Get Accurate Colors in Close-Up Product Photography

Controlling the color in your close-up small product photographs is critical to creating realistic representations of your subjects. Begin by selecting the appropriate color balance based on the lighting you’re dealing with.

Different types of light produce different color shifts when picked up by your camera’s digital sensor, and these shifts can affect how the color of your subject appears.

Your camera is equipped with various color balance settings: daylight, open shade, cloudy conditions, flash, tungsten (indoor) lighting, fluorescent light, and a custom function. Shooting with the cloudy setting on a cloudy day gets your colors close to where they need to be, but not all cloudy days are the same, and your results vary from one to the other.

The preset color balances are great for most photographic situations, but for product photography it's best to use the custom function to ensure your colors are spot on.

The custom white balance (or color balance) feature on your camera enables you to photograph a white balance card (a card that’s known to be neutral in color) and use it as a reference for your camera to balance the color of light in a scene. You can use the white balance card to balance color in camera, or in postproduction.

Color management becomes more and more difficult as your images are sent to different media. For instance, the colors in a photograph may appear differently on one computer screen compared to another. Also, a printed version of the image may have different colors than the image on your screen, and each printer prints the colors a little differently from the next.

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