A professional photographer makes multiple exposures on the same photo before it is printed-this is called “post processing” or “processing.” This has to be done only once, before the photo is sent to the printer. A professional photographer will not use a single overexposure to save the image. A photo need only be exposed to its full (full color) potential.
Some people will try to print an image with a color balance that matches with the color of the background. This is called “color balance correction.” In reality, these color balance adjustments do not affect the “color” of an image. They alter the color profile of the light. But the color of the light will be the key.
The best way to evaluate what color to print on a photo is to look at its exposure level. Is it as bright as you may like, or bright enough to make the photo “pop?”
There are two ways to evaluate a photo’s exposure balance:
One is to look through its histogram (see below). It displays the relative intensities of each component of the photo’s light. The lower the value, the more intense the image is. When the histogram shows an image that is close to its exposure and white balance settings, and is not overexposed, it is almost always a good, vibrant picture.
The other is to look at it in a real-life exposure comparison. You can choose different test lights so that you can examine them one by one. If a particular test light is to your liking, try it. But do not simply try different test lights and compare them against the photo. The histogram is one important piece of the calibration puzzle. It is very important that both the test lights and the photo exhibit the same color balance. And it is also very important that the photograph you have measured be near the test lights’ values.
Histograms (also called “barcodes”)
A histogram is the best way to analyze color balance of a photo.
A histogram displays the relative intensities of each component of a photo’s light. The lower the value (the more intense the image) in the histogram, the brighter the image.
An image with a very high exposure level and a very dark color balance will have more gray noise in its histogram than an image with a very high exposure and a very bright color balance. A photo with dark skin may exhibit more color noise (not noise that can be
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