Color the Way You Want It

All Photos © 2005, George Schaub, All Rights Reserved

I liked the look and nostalgic feel, but wanted to enhance the colorful paint. I simply set the next shot at +2 color saturation (Optimize in the Nikon menu.)

Color can be enhanced in camera with Contrast and Sharpness settings as well. Contrast plays an important role in color rendition, and can be used to heighten the feeling of saturation even more. In general, the more the contrast the deeper the color rendition, much like the effect slide film shooters sought when they worked with underexposure. Sharpness settings also have an effect on color. Sharpness does not make a focused shot out of a blurry one; it increases the edge contrast of the pixels, and can be used to add contrast to tonal (and color) borders. This offset of color tones can be quite effective when you want a more graphic feel in your shots.

This wall in Montreal is quite color rich as it is, but I wanted to add even more "snap" to the image.

To do this I raised Saturation to +1, Contrast to +1 and Sharpness to +1 in the image menu. The image processor simply applied these instructions and made the wall look like it was painted the morning before I photographed it.

So keep these colorful tips in mind next time you go out shooting, and play with color in each shot to get just the right combination for what you see and want to say with your images.