Commack High School Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Ward Melville
For some tips on photographing high school basketball check out this post. If you're just here for the photos scroll down and click on any thumbnail to open the gallery.
For this post I thought I'd give you my take on post-processing photos taken in your typical high school gym. I should probably have titled this post "How Come My Kid is Orange?". This is probably the number one problem most people run into when shooting sports in a gym. You have a wooden floor which is almost always a yellow-orange color and the light is reflected off the floor and causes the players skin tones to go orange. So how do you deal with this?
Well, first of all, white balance is not going to help. That's not to say you shouldn't go for an accurate white balance, but that white balance won't fix a color cast. You have to fix it with one of the color correction tools in your photo editing software. The software I use, Adobe Lightroom, has several tools to fix colors. You could use the HSL tool and drag down the orange saturation; better but not great. You could use the targeted adjustment tool to drag down the saturation of the floor. That works also but it washes out the floor. You could use the saturation slider in the Basic panel to reduce overall saturation; that also works but it reduces saturation of every color.
How about trying the Camera Calibration panel? I know, you thought this was for correcting the color shifts in your camera and setting a color profile. It is, but it does more. Tweak the Red Primary and Blue Primary saturation sliders. The Red Primary saturation slider will reduce overly red skin tones. The Blue Primary saturation slider will adjust the amount of yellow in skin tones (remember, blue is the opposite of yellow on the color wheel). The Hue sliders will adjust the hue of the respective colors but be careful; just a slight movement of these sliders will cause a large shift in hue, and for most cases you won't need to adjust the hue. I find the sliders in this panel work way better than the sliders in the HSL or Basic panels for adjusting skin tones. One thing you need to remember is to adjust your exposure before you adjust the colors; adjusting exposure in Lightroom will affect color saturation, so do this first before you tweak any colors.
So, next time you have a color problem try Lightroom's Camera Calibration panel. It just might solve your problem.