how to adjust white-balance in Gimp/PhS

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Colin Brace, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. Colin Brace

    Colin Brace Guest

    How do you duplicate the white-balance controls of digital cameras in
    software? The WB feature of my Sony DSC W1 has settings for "Sun" and
    "Snow", but for the most part I have been just taking pictures with WB
    set on auto. However, I notice that some pictures taken on very clear,
    cold days here in the northern Northern Hemisphere are kinda washed
    out; too blue or something, but I can't quite put my finger on it. How
    do you compensate for or adjust this?

    --
    Colin Brace
    Amsterdam
    Colin Brace, Mar 5, 2006
    #1
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  2. Colin Brace

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > Colin Brace writes ...
    >
    >How do you duplicate the white-balance controls of digital
    >cameras in software?


    Curves is the most precise way, there are shortcuts with some filters
    in Photoshop ... if you have a known neutral in the image you can use
    the eye-droppers in Levels or Curves.

    >I notice that some pictures taken on very clear, cold days here
    >in the northern Northern Hemisphere are kinda washed out; too
    >blue or something, but I can't quite put my finger on it. How
    >do you compensate for or adjust this?


    Maybe post one and someone can give specific instructions ... if it's
    too blue (typical situation in the shade or at elevation) and you have
    Photoshop you can try many things ... here are a few, from easy to more
    complex ...

    * Image - adjustments - photo filter and try one of the 81 or 85
    warming filters to remove blue (this is similar to adding an 81 series
    warming filter with film)

    * Image - adjustments - color balance (better to do it as an Adjustment
    layer) ... the menu is self-explanatory

    * if you have a known white or mid-tone use the eye-dropper tools in
    Levels or Curves ... read up in the Help file to see how to do this

    * the most precise way is to use Curves on individual channels but this
    is a bit harder for a beginner ... do Image - adjustments - curves
    (adjustment layer is better way to work), change from RGB to blue
    channel (for what you describe), do cntrl-click to set a point in the
    area you think has too much blue and in the output box for that point
    decrease the number to taste using the down-arrow key
    Bill Hilton, Mar 5, 2006
    #2
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  3. Colin Brace

    Colin Brace Guest

    > Maybe post one and someone can give specific instructions

    Ok, here is one I took yesterday afternoon at around 4pm. It had rained
    less than an hour before and the air was spectacularly clear:

    http://lim.nl/DSC00909_(864x648).jpg

    I haven't done anything to it except resize it 33%.

    For my tastes, the color of the >350 year old brick, while not the most
    vibrant of terra cotta in any light, seems washed out, as does the
    orange of the roof tiles. I don't want to radically modify the image;
    just wondering if there was a subtle way of giving it some warmth,
    whether this is a white balance issue or something else...

    Of course, those dark shadows on the walls of the canal are begging a
    little work with the Dodge/Burn tool, but that is another matter.

    Comments and suggestions most welcome...

    --
    Colin Brace
    Amsterdam
    Colin Brace, Mar 7, 2006
    #3
  4. On 5 Mar 2006 05:03:45 -0800, in rec.photo.digital "Colin Brace"
    <> wrote:

    >How do you duplicate the white-balance controls of digital cameras in
    >software? The WB feature of my Sony DSC W1 has settings for "Sun" and
    >"Snow", but for the most part I have been just taking pictures with WB
    >set on auto. However, I notice that some pictures taken on very clear,
    >cold days here in the northern Northern Hemisphere are kinda washed
    >out; too blue or something, but I can't quite put my finger on it. How
    >do you compensate for or adjust this?


    While I no longer use PSP for most of my editing it has a useful tool
    called Grey World Color Balance. Just input the appropriate illuminant
    temperature.

    From the PSP8 help files:

    Using Grey World to Adjust Colors
    Like the Automatic Color Balance command, the Grey World Color Balance
    command corrects image colors, but it uses a different mathematical
    algorithm.

    If you average all the colors in a complex, outdoor photograph, the average
    color turns out to be grey. Grey World color correction uses this fact to
    determine what a photograph needs to have better looking colors.

    As with any of Paint Shop Pro’s color correction commands, the best
    approach is to try the Grey World command and see if you like its results.
    You can apply this command to a selection or an entire image.

    When not to use Grey World color correction: This color correction may not
    work well for very simple scenes with few colors, images with a limited
    range of hues (such as mostly blues), or simple computer-generated
    graphics.

    To correct colors using the Grey World dialog:

    Choose Adjust > Color Balance > Grey World Color Balance.
    The right preview window shows the image colors automatically corrected
    with the Grey World algorithm.

    In the preview window, center an important part of the image (such as a
    face). Pan the image by clicking and dragging in the preview window; zoom
    in or out as necessary.

    In the Illuminant Temperature group box, type a value or drag the slider to
    change the image’s illuminant temperature from warmer tones (oranges) to
    cooler tones (blues). The default setting is 6500K, which gives the effect
    of a photo taken in typical daylight. Photos taken indoors tend to look
    more orange, while photos taken in bright sunlight tend to look more blue.
    Adjust the value to achieve the desired effect or until the colors look the
    most natural.

    Click OK.


    --
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    http://EdwardGRuf.com
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Mar 7, 2006
    #4
  5. Colin Brace

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > Colin Brace writes ...
    >
    > here is one I took yesterday afternoon at around 4pm
    > http://lim.nl/DSC00909_(864x648).jpg
    >
    >For my tastes, the color of the >350 year old brick, while not the most
    >vibrant of terra cotta in any light, seems washed out, as does the
    >orange of the roof tiles. I don't want to radically modify the image;
    >just wondering if there was a subtle way of giving it some warmth,
    >whether this is a white balance issue or something else...


    OK, this isn't really a "white balance" problem per se since the sky is
    right and the whites in the clouds are about right. This is more a
    problem of adjusting a local range of colors without screwing up the
    other colors (doing most of the things I suggested in my first post to
    add yellow globally would make the sky look less blue, for example).

    >Comments and suggestions most welcome


    I downloaded your file and used the Replace Color tool in Photoshop to
    subtly change the bricks, here's a quick web page showing screen grabs
    of the before/after effect (preview on/off) ...
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/colin.htm ... as explained on the
    page there's a better more flexible way to do the same thing with
    adjustment layers after you make a selection, but you can see the
    effect easier here.

    This is a good technique if you just want to modify one color (or small
    range of tones) without changing other colors (like the sky in your
    shot). Other color correction problems are better solved with other
    techniques, but this is a handy one to have in your tool box.

    > Colin Brace -- Amsterdam


    I'll be in Amsterdam in a few weeks for the Tulip Festival (Keukenhof?)
    ....

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Mar 7, 2006
    #5
  6. "Colin Brace" <> wrote:
    >http://lim.nl/DSC00909_(864x648).jpg
    >
    >I haven't done anything to it except resize it 33%.
    >
    >For my tastes, the color of the >350 year old brick, while not the most
    >vibrant of terra cotta in any light, seems washed out, as does the
    >orange of the roof tiles. I don't want to radically modify the image;


    I don't have the same tool set that you do (I use Linux), but
    it looked to me as if merely increasing the color saturation
    a few percent is enough to make that look hugely more vibrant.

    --
    Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
    Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)
    Floyd L. Davidson, Mar 7, 2006
    #6
  7. (Floyd L. Davidson) wrote:
    >"Colin Brace" <> wrote:
    >>http://lim.nl/DSC00909_(864x648).jpg
    >>
    >>I haven't done anything to it except resize it 33%.
    >>
    >>For my tastes, the color of the >350 year old brick, while not the most
    >>vibrant of terra cotta in any light, seems washed out, as does the
    >>orange of the roof tiles. I don't want to radically modify the image;

    >
    >I don't have the same tool set that you do (I use Linux), but


    Okay, I wasn't exactly awake yet... :)

    >it looked to me as if merely increasing the color saturation
    >a few percent is enough to make that look hugely more vibrant.


    Use GIMP, or even just xv to set saturation.

    With xv, type in 'e' or click the mouse button 3 and then use
    button one to select the "windows" menu and pick the "Color
    editor" option. In either case, the color editor window will
    open, and right in the middle of it is a pointer for
    "saturation". Grap the pointer with mouse button one and move
    it clockwise just a little. 10% is dramatic, 20% is way
    over-doing it. (Or use the buttons to go 1% or 5% per click.)

    With The GIMP select the "Tools->Color Tools->Hue-Saturation",
    the lowest slide bar is saturation, and it appears that 15-20%
    might be about right.

    --
    Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
    Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)
    Floyd L. Davidson, Mar 7, 2006
    #7
  8. Colin Brace

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    Colin Brace <> wrote:
    > Ok, here is one I took yesterday afternoon at around 4pm. It had rained
    > less than an hour before and the air was spectacularly clear:
    > http://lim.nl/DSC00909_(864x648).jpg
    > I haven't done anything to it except resize it 33%.
    >
    > For my tastes, the color of the >350 year old brick, while not the most
    > vibrant of terra cotta in any light, seems washed out, as does the
    > orange of the roof tiles. I don't want to radically modify the image;
    > just wondering if there was a subtle way of giving it some warmth,
    > whether this is a white balance issue or something else...


    I don't think it's a white balance issue, because the white paint on
    window-frames and rooftops is very white indeed.

    Here is your image after GIMP AutoLevels and increasing color saturation
    (HSV) in just the red channel +40. The sky could be bluer but you
    didn't complain about that, so I didn't touch it.

    http://cacreeks.com/dsc0909s.jpg
    Bill Tuthill, Mar 7, 2006
    #8
  9. On Tue, 07 Mar 2006 05:03:17 -0500, in rec.photo.digital "Ed Ruf (REPLY to
    E-MAIL IN SIG!)" <> wrote:
    >While I no longer use PSP for most of my editing it has a useful tool
    >called Grey World Color Balance. Just input the appropriate illuminant
    >temperature.


    Quick selection of houses and PSP8 GWB 5000 deg:
    http://edwardgruf.com/DSC00909_pspgwb5000.jpg
    --
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    http://EdwardGRuf.com
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Mar 7, 2006
    #9
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