Before & After: Color Correction

In two previous posts, I posted photos from a birthday party. You can see them here & here. My original images had grotesque color casts due to not using the right white balance setting in-camera (oops!). I can see when I look at those final images that the coloring is still off — this has to do with the technical mistake and not wanting to lose my mind editing. I work mostly in Aperture and all of my corrections where done in this program. For more nit-picky editing, I could have taken all the images into Photoshop. Here below is an example and an explanation of my editing process:

Before & After - Fixing a mistake!

Here are the adjustments I made in Aperture:

* White balance preset for Fluorescent + additional adjustment using the “Temperature” slider.

* Changed the reds and greens saturation and hues under “Color.”

Basically, I counteracted the bright warm colors with desaturation and cool colors.

It took a lot of tweaking back and forth to get the skin tones to look fairly normal. I still see things about this image that could be improved (like the green cast under Brian’s chin, the color cast in the upper left, and the overall composition), but Aperture made the basic color adjustments fairly easy. My main focus was getting the skin tones as close to normal as possible. In some of the other images, I used the “Color” eye dropper to gain more control over color adjustment. Each of the images did get some changes made under “Levels” as well to help with contrast and brightness.

Here is the final image:

Maria & Brian

I see things that I could edit further or could have done differently from the start. I do not like Brian’s forehead being cut off, but I picked this photo because it was easy to draw a line down the middle for this demo. Just remember – do not skimp out on manually controlling your camera settings. Take the time do it right in-camera to save on post-processing time!

Thank you for reading and I hope that this is informative towards your own editing.

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