Recorded Webinar: Architectural Photography and Editing with David Saffir and C. David Tobie

Watch as Datacolor Experts David Saffir and C. David Tobie walk you through the issues they have encountered through their years of architectural rendering and photography and offer helpful techniques to be utilized.

Architectural photography offers accurate representation of a building or structure. Achieving this is often complex. Even though photographing interiors and exteriors can be similar, they do have some differences and may require different equipment.

Perspective and context issues may arise when photographing exteriors, while distortion issues may arise with interiors. Other issues may include scale, vignette, chromatic aberration and color accuracy. Technique is key. Helpful tips focusing on low light images, various HDR options, one-point and multi-point perspective versus elevation and isometric will be shared.

You can find the recorded webinar here:

Selective Color Adjustment in Adobe Photoshop

This is the full text of an article that was recently published in Photo Technique magazine, (there may be some minor differences in the text)

Selective Color Adjustment in Adobe Photoshop, by David Saffir

There are quite a few ways you can edit color in Photoshop, even down to the colors of leaves on a tree. The advantages? You can target specific parts of an image for a simple color boost, change the color completely, add a color tint or color cast, improve dimensionality and more. I define selective color adjustment to also include selective color replacement.

I encourage the use of Photoshop, because many of these techniques can be applied to a new layer, or an adjustment layer, or a series of layers. This gives you maximum flexibility in editing although it can sometimes increase file size. I’ll review several methods I use, but keep in mind that there are also many more color adjustment options in Photoshop.

Figure 1 (iStockphoto)

Figure 1 (iStockphoto)

Some of the tools in Photoshop require working knowledge of the color wheel. Figure 1 is a modestly stylized version of a color wheel.

Note that that color blue is opposite yellow, red opposite cyan, and green opposite magenta. If an image has a blue color cast, adding an appropriate amount of yellow can balance the image and give a more neutral appearance. Adding even more yellow would result in a yellow color cast, or “warmer” appearance.

Color Balance Adjustment Layer

The Color Balance adjustment layer is a powerful tool: you can activate this from the Layers Panel, or go Layers>Adjustment Layer>Color Balance. Note the “warm tone” in this image. (I think of the Color Balance panel as a selective color adjustment, because you can balance the image using the color wheel as a guide, and also work selectively among highlights, shadows, and midtones).

Figure 2

Figure 2

I suggest that you work in small steps. For example, add a small amount of blue in the highlights, then switch to midtones, and repeat the cycle until the image is pleasing. Figure 2 is the ‘before’ photograph. In Figure 3 I’ve “added” blue to the image in the highlights and midtones, pushing it toward a more neutral appearance. In this case, I’ve added a bit more blue than necessary just so you can see the effect on this printed page.

Figure 3

Figure 3

Selective Color Adjustment Layer

This option offers a wide range of combinations. First, the panel offers a drop-down menu that contains six main colors that can be adjusted: red, yellow, green, cyan, blue and magenta. (Familiar, aren’t they? These are primary points on the color wheel). It also offers adjustments for white, neutral and black. Figure 4 is the ‘before’ photograph.

Figure 4

Figure 4

In a way, this panel is a “cousin” to the Color Balance tool set. It offers much more flexibility, however—examine the example in Figure 3—we have the option of increasing or decreasing the amount of cyan, magenta, yellow, or black in any of the choices offered in the drop down menu. In this case, (Figure 5) if we select red and increase cyan, its opposite on the color wheel, the reds become subdued. Small steps are best.

Figure 5

Figure 5

You may find it necessary to combine adjustments and/or corrections to get the look and feel you want. If you change the layer blending mode to “color” you can create multiple adjustment layers, and stack them for cumulative effect.

Replace Color

This is one of my favorite tools in Photoshop, particularly when editing landscape or still life images. It is frequently used by photo retouchers to change hue and saturation in commercial photography—and it can be adapted to use in landscape and scenic photography to add depth, dimensionality and tone separation to an image.

Here’s an image (Figure 6) that I took near the California Poppy Reserve some time ago. Basic adjustments, such as levels and curves have been completed. Partially overcast conditions make colors on the ground looks a bit subdued, and a little flat.

Figure 6

Figure 6

Next, we’re going to open the Replace Color panel (Image>Adjustments>Replace Color). At the top of the panel, enable “Local Color Clusters”. This will improve your control of any changes, in many cases limiting those changes to a patch of color, or a patch and its neighbors.

Next, use the left hand eyedropper to select a color area. In this case, (Figure 7) I’ve selected the yellow patch in the distance, on the left hand side near the horizon. I’ve also pushed the Fuzziness slider to the right, to include some of the colors in the grass. (Note that I’ve enabled Selection view in the panel, which provide a black/white view similar to the Threshold tool—the white areas show the selection quite clearly. You can use the +dropper tool to select additional areas—but take care to limit your selections to colors that are close to your original choice).

Figure 7

Figure 7

I then increase the saturation in the selected area. Note the change in the yellow areas of the photograph, Figure 8.

Figure 8

Figure 8

If you want to use a different color, you can move the Hue slider to the right or left. Keep in mind that this adjustment is very intense and challenging to control. I prefer to use the Color Picker, which can be accessed by double clicking on the color square just to the right of the Hue slider. You can select almost any color via mouse click, or by typing in the RGB or HSB numbers for a color (Figure 9). The Lightness slider can also be useful—particularly if you’ve increased saturation in an area, and it’s looking a bit too prominent. You can pull the Lightness slider to the left just a touch to subdue it.

Figure 9

Figure 9

You can continue this process of selected color modification in targeted areas. Note the changes in the grass and flowers on the left side of the image—and now, off in the distance, you can see a stronger hint of the orange color of the poppies in bloom. (In Figure 9, I’ve exaggerated the effect a bit to improve visibility on the printed page).

Final image - all images © David Saffir 2010

Final image – all images © David Saffir 2010

It takes a light touch to get well-controlled and realistic results. Color intensity, dimensionality and tonal separation can be improved. Practice is the key to success—and of course, take full advantage of multiple layers to mix and match and create your final image.

Photo Plus Expo, New York City, October 2012 – David Saffir and David Tobie

Will you be attending PhotoPlus Expo in New York City, October 25-27? If so, David Saffir (me!) and David Tobie will be speaking at the Midwest Photo Exchange Stage, booth # 1027 at the show. We are currently scheduled:

Thursday 10/25
11:30: David Saffir- Screen to Print Match for Photographers
1:30: David Tobie- Moving into Motion: Video and Video Color for Photographers

Friday 10/26:
11:30: David Tobie- Moving into Motion: Video and Video Color for Photographers
1:30: David Saffir- Screen to Print Match for Photographers

Saturday 10/27:
11:30: David Saffir- Screen to Print Match for Photographers
1:30: David Tobie- Moving into Motion: Video and Video Color for Photographers


Be sure to visit Datacolor, nearby at booth #1239. See some of the latest technology in color calibration, the Spyder4, and
lots of other cool stuff!

© David Saffir

Soft Proofing in Lightroom 4 and Photoshop

Many photographers understand the need for color management, but don’t implement it into their daily workflow. Calibration and the use of soft-proofing (color preview on screen) practices can greatly improve the output quality of images, while reducing trial and error costs. Learning how to effectively integrate calibration and soft-proofing into your digital workflow can save time and money, as well as enhance image quality.

Soft-proofing, formerly found only in the full version of Photoshop, is now available much more affordably in Lightroom 4, expanding the market for soft-proof use. An accurate color preview provides multiple benefits, ranging from a corrected review of output color before printing, to a method to correct images for a specific output device from within your normal workflow, helping you judge the impact of image editing on the fly – saving time and helping ensure desired results.

Follow this link to the recorded webinar session, sponsored by Datacolor….

Review in Professional Photographer Mag: SpyderGallery: Color Calibration Now a Reality for Your iPad

A new product from Datacolor, SpyderGallery, makes it dead easy to calibrate your iPad—versions 1 or 2—and the results are noticeably better: image quality, color accuracy, saturation, shadow detail, and detail in highly saturated areas are improved,

For more, continue here..


Best of the Palouse Photo Workshop – June 19-23, 2012

Jack Lien and David Saffir, June 19-23, 2012

Early Bird registration, before May 1, 2012 is $650. After that, $795. Call Jack Lien (360) 481-4575

On a Palouse Country Photo Tour and Workshop, you’ll capture the uncommon photograph in a region described by National Geographic Magazine as “A Paradise called the Palouse.”

This 4,000 square-mile region sprawls across the Washington-Idaho border, encompassing uncommonly rich farmland.  Crop patterns form a vibrant patchwork appearance and a wild sea-like wave as the winds cause fields of wheat and barley to bend and sway. The Palouse offers photographers the opportunity to capture a diverse landscape and a chance to witness an unforgettable land formed by the Lake Missoula glacial flood path of 15,000 years ago.  Palouse Country Photo Tours is the only photography tour company that specializes in and is intimately knowledgeable with this amazing country.

This 5-day workshop, includes intensive field work, plus hands-on, practical, image-editing and printing instruction.


Field Work: Images From the Palouse

 In the field portion of this photo workshop we will capture images of the rapidly developing stages of crop growth and farmers working the fields. This is an excellent time to photograph the deep rich green fields against the freshly plowed ground and the pastoral scenes only found on the Palouse. The bold colors, patterns, lines, and contrast against the contours of the Palouse landscape is breathtaking. 

 Field Workshop leader Jack Lien has lived on and photographed in the Palouse for over 40 years. He’s discovered countless photographic opportunities throughout the region and has gained access to private land, nostalgic buildings and landscape that are often unknown or off limits to others.

Jack will get you into the heart and soul of the land and its people and you’ll have abundant opportunities to photograph historic buildings, barns, windmills, and fields. He also knows where to catch the best light for every shooting situation. You will have the opportunity to meet and photograph area farmers preparing their equipment for a long day in the field.

Segment Two: “Make Your Images Sparkle From Start to Finish” 

 In these segments, you’ll learn to optimize camera setup, get the right color from your computer, and edit your images to give them the sparkle and depth they deserve! We’ll emphasize Photoshop, Lightroom, Camera RAW, and fine art printing in these sessions.


Workshop Leader: David Saffir is an internationally-recognized photographer and printmaker. The author of two books, he provides color and imaging consulting services to individuals and organizations worldwide. He is the author of Mastering Digital Color: A Photographer’s and Artist’s Guide to Controlling Color, published by Thomson/Cenlar. His second book, focused on his photography, is titled The Joy of Discovery, published in Spring 2009. Other publications include Rangefinder Magazine, Professional Photographer, Pro Photo West, Great Output, Digital Imaging Technology, and others.

Details, Workshop Itinerary:

June 19

•     3pm – 4pm Orientation meeting

•     4pm – 5pm Briefing on camera settings for color and exposure before we head out into the      field (handout included)

•     5pm – Head out into the field until dusk to photograph this incredible land and its endless photo opportunities

June 20, 21, 22

•     Each morning we will depart from the motel at 4:30-5:30am and return around 11 am for a much needed rest.

•     2pm to 3pm – Review and critique of images shot in the morning (w/ David Saffir).

•     3pm return to the field and shoot until after sunset.

June 23

•     8 am to 12 noon – Classroom instruction, “Make Your Images Sparkle From Start to Finish” – David Saffir
Includes image editing and final critique of images captured during the week, plus printing.

Learn how to manage image quality from capture, to editing, and on to display or print. Get the most from your camera, computer, software, and printer, and create images that meet or exceed your expectations!


 •     Camera settings – white balance, ISO, shutter and aperture, color settings, JPEG vs RAW

•     Review: Transferring and backing up images after the shoot.

•     Organizing and selecting images for further processing and editing – including cataloguing and adding keywords for accessibility

•     Setting up the computer and display for correct color

•     Processing images in Camera RAW/Lightroom

•     Image editing in Photoshop

•     Printer setup and printing fine art images



Limit 8 photographers – Workshop Fee: pay on or before April 1, $650, after that $795

Local transportation and lodging not included in fee

To register for this “Best of the Palouse Photo Tours and Workshop” go to our website at or contact us at: or call Jack Lien: (360) 481-4575

We suggest early registration as classes fill up quickly. A laptop is recommended but not required. 

Color Management / Spyder4 Webinar Wrap-up and Announcement

We had a GREAT webinar session today on the Spyder4 calibration device, and color management for photographers. Well attended, and the attendees just buried us with questions! We’re going to be announcing an ongoing series, held once a month in the middle of the month. Watch for it! and many thanks to Datacolor for the support!

PS – video from the webinar will be posted here in the near future!