I have a very basic question that I cannot get a simple answer too. Please if you can help, I would appreciate it.
I have taken some pictures with my camera, I cannot adjust the white balance
of the camera, so the pictures come out with a slight grey background. I
want to change that to a white background. Very simple right? I cant
find the answer anywhere.
I just would like the step by step directions to do this. I am frustrated beyond belief.
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what do you mean by a slight grey background? Are you saying under-saturated or are you saying under-exposed? You mention white balance: if your white balance is out you will most likely have a colour cast in your image... this would affect the whole image, not just the background. Same with the underexposure or under-saturation. They would affect the whole image too.
Is there another way you can describe your issue, or perhaps attach an image illustrating it?
This is taken in a light box, I have tried every conceivable way to change the background, I cannot change it on the camera. I know there is a quick way to do it.
The image is underexposed. I'll show you ONE way of fixing it quickly...at least as a starting point:
Job's done!! Takes around 8 seconds once you are used to it. These instructions only apply to the type of image you have shown.
Attached is a movie showing you what I meant. Please note it was a quick demo to show you where the tools are located. I did not look for or sample the darkest part of the background, I just sampled a general area of the background. The video is low quality too and looks far worse than working on the real image.
I've just realised the title of this thread. You would NOT use this method to change the "colour" of the background as it would change the colour of everything in your image. In this instance we were not changing the colour as such, we were brightening the image (increasing exposure) and colour-correcting it at the same time (to a certain extent).
Super helpful,especially the movie, but it does not bring it all the way to white, still comes out grey. Thoughts?
We are on the right track.
I think the overexposure comment is helpful, let me adjust that and try again.
You could do the Sample/Target Balance and then try doing a Tone Curve with the Style set to Gamma. My image below is showing you where the settings are, I moved the curve upward a little. but haven't actually adjusted the image with any accuracy.
I forgot to mention....take note of where the areas of your image are not quite pure white and run sample/target balance again using the darkest area of the background as the sample point! You will be forcing the darkest part to become white and naturally the rest of the background will be white automatically. I made a mistake in my first directions when I said sample an average area of the background. I should hve said sample the darkest area of the background. I'll change that now in my previous post :-)
Just a tip: Open the Image Info docker (Ctrl+F1 or Window>Dockers>Info) and you get an RGB readout as you move your cursor around the image. Use the readout to determine the darkest part of the background before sampling a point.
Interesting that you cannot adjust white balance. Most cameras these days allow you to although the point an shoots do not call it White Balance and the settings are group of presets with names like.Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incadescent, and such.
If the subject is also off color, Gamma adjustments can often be a good start.
Lately, I have too much month left at the end of the money!
It's not a white balance problem. That would have given a background with a slight blue, yellow, green or pink tint depending on the lighting conditions.
As Brian says, its primarily an under-exposure problem. Though difficult to blame the camera for this. How would the camera know that the background was white and not grey?
The problem is that the subject (the tag) represents little more than 10% of the picture. The camera would do a better job of getting the exposure right if the subject occupied most of the frame. But would probably then require a close-up lens to keep the subject in focus.
Another, possibly better, way to get rid of the background is the cutout lab. Make the background transparent (you can then put a pure white background behind it if needed, or indeed any other colour of your choice) and use the tone curve (and colour balance, if needed) to improve the exposure of the tag itself.