Photography Tutorials and Articles

Analyzing the Colour Cast

Perfect Colours by Analyzing the Colour Cast

In previous articles, I look into Analyzing photos and changing the exposure modes to achieve better results. In this article, I am going to discuss colours and how to make better images by Analyzing the Colour Cast.

What is the Colour cast?

The definition of the Colour Cast from Wikipedia:

A colour cast is a tint of a particular colour, usually unwanted, which affects the whole, or portion, of a photographic image evenly.

Certain types of light can cause film and digital cameras to have a colour cast. Illuminating a subject with light sources of different colour temperatures will usually cause colour cast problems in the shadows. In general, the human eye does not notice the unnatural colour, because our eyes and brains adjust and compensate for different types of light in ways that cameras cannot.”

Photographers control the brightness and contrast of the images using the Exposure. Therefore, the exposure does not have a significant role in rendering the colours.

Generally speaking, in digital photography the colour cast occurs whenever the digital camera is not familiar with the light source or the light source is too complicated for the camera. The White Balance controls the colour rendition in digital cameras. Therefore, if the White Balance is not set correctly, it can result in mild to massive Colour Cast.

Analyzing the Colour Cast

Commonly, the colour cast happens when taking photos indoors or shades. However, I have noticed that the snow and the sand can cause it as well.

By analyzing the colour cast, a photographer can make sure that the colours are as accurate as possible.

The indoor lights created a heavy colour cast in this image:

Heavy Colour Cast

Analyzing the Colour Cast
Indoor lights usually create heavy colour cast

Therefore, by analyzing the photo, I noticed the colour cast and removed it by post-processing. (that is for another article!)

Removing Heavy Colour Cast

Analyzing the colour cast
Removing the colour cast using Lightroom

I used Auto White Balance in this photo. You can see the yellow colour cast due to indoor lights.

Indoor lights create colour cast

analyzing the colour cast
Indoor lights create heavy colour cast

Ergo, I switched to Fluorescent White Balance, and I was able to reduce the colour cast to the minimum.

Removing colour cast using WB Preset

analyzing the colour cast
Using White Balance Presets can help removing heavy colour cast

Do you want to learn more?

Do you want to learn more about White Balance and Colour Cast? Register for our upcoming Digital Photography Bootcamp. A good portion of the Bootcamp is dedicated to these topics. The next Bootcamp is scheduled for June 5th. There are a few spots left.

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Ted and the Omnilargess Team