is yellow
This is COLOR "theory" but it is easily proven in a variety of ways.
This is photo color theory, not watercolor or oil color theory those have "different primaries"
If I take a round piece of blank cardboard flat, circular and divide it into thirds, and paint each third one of the Primary photo colors.. R, G, B.
those three colors,, when I spin that circle what "color" will you see??
Black is not.. .. a "color". it is the ABSENCE OF ALL COLOR(S)
WHITE is the presence of ALL color(s) PRIMARIES / OR secondaries.
This can be simply illustrated by using Lights.. in any 3D program.
Using a program called 3D studio max a red light and green and blue lights were created and aimed or pointed toward the center of any surface. The unedited results of what happens when you mix light is obvious.
Spin that cardoard.. and your gonna see..WHITE.
WHERE the primary lights overlap, the secondary colors are present and visible.
Learing HOW to use COLOR(s) and their compliemnts or secondaries in Juxtaposition with each other will produce the most pleasing eye popping results using COLOR.
Photoshop is the norm.. ha! I am different, I use Painter because I like the color wheel.. and many other features that adobe doesn't have. don't be fooled; there are a GREAT many other image editing programs that can do just as good of a job. far cheaper.!
In the darkroom, the six different colors are controled by using just two filters - Yellow & Magenta !! Any of the six colors are corrected just by using these two !!
So to sum it all up if your print is too yellow / move the blue slider
if your print is too magenta (pink) move the green slider
if your print is too Cyan (turquoise) move the Red slider.
UNDERSTANDING these six colors and how they function with each other is simple to learn .. the only problem you might find. is that when you MISTAKE blue for cyan or cyan for blue...
What I've never had simply explained to me is why the different color charts/wheels used by painters. They seem to replace the green with yellow for their primary colors, and this is what I remember being taught with the little bit of art I had in school. They say the primaries are red, yellow & blue; and the secondary colors are orange, green and purple/violet.
The only explanation I have heard is that one uses a subtractive color formula, and the other additive color formula. But that really doesn't explain things.
Anyone want to have a go at this?
COLOR THEORY for paint is completly different from photography
Subtractive color printing is made using two filters (yellow & magenta) for negatives,
For color slides it MIGHT be cyan and magenta, it depends on chemicals and paper used (CibaChrome) !!
for Additive color printing THREE exposures are made @ different time amounts using each of the primaries. Red Blue Green
Even though (for subtractive printing) you have three colors, only two are used, to use the third color is merely adding neutral density which increases exposure time(s).
by far the most popular method is subtractive printing.
Even though we are in a digital world now.. the rules or properties of color(s) still apply !!
yes of course.. it doesn't make sense.. but it does.. BECAUSE.
Look: at the sliders in adobe photoshop or in any graphix program
you can use RGB or CYM now. I am tying to make this as simple as possible.
all you now have to worry about, is which one of the three sliders to move. Sometimes it is obvious, a no brainer.
when you adjust the sliders, you are looking at one thing only. the whites & greys.
I have a photograph that is an excellent teaching tool for precisely what I am talking about.
WHITE BALANCE is not what it 'thinks' it is or what you think it is.
don't quote me some internet facts which are 'modern' and computer driven.. LOOK at the shadows. whites, greys..
two people - a year apart ( almost) from completly different forums - one is a professional well known forum - Fred Miranda the other .. shall remain nameless.
These two individuals a full year apart - took it upon themselves to give me a lesson in white balance. YOU BE THE JUDGE.. the results are so obvious !! they were both wrong !! I was right ! One admitted I was right.. the other insisted he was right and I was 'banned' ..
This picture is worth more than 1,000 words, it will teach you to look, and train your eyes for white balance -
This is a GREAT IMAGE for one purpose only.. excess color, take it, download it. and apply color corrections for each of the 3 colors and try and get those grey's, - grey !! The whites must be white WITH DETAIL.
A computer monitor cannot show the razor shaprness of this image, especially when it is 30 x 40 "
Created in 1982 (old school) hand developed film and prints - MY EYES.
NOW HERE, for your Judements.. for your learning.. or practice - whatever you want to call it.. (IT IS JUST A SNAP-SHOT) for illustration purposes only.. (this image sells like hot cakes (chuckle) you just wouldn't believe me so lets leave it at that.
The links and the comments by people trying to show me.. what is better.. their CLICKS or my EYES !! you decide.
I got banned over this image - scroll down - half way, you will see it.. notice how.. he twists my words, (he can't read) he is reading to fast and leavingout some of the important words,. and he forms his own opinion(s).
Here is a professional Photographers comments : SCROLL 3/4's down Notice, he didn't even know, there was words here !! (chuckle) not only can't some people read, some people can't even see.. BUT.. he did admit.. !! he was wrong!! I got a lot of respect for a person of that type character !!
The whole world recognizes .. this one FACT:
NOTICE: I said "The whole world" , now lets go to one city - Anchorage.
They have lots of galleries all over that city, you know, I am speaking the truth.. good.
Guess what happens, when you frame and mat and display any of your snapshots in ANY GALLERY !
It is now referred to as .. .. .. FINE ART !!