Strange colours

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Melnibone, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. Melnibone

    Melnibone TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    My wife has a Finepix S9600 and she likes taking pictures of her flowers. Usually her S9600 captures the colours perfectly
    but with this one plant...well the colour is way off. The pink flowers in the photo below should actually be a much darker
    purple. She's only just getting to grips with digital photography and would normally leave most settings on 'auto' but with
    this one she's tried changing the white balance and the ISO all to no avail. The photo was taken in fairly poor light
    (it's the UK) and she tried when the sun came out but the purple still comes out pink. The foreground, background and
    foliage colours are fine.
    I guess my question is - is this normal with digital cameras and/or should she be adjusting something else? The manual is
    not very helpful and in this case Google wasn't my friend.
    We really are total newbies at this so please be gentle. :blushing: Thank you in advance for your advice.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Looks purple to me.

    Changing the white balance will introduce various color casts if the light doesn't actually change.
     
  3. PerfectlyFlawed

    PerfectlyFlawed TPF Noob!

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    Looks purple to me. :)
     
  4. EhJsNe

    EhJsNe TPF Noob!

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    I see purple.

    If its supposed to be darker it could be either a monitor calibration problem and youre just not seing it right (But I doubt anything would be that far off)

    Or maybe the large amount of dark caused the camera to make it lighter to capture all the details.
     
  5. Kansasdude

    Kansasdude TPF Noob!

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    Other than the color temp being a bit blueish, the flowers look mostly purple to me. Dropping the exposure a bit and adding in some contrast might help. And as someone mentioned it could be a problem with your monitor's calibration. Have you tried viewing the image on a different monitor to see if the results are the same?
     
  6. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Its a classic case of "subject failure". In this case a color spectrum problem frequently called "the morning glory effect", after the flower of that name.

    The spectral sensitivity of film, digital sensors, and the human eye do not match. They are similar and most of the time film and digital sensors reproduce color very close to what is seen by the human eye.

    Flowers are one major exception. The spectra that they reflect is ofter abnormally rich in the near UV and the near IR. They also can have sharp gaps in their spectra. These oddities sometimes bring out the differences in the sensitivity curves of film, digital sensors, and your eye. It can happen with flowers of any color, but rich blues and dark bluish purples and the most likely to be problematic. One of the hardest to deal with are morning glories, hence the frequent use of the name "morning glory effect".

    Blue and purple flowers often reflect extremely well in the IR and near IR. The slightest extra sensitivity to this edge of the visible spectrum, compared to that of the human eye, will cause blues to pickup up a purplish tinge and rich purples to photograph more magenta and lighter than they look.

    The only things you can do about are to either filter the camera with a special IR cutoff filter (expensive and hard to find) or to adjust the color in post processing in just the localized areas where the flower petals are (difficult in many cases).
     
  7. Melnibone

    Melnibone TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Dwig, that answer makes perfect sense to me. The plant is a really dark and vibrant purple to my eye. In low light it looks un-naturally coloured, it practically glows.
    When I took a pic with my cell phone to compare (an N73 with a Carl Zeis lens that usually takes adequate pics) I got a fringing effect and the plant looked a vibrant dark blue.
    Looking at the pic my wife took on either of my monitors or the screen on her camera it's very pale compared to what our eye sees. Other purple plants she takes pictures of
    come out fine but she just told me the plant in question has the same sort of sheen to it as morning glory so it probably has the same properties that make it hard to capture
    the colour our eyes see. Now I'm off to research the 'morning glory effect' to see if there's any other tricks to get around it. If there isn't I will have to get re-aquainted with
    photoshop as I haven't used it for years. A daunting task. :pale:

    Thanks Dwig and thanks to everyone who answered. ;)
     

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