Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Today's Tutorial: Photographing layouts and the importance of white balance

Editing your layouts after photographing them can be tedious, but it's an important step in prepping your layouts for submitting to magazines and posting them online. As good as your camera is, editing after photographing will make them look their best. There are two major issues I correct. I will show you a quick and easy way to fix the colour in your layouts today. The other issue I usually fix is the perspective, we'll save that for another day.

Step 1: Open your layout in Photoshop Elements (I use the ancient Photoshop Elements 5 but this probably works in most programs!) Open the "levels" window (CRTL-L). Locate the three droppers and click on the WHITE dropper (see first image):

Click to see larger image

Step 2: Click on a white section on your project (or one section that should be white). This tool sets the white balance in your image. Sometimes the result can be overexposed and blown out. Simply click "reset" and try again. You may need to do it a couple times to get the correct exposure. (see second image):

Way too bright! (click to see larger image)

True to life colours! (click to see larger)

Step 3: Once your happy with your image click "OK". That's it! I find that 95% of the time this is all the lighting/colour correction my projects need. I used to spend so much time adjust colours and running actions but this is  much simpler.

You might be thinking: "That's great but what if my project doesn't have any white in it?" That's a good question. I  add just a little piece of white paper to the edge of my image. I can use it to set the white balance and crop it out after:

I hope you've enjoyed this little tutorial!

1 comment:

cathsheard said...

Oh my - who knew! I have been fluffing round endlessly to try to get the colours right, I am going to try this tomorrow. I got here via CJS14 btw, and am pleased to meet you.