Photo Color Correction

Photo editing is a very subjective topic and it ultimately comes down to the artistic eye of each person. Sure there are many right ways to color correct a digital image, but there are certainly some that yield more engaging content than others. People seem to respond and engage more with photos that look more colorful and realistic, photos that POP. [Move the divider to see the difference!]

I shot most of my photos with my GoPro Hero 3 Plus Black and Hero 4 Silver. My Hero 4 Silver is set on Protune 99% of the time. When shooting in Protune, you can adjust the camera’s white balance, color profile, ISO limit, sharpness, and exposure compensation (EV). Images will come out slightly more flat colored and dull, but editing the image will be much easier. I use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to fix these imperfections.

I start by applying some basic color adjustments in Adobe Lightroom. Highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, exposure, contrast, temperature, and clarity usually in that order. Additionally I may play around with the HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance) tab sometimes and tweak specific colors that may be over or under saturated.

Once I’m satisfied with the initial color pass, I’ll export the image file from Lightroom into Adobe Photoshop. I most often use the tone RGB curves, exposure, offset, gamma correction, and spot healing brush tool respectively. Often times Lightroom does a very good job at color correcting images so I won’t need to use Photoshop.

Here’s a brief example of my workflow:

[HERO 3+ Black Edition//Light underwater environments//Photo Time-Lapse 0.5 seconds]


Adobe Lightroom Adjustments


Adobe Photoshop Adjustments





My go to photo settings: Single Shot, Time-Lapse, Photo Burst

These are more examples of instances where the original photo was flat and dull, and how the end result brought it back to life.

[HERO 3+ Black Edition//Light underwater environments//Photo Time-Lapse 0.5 seconds]


[HERO 4 Silver//Single Shot//Accidentally left protune on and white balance at 3000K. Corrected by adjusting color temperature.]

[HERO 4 Silver//Photo Time-Lapse with Protune.]

[HERO 4 Silver//Night-Lapse with Protune//Click here to find out how I got this shot.]

I hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial. If you have a question on a specific photo feel free to drop me a line on the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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