I've been struggling for a long while with bright red colours in synthetic polymer fabrics. Not only are the reds often blown, but there are colour shifts towards magenta depending of the angle of the light towards the fabrics. I see the problem with all cameras (except my old Fujis, the S3 and S5), but more with small sensor cameras like the GH2 and GH3 than with the only 35mm DSLR i have, the D700.
While this might not be a major problem for many, I do most of my commercial photography in industrial environments, where protective, red polyester clothing is rather common.
I've been a PS user almost since the beginning of time (PS2 if I remember correctly), and by using desaturation and colour balance tools in ACR as well as in PS, I've found workarounds that more or less work, but there's no standard formula, and it's very, very boring work which doesn't always end with success.
I've gone as far as considering changing brand (perfect excuse for GAS, isn't it ), but after browsing the web for photos of red clothing, as well as checking photos I've taken with other cameras myself, I soon found out that it's a common problem. Then, for some reason, I woke up at 2 A.M. this morning, and since I couldn't sleep again, I thought I would make a serious attempt to look into the issue. How about trying another RAW processor?
Aperture is out of the question, since I occasionally work on Windows computers, so C1 was top of my list. My test procedure was very simple:
- Open the same RAW file in ACR and C1.
- No adjustments other than ensuring the WB and tint were the same in both processors and all values set to "neutral" or "zero".
These are screen grabs of the results I got, ACR first:
There's an enormous difference in red tone between the two, and reality is somewhere between them, but much closer to the C1 result than the one from ACR. What is the really big difference is that:
- There's no ugly colour shift with C1
- Red channel is not blown
- C1 has been able to retain most details
- The image from C1 is robust enough to take colour adjustments, including increased saturation, while the result from ACR must be desaturated heavily before any adjustments are possible, and getting the saturation back up is virtually impossible.
I should of course have tried C1 and other products earlier, but having used PS for almost 20 years.... you know
It would be interesting to hear if others have had similar or other experiences in this area. For me, C1 seems to become an obvious addition to my toolbox