Friday, June 6, 2014

Shooting Red

Wow! Friday again! It's time for Friday Finds. Come on over to Kim's blog today and see what kind of great goodies everyone has found/discovered this week.
I'll warn you right now I may be opening a huge can of worms with few answers. And maybe a few of you can help shed a little more light on this subject.
Last year while processing my poppy photos I discovered I could bring a lot of detail out in the petals. In Lightroom in the HSL panel I decreased the saturation of the red slider and increased the luminance of the red slider. This seemed satisfactory. In some photos decreasing the luminance worked better. So a made a preset called Red Poppy Fix.
Last week as I watched photos "loading" they would change after a brief second to more saturated. It was more obvious with the poppies so that got me to thinking. (I import mine with 'minimal' previews so it takes a couple seconds.) Thinking about color space and camera calibration that is. I knew my camera was set to Adobe RGB. So I took a couple shots with it set that way and then changed it to sRGB. I really couldn't tell any difference. (I may have moved around to much to have let the light be accurate though.) I decided this didn't prove anything but I was trying to cover all my bases.
This is what my camera was set to as far as Picture Style goes.
So I checked to see what Lightroom showed in the Camera Calibration Panel. (Last one on the right.) It was set to Adobe Standard.  Here is what that looked like. The red is quite bright and a little flat looking in areas. Some of my photos were much 'flatter' than this one.

If you click on the arrows you'll see more choices.
Here is Camera Neutral.
OK, more detail is showing up but the color is poor.

Here is Camera Standard. It looks like more detail is showing than Adobe Standard, so perhaps I should use this as default? For some reason I switched it back to Adobe Standard to finish editing.

I stumbled across a preset that made the poppies extremely dark but the detail was awesome. So I made adjustments in the HSL Panel to get this.

If that's not enough, let's add a slight Split Tone for a slight change.

Here are a few more shots with the HSL and split tone applied. It makes dark rich lovely red, but you can tweak it to your hearts content and save your own version of this preset.
After, with a few additional adjustments:
After all this playing around I decided to recheck the Camera Profile settings and found Adobe Standard still looked the best after edits. Perhaps I should have started with Camera Standard to see where that would have taken me. 
Now if I had time to dig some worms I would have finished off with them. 
Hope this was thought provoking as you're shooting some red this summer. And I challenge you to give this this a try on some of your red shots. 
Have a great weekend!



  1. That is very interesting Roxi, I must experiment as I am never totally happy with my red shots...

  2. I wasn't happy with my red poppy so will have to look into this! Thanks!

  3. reds have always been difficult for me...thank you so much for all your insight. I will have to play around with your suggestions...thank you! I love your last photo ... such a beautiful red and that backround is stunning!! have a great weekend!

  4. Wow, I love your adjustment and discovery! It's been a while since I shot reds, but will see what happens in my camera and LR.

  5. Such a great post..reds are really challenging...I'm going to give this a try..your photo's are really wonderful in all the different stages..
    Have a nice weekend.

  6. I have a poppy photo I took recently that I'm going to try this on, thank you ! Love your photos :)

  7. The texture in the petals has become visible and I find the color also much more pleasing to the eye ... The color pigment of the poppies is so bright and shiny in the nature! Thank you for another great tutorial, Roxi!

  8. I find Reds and purples are difficult to shoot but can be rectified with saturations and luminance-like you spoke of so perfectly here.

  9. Interesting Roxi, I always use Camera Faithful myself just because I prefer the color it gives me. I do know that in Photoshop you can go to "View" and you will find View Gamut Warning and it will tell you it you have blown out the reds which really happens a lot with images like this and with magenta images. I don't think you have that option to view the gamut in Lr, maybe I just haven't found it.

  10. I know so little about photography... I'm still in the process of learning how to use photo apps on my cell phone. I do appreciate the difficulties with getting the perfect red shot. I love the finally shot.


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