Easy Colour Correction for Photographing Miniatures

If your photographic lighting resources are limited, it's quite likely that you don't have access to daylight bulbs, and your photos will have a pronounced colour cast. The exact colour will depend on the lighting — most bulbs used in the home are quite yellowish, while fluorescents can be greenish. This process for correcting that colour cast will work for either.

I've taken this picture of two figures on a sheet of plain copier paper, and I've added a box of pure white in one corner so that you can see the exact effect.

The software I'm using for this is Photoshop, but there are equivalents in GIMP or Affinity Photo that do the exact same thing.

Step 1:

Using the Colour Sampler tool (the eyedropper) sample an area of the photo that you know is pure white. I've taken my sample from the paper between the two figures.

Step 2:

Create a new layer, and fill it with the colour you've sampled with the eyedropper.

In Photoshop, the shortcut to fill an area with the foreground colour is Alt-Delete
(Option-Delete on a Mac).

Step 3:

Invert that colour.

In Photoshop, the command for this is Control-I
(or Command-I on a Mac).

Step 4:

In the Layers palette, set the Mode for the layer to Colour Dodge.

The layer will now neutralize the colour cast on the photograph.
In this photo, I've taken my colour sample from the tone card in front of the two miniatures, instead of from the paper they're standing on. As you can see, this has created a slightly different tonal range in the image; the slight vignetting apparent above has disappeared and the whole background is pure white.

3 comments: