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Old Nov 9, 2004, 3:08 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2

JimC emailed me today to suggest that I take a look at this forum thread, as he thought I might have something useful to add. As Jim mentioned, I'm a working photographer, and I'm also red-green color blind.

I used to think that I'd never be able to make my own prints because I wouldn't be able to make color corrections using filters, etc., in a darkroom. Then digital imaging came along. Even after getting a scanner and a printer, I still had to ask friends to double-check my work. But once I learned how to use RGB values to remove color casts by using Curves, suddenly I could correct on my own. Sometimes I still have to ask someone to check a particularly difficult correction for me, but for the most part I'm okay.

Jim has already told you about my article on color-correction for the color-blind. In that article I explain the basics of how I do my color corrections. (And color-correcting using RGB values and Curves is not just for color-blind people. The point is that doing color corrections digitally is so easy that even color-blind people can do them. It's another testament to the wonders of computers.)

One other tool I sometimes use is the software WhatColor. It runs in the background and will tell you the color and shade of anything you hover over with the cursor. Sometimes I use it to check that the sky in a photo is really blue, and not some slight shade of purple that I'm not seeing. You can learn more about WhatColor at

As far as correcting images for skin tones, the best tip I ever heard was from a PhotoShop guru named Ben Wilmore. His idea (which I've tried, and it works nicely) is to get a stock book with a sample CD from a stock agency. You can usually get one for free if you call and ask (I got mine -- a Corbis book -- from an art director I work with who gets them in the mail about once a month). When you need to adjust for a skin tone, flip throughthe book and find a photo of a person with the same skin tone as in your photo. Open the corresponding stock image sample on the CD, take an RGB reading, and then correct your photo accordingly. (The key to making this trick work well is to ensure the brightness levels of the two images are comparable.)

If you have any other questions, eitherpost them here (I'll track the thread), or feel free to email me. You can reach me pretty easily through my website,

Good luck.

--Chris Nicholson
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