Frank Doorhof is a Kelby Training Instructor. He teaches numerous photography workshops and speaks at events like Photoshop World in Las Vegas. Frank has written for the blog before. Check out his article about tinting.

Frank is back on the blog with a two part article about the importance of color. Here is part one.

Color always has and always will be, important. Think about the vibrant field signs used in early warfare, or the elaborate adornments of royalty. These tools were used to mark importance, action, prestige, or power. They made a statement. You get the idea. Colors are cool! (or warm, depending on the hue)

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Instead of adding more color, removing them can be just as powerful.
This is especially true when used in the right setting.

In the old days, photographers used something called film. Remember that stuff? When using film, photographers had to choose which type to use before they could click the shutter. Film choice makes a significant impact on the look and feel of the images from the shoot.

This is because of the diverse recipes manufacturers use for the films they make. Each chemical concoction results in unique image characteristics. The photographer chooses which film works best for their vision. If you don’t make a wise film choice, your entire shoot could end up funky, or worse–unusable. Choosing the right film was what set the pros apart. After you got the hang of it, film choice was part of the fun.

This shot developed from my creative process.
I just mixed some different looks together to make the image surreal.

Let’s fast forward to digital. Now we use one sensor instead of the hundreds of different types of film. This made a lot of good things happen: colors are truer than ever, noise is better, sharpness too. Some curmudgeon photographers, like me, say they just miss that film look. Digital photos don’t have the same soul that film photography produced. This is where Alien Skin’s Exposure comes in.

I added some warmth to this natural light shot.
The color made it come alive.

With Exposure, you can easily emulate your favorite film looks from yesteryear. They may not be perfect renditions, but they come close. To be honest, it’s not really necessary to render a film type 100% accurately, we just want to put that ‘soul’ back in.

More info to come on this topic. Stay tuned.

[This article is the first in a two-part series. The second article is here.]

Choosing the right “look” made the reds of the dress really pop.
It subdued the near monochromatic cityscape, which really forces the attention of the viewer toward the dress.
A small vignette in the sky completed the process.


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