When colour tweaking goes too far
There’s a fine line between improving a picture and making it look surreal when you fiddle with the colour settings.
Tina Kurby writes: “I always have my camera on manual, but I must admit that this happened so quickly that I really didn’t have time to adjust much. We highlighted the picture using Picasa photo-editing software later, and now the leopard stands out magnificently.”
Toast Coetzer writes:
Photo 1. It’s clear that the original lacks contrast; we can hardly see the leopard.
Photo 2. Under “Basic Fixes” you can click on “Auto Contrast” to make an automatic adjustment, but Picasa goes a bit far and the colours become almost unnatural. Note the orange yellows and the near-blue shadows.
Photo 3. To mute the colours slightly, go to “Effects” and click on “Saturation”. Drag the slider slightly to the left – you’ll see the colours now look more natural.
Picasa software is free to download from the Internet (google the word “Picasa”). Software such as Photoshop, on the other hand, is expensive and more complex. The same rule of thumb applies, though: Don’t go overboard with colour adjustments; try to keep it natural.