How do I get vivid colors?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by iluvphotography, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. iluvphotography

    iluvphotography TPF Noob!

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    I look at all of the professional photographers photos and they all look so sharp and colors are so vivid. But no matter what I do I can never get images so sharp and vivid. What do I do wrong? I even work on them on PS but still not the same!! Is it my camera? Is it the lense?? The setting? Combination of everything??
     
  2. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    Well, without having an actual photo to show us, we can only guess as to what you're having issues with. A lot is shot selection. The earth gives naturally bright colors and long-time photographers will understand this and shoot these dynamic subjects. Also is the equipment, though I don't like to think this has as much of an effect as many think it does (an L lens does not make your photos better automatically, IMO). Internal settings may have something to do with it. Try a color setting in-camera that has more saturation. Also, just because you work on them in Photoshop doesn't mean you're doing the same things a pro can do. This is no offense to your skills, but there are so many ways to get something done in PS, that it takes YEARS of learning before you know how to get exactly what you want out of it.

    I'm just a beginner, so I don't speak from experience. I have, however, asked this same question, and these are the answers I've gotten. The only way to get your photos to look like a professional is practice, trial and error if you will. But the cool thing is this forum can really help speed the process along by telling you what you're lacking in and what you're doing well with. Just be happy with what you have for now, realize professionals took YEARS to get to be as good as they are, and that you will be amazing some day with enough determination and practice.

    BTW, if it makes you feel any better, I have the same problem you do. My photos look dingy and ugly, IMO. The best advice I got (I have problems following it) is to be patient with myself and remember to have fun.
     
  3. iluvphotography

    iluvphotography TPF Noob!

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    What do you mean by the above comment? How do I do this?
     
  4. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    Well, your camera should have a menu to it, like so:

    [​IMG]

    On the second menu, there should be a setting that says, "Picture Style," like so:

    [​IMG]

    Fom the picture style menu (don't have a picture of it), you should be able to increase a number of things, including saturation (which is how bright your colors look).

    I hope this helps. BTW, these images were blatantly ripped off of dpreview.com. I give credit to them, as they are good source of info.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Some good info from Senor Hound, additionally I will add two important items. One is time of day; when the sun is lower in the sky (early morning, late afternoon) is usually better light with less harsh shadow than mid-day. Additionally, filters are very important. Out of door shots almost always benefit from the use of a polarizing filter to reduce reflection and increase saturation, especially in blue skies. Graduated neutral density filters also help; they are especially good at preventing blown skies.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's a combination of everything really. I will rank my opinion in order from most important to least important.

    1. Understanding compositional elements that make a scene look vivid. (Think of a Winter forest compared to an Autumn forest)
    2. Understanding how contrast comes about, and many of the things Senior Hound has already mentioned.
    3. Understanding how to get where you want in post processing. You can teach an old dog new tricks. For instance rather than play with hue/saturation or contrast, duplicate the image on a new layer and change the opacity to 20% and the blending mode to overlay. That gives a similar effect but a very different final image to cranking the contrast and saturation. It's a different form of vivid, won't suit all images, but is a god send in others.
    4. A good lens and knowledge how to use it. Flare can totally destroy the dynamics of a cheap lens. Use a lens hood. If you have a good multicoated lens then you can shoot into the sun to create flare without sacrificing contrast or colour.
    5. Camera. Least important. Mentioned because someone will complain if I don't, but I have seen fantastic images come from a 350D that a certain acquaintance of mine with a 5D can only one day dream to achieve.
     
  7. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually early morning sunlight can be worse than mid day sun as far as harsh light goes. Shadow cast can be more dramadic and harder to compensate. I prefer to shoot under overcast skyes (usually around Late morning or midday) for best color and shadow cast my self.
     

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