Getting great colour into your photos

It’s easy to get bright, real colours if you take your photos at the right times of the day.

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Rainbow Lorkikeet

There has been no post-processing on this photo — this is how it came out of the camera. The slightly yellow glow on the branch gives a good indication of the kind of late-afternoon light though, when I took this shot of a Rainbow Lorikeet.

Providing that it’s not too cloudy then just after sunrise or just before sunset the light can be saturated with the rich golden tones missing during the rest of the day. Seriously, if the light’s good enough you can point your camera at anything and get good colour.

Variegated Fairy-wrens

The photo of the Variegated Fairy-wrens shown above was taken a little bit later in the morning than I like to work and so the light, while still pretty good, was also too strong for my liking. What that usually means is that white plumage ends up being badly overexposed (blown out). So, to avoid that I used exposure compensation to slightly underexpose the whole image, then when I opened the file in my RAW software I lightened the shadows back up again to get the result you see here.

I talk more about getting good colour into photos here.

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Beginners’ guides to digital SLR photography


Before you start


The essential basics


Making sense of technical stuff

Photography words

Photography words explained


Sneaky stuff


Common problems and their solutions

Preying mantis

Taking things further


Photography at night

Other photography stuff

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