on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Getting to know Hue…

Learning to see colour

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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I’ll start this article with an anecdote from when I started photography. I remember reading an article about a photographer who was making notes on what colour things appeared to his eye so he could reference them when he got back to the studio. The photographer then uses these notes when post processing the picture. At the time I remember thinking that it was more than a little strange.. Doesn’t the camera record the colour things were? On top of this the colours the actual photographer was getting looked odd to say the least and so I shook my head a few times and promptly forgot about it.

Three years later and I’m starting to understand that observing colour in the field is actually a really useful practise for various reasons. The first time I really noticed this was when I was testing various colour digital and film cameras and noticed that even if I calibrated the cameras using a colour checker, some colours just didn’t come out the same across all of the cameras. I’ve talked before about why this might be so but it might be worth a little summary here. Skip this section if you’ve seen my comments on observer metamerism before (in ‘The Myth of Universal Colour’) although the link in the middle may still be interesting.

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