Color correction | How to

Color correction for everyone. Color correction is not always simple, and what I wanna show you is one way that I found (on the internet) works very good. If you have a monitor that isn’t calibrated then this method might save your day. All three movies shows the same thing, but with different scenes. I made them as a test.

Do this many times and soon you can do it on the fly and it’s a great way of at least check how your image could look like. And I know I should have sound and say something. I’ll try soon.

Play Part 1 (12.9MB – this one includes how to setup your curves tool correctly)
Play Part 2 (2.5MB – DivX test)
Play Part 3 (4.8MB – tricky indoor scen)

Hold down the shift key when setting numbered markers. You can only set 4. (one black, one white, two grey) Grey marker I set two because grey point is tricky and you might wanna test two spots.

Feedback please.

About Carl Rytterfalk

Welcome to my blog! I'm Carl Rytterfalk, a swedish photographer who loves everything that is interesting in the world of photography. In 2002 I fell in love with the three layered Foveon sensor and has since then been an addicted user of Sigma cameras. Though I use Canon and Nikon as well. :)
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20 Responses to Color correction | How to

  1. BobNL says:

    Wow, this works perfect! Where did you find this? Only one note, I didn't like the settings for the blackpoint, so changed that to 5,5,5. Gave me nicer results. Now I have to think about how I throw this into a action…

    PS. DivX didn't work for me.

  2. 5.5.5 would probably be a good choice. My version is an Ink-jet version. And my sources are wide and deep, Google is your friend.

    I'm not sure you can do a good action. I have one action for the making of "grey" layer with difference, but that's the only one. If you can magically create one, tell me!

  3. oh, DivX should work if you're using the latest DivX version 6.

  4. Anonymous says:

    ah, scott kelby power!

  5. BobNL says:

    Ah, Scott Kelby power :-)

  6. Scott Kelby power! Ahhhh

  7. Wissbegieriger says:

    Intriguing. I can't try it as have only Elements (3) – shows you get subtle but very useful features for 5x price ;).

    It looks very useful – identifying a true ' grey' point to get actual color correction seems still a good challenge, or did I miss something?

    Very good levels should in any case help.

    The second, DivX, seems to stop updating for me about 40 seconds in. Playing through RealPlayer, and I'm not sure about the codec. If it works for you, it's probably fine…


  8. Pingback: Color Correction | action download! at Carl Rytterfalk Fotografi

  9. You need to download the latest DivX version 6 from . There is codecs and players for you. Not much to see in that video though. It's the same thing all over! I thought that because i didn't talk I should do it more times instead.

    The grey point is the trickiest part but it's magically taken care of in this video. At least showing you where to look.

    If you want me to try it on one "tricky" photo, I will. Send it to

  10. Mac says:

    Works great… so easy and yet so powwafull! :D

  11. BTW, this is NOT Scott Kelby power, the power belongs to Dave Cross. A Kanadian guy.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Almost right Carl! To be exact it is Scott Kelby and Dave Cross power! Most of this color correction method is already found in numerous tutorials from Scott, Dave added the easy finding of the neutral grey part.

  13. BobNL says:

    I should register, I should register, I should register.

    Yep, the above anonymous was me :-(

  14. Pingback: Kunming Village | revisited at Carl Rytterfalk Fotografi

  15. Gregoire says:

    I really admire your photography. I started photography this year and it’s great to read and watch someone who both takes great pictures and gives some pointers as to how he works. Usually, it’s only one or the other.

    I’m not sure I understand this color correction thing though. Why don’t you leave the black, white, and grey points at their standard values? Seems like setting the white and black point with your method doesn’t change the image much, does it? The main point of this technique is to find the grey point?

    Oh and I ordered the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. I was already pretty convinced before I stumbled on your website but it was very encouraging to see what you did with it–not that it’s the lens that takes the pictures of course. Maybe it really should be renamed the Rytterfalk ;)

    Thanks for everything.

  16. Hi Gregoire! It’s sometimes subtle changes and a sensitive eye can many times recognize these changes and say -Ah, there it is. Now it’s perfect. Or sometimes it’s not good at all.. hehe..

    and thanks for your comment. If you have questions regarding retouching or photography in general, feel free to ask..

    (that lens IS nice. :)

  17. Gregoire says:

    Hey, thanks for answering so quickly. You’re right, the changes are quite subtle–which is great!–I don’t know why I was expecting some big thing. Just me being silly :P I think I have to try it with more pictures too. Why do you change the target colors of white, black and grey, though? Why don’t use just use a true grey, white, and black? I’m not sure I understand what that part does.

  18. If you’re in possession of a good grey card, then you use that. But often on daily photography you find yourself not using it. And when this happens you use this method. You might find old photos or scanned 35mm versions and in any case this method can give you a more true result. Not always but often.


  19. Gregoire says:

    Ok. Thanks so much, Carl.

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