By now you know I really enjoy working with color, color theory, and color grading. I have spent the better part of the last 8 years devoted to the topic of Color Theory for Photographers. Through those years I would like to say I have seen it all, but I am still open to surprises 🙂
One mistake I see very often in either my critique sessions or in photos I see online is the misuse of saturation. Saturation is not a bad thing, and quite frankly you SHOULDN’T avoid it in your work. But you should know how to work with it.
In today’s tutorial, I will show you the #1 mistake I see in colorwork and how you can avoid making it!
Hi Blake – Congrats on your retirement from the Air Force. Very grateful for your service. Also very grateful for your videos. The latest one on how to fix common problems with color is very helpful. I am not an artist in the painter sense, but I do have a good eye for composition and can identify any color. My husband says I have perfect color pitch. maybe so, but it is how to use it that sometimes befuddles me, especially in the digital world. Your videos and tutorials help me to unravel what to me is a mystery and have made my photography and digital painting so much better. You know I’m a huge fan! So thank you! And, may God richly bless you and your family always. Blessed Nativity! That is Greek Orthodox talk for Merry Christmas! PS – my website needs some updating and doesn’t reflect my latest. My project for the holidays when life slows down a bit!
After following you now for more than 5 years I still discover new points of view of how to see and work with color – excellent, thank you!
Thanks, Heike! I appreciate all our talks over the years!
With reference to the “No. 1 mistake in color photography”, I’m somewhat surprised that you didn’t broach the ‘Vibrance’ slider.
Like you, a lot of my older digital work shows a heavy hand and the over-use of saturation. I think this was likely a subconscious response to the total lack of color from my days in the darkroom and being exposed only to black and white photography. I mean, who could afford color developing as an in-house photography hobby? Anyway, that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it 🤨.
After a few years it did become painfully obvious that I was having an illicit affair with the saturation tool in Photoshop. But, in my defense, I’m pretty sure that the very early editions of PS did not have a Vibrance tool, so it was Saturation or nothing. In the past 5 or six years, I don’t think I’ve used the Saturation slider more than a handful of times. The Vibrance slider was such a god-send, enhancing the pale colors without adding that garishness to all of the colors.
Having said the above, I do appreciate, and have learned a thing or two, concerning the mixing of the complimentary colors in order to tone down, or up, the apparent saturation of the colors in a photo. Luckily for us photographers in today’s digital world, the color profiles in today’s cameras are getting better and better, and it seems to me I need to do less and less color manipulation in PS, unless of course, it’s for the artistic aspect of a photo.
Thanks for the illuminating video on this topic; you’ve obviously spent a lot more time on digital color theory than I, and it shows.
Looking forward to more similar content.
Congratulations on your retirement Blake. Love these videos you put out. Always great information!
Hey Blake, I recently discovered your site / youtube channel and you have helped tremendously with color theory and related practical processing applications. Speaking for myself, and probably many other landscape photographers, I kind of worked out my color processing through a sort of “hack and slash” methodology. You have really helped to shore up of this area of the editing process.
Thank you Blake, excellent as always.
Something I often do once I’ve exported an image from Photoshop into Snapseed on my mobile is, add a black & white layer and then reduce the amount to 25%.
This adds some contrast to the image and reduces the saturation a bit.
Thanks so much for such fantastic content Blake.
Another excellent tutorial. Using the painting example to explain the concepts was very helpful.
This is Very helpful. Will go back to photos that I’m not happy with the colors that I landed up with and try these new techniques. Thanks
I have encountered many educational videos which are good. By accident, I came across your tutorials and they are above excellence. They are clear, simple and extremely informative: You have the ability to explain so much so easily. Simplicity and passion seem to be your strengths. I seem to be spending more time looking at your videos than going out shooting, but finding immense satisfaction. Thank you for letting me learn so much, so easily.
Congratulations on your retirement Blake!!! I’m not American, but I know your country thanks you for your service!! I also know you already cram 30 hours into a 24-hour day …. but if you think you will have more time now that you’re retired – think again :):):) I’ve been retired for some time now and my days just seem to keep getting busier. I’ve followed you for many years – watched so many tutorials, but always behind-the-scenes. After purchasing several of your courses, I’m now enjoying all the content available in your f64 elite group.
No wonder I joined f.64 Elite. The good stuff just keeps coming thanks to your dedication to keeping your followers happy. You are a wonderful tutor, Blake. That’s a fact.
Very cool. Do you always crank up the saturation, and then make adjustments?
Congratulations on retirement Blake – your service is much appreciated. Great video on controlling the color in our images – definitely learned a couple things. (I also like the Captain America shield in the background in your space – never noticed that before!!!)
This is really important advice, brave Blake!