Commack High School Boys Varsity Bowling
Caught the Commack boys varsity bowling team at a practice at AMF Smithtown Lanes last week. Very talented group of bowlers! Since I've already explained my strategy for making bowling photos in the post on the girls team I thought I'd cover removing color casts in this post because the walls in Smithtown Lanes are a bright orange and, well, I can't think of anything else to write about.
In most indoor venues your photos are going to be affected by one or more colors from light bouncing off surrounding objects. Even in gyms with all white walls (love em') you still have light bouncing off the wooden gym floor producing an orange color cast. You can, and should, adjust your white balance but often this will not remove a color cast. Luckily, there are a number of different tools you can use to remove color casts, some more effective than others.
In Lightroom I start with the HSL panel. Here you can use the saturation or hue sliders on the target color to either desaturate it or shift it's hue. This usually works but it affects the target color in the entire photo so, for example, if you have a yellow color cast on players skin caused by light bouncing off yellow walls, you can desaturate the yellow slider which will correct the skin tones but it will also desaturate the walls. You may or may not care about this so this may be a viable option.
There are various plugins for Lightroom and Photoshop that are good at removing color casts. One that I use is Nik Color Efex Pro, which is now free (woo hoo!) since they were acquired by Google. There are two filters in Color Efex Pro that can be used to remove color casts. The first is "Remove Color Cast" (duh) which has two sliders, one to select the color you want to reduce and the other to control the strength of the reduction. You can also set control points to target general areas in the photo where you want the color cast removed and leave other areas alone. The other filter is "Pro Contrast". In addition to creating contrast it has a slider called "Correct Color Cast" that does a pretty good job at guessing the color cast and reducing it most of the time.
Finally, Photoshop gives you the most control in color correction simply because you can create masks to specifically target selected areas to apply the correction while completely eliminating it from other areas of the photo. There are a number of different tools within Photoshop that deal with color casts so I won't go into all of them here, but the Hue/Saturation tool is always a good place to start. Open it on it's own layer and create a layer mask to apply the correction wherever you want.
Hope this helps. As always, thanks very much to the great folks down at Smithtown Lanes for allowing me to photograph there.