Color correct the imported images

If you are working from scanned photos (negatives, slides or prints), you probably should make only a rough attempt to color correct the images after importing them.  It may be that you don’t need to, particularly if your scanner or digital camera has done a good job.

NOTE: The Color tool is available only when it is enabled on the Project properties dialog box.  It is enabled automatically when you are working with 45-bit images.  See Use 45-bit pixels and Enable color tool on the Project properties dialog box to learn about 45-bit pixels.

If you are working from scanned negatives, there is a standard procedure you can follow to get a good initial color correction:

1.      Select “Negative” on the Color tool or use the toolbar button.

2.      Activate the Histogram panel.

3.      Double click one of the imported images to enlarge it and locate one of its black inter-frame regions.

4.      Draw the preview rectangle so that it is entirely within the inter-frame region.

5.      Press the Set black button on the Histogram panel.

This procedure should give you recognizable images. You can use other Color tool values to improve the images now if you wish, but you can also wait until later.

Note that using the Set black button does a good job of filtering out the orange mask.

If you want to take a first stab at color balancing the midrange, try these steps:

1.      Adjust the Midrange value on the Color tool to get a pleasing overall brightness.

2.      Use the Show imported images command (View menu) to return to the imported thumbnails pane.

3.      Select all of the imported thumbnails.

4.      Press the Set gray button on the Histogram panel.

Note that using the Set gray button performs a passable job of overall color correction. This is because it balances so that on average the images are gray. This works because color perception is relative to overall illumination. Of course you may find a different overall color correction to be more esthetically pleasing, but this should provide a good starting point.

This might be another good time to save the project.

© 1999-2009, Smoky City Design, LLC
Updated: March 6, 2009