Recently I spent a day with Lise Tanner of Lise Tanner Design photographing her complete re-design of a home in Olympia, Washington. Color is a key element in Lise's design work, so getting accurate colors in the photos was an important part of this project.
The mudroom was particularly fun to photograph. And from a color standpoint, I think it's a good example of how things can go wrong. As well as how they can be fixed.
This room was very long and narrow, with windows on either end. The windows were letting in a lot of nice, natural light. But along with all of that great ambient light came some pesky color casts. When I first looked at my out-of-camera shot, I really wasn't sure what color the cabinetry was supposed to be. The cabinets on the left looked extremely blue (most likely from the cool blue daylight coming in from outside). The ones above and below the bench looked blue-purple (from the red tones in the floor being reflected back onto the paint in that area). And the cabinetry on the right looked very blue-green (there were trees and shrubs outside the windows on the right, so a lot of green was reflecting back onto the cabinets at the far end of the space).
I knew this wasn't how the cabinetry appeared in reality, but couldn't remember what the exact color looked like, so I contacted Lise to get the paint name and manufacturer. I then looked it up online to use as a reference.
Once I knew what the color of the cabinetry was supposed to be, I went into Photoshop and found a color that closely approximated it. Then I selected all the cabinetry and brushed the correct color over the cabinets. I didn't do a 100% color replacement, though, because I find that doing so can look artificial somehow. Rather, I got rid of the majority of the offending color casts, but left just a touch...I think it looks more natural that way.
By the way, there were indeed a couple of dogs wandering around, but they were a little too energetic to pose for this shot. Too bad...they were very handsome!