View Full Version : for those using digital photo references

03-03-2008, 11:20 AM
I have a great picture of a strange little cardinal who keeps flinging himself into my picture window (perhaps this is from whence the term bird brained comes.)

When I put it in greyscale on my computer the red reads as black. But when I sample it in color the red reads as pure red without any grey in it.

On a 10 point value scale with ten being darkest, in terms of value, what value is pure clear red?


P.S. sorry for all the newbie questions today.

03-03-2008, 02:04 PM
Hi there, red is a very dark colour. I've seen a colour chart with pure Alizarin Crimson (oils) rated as an 8 on a nine point scale. Permanent Rose was a 7, and Chinese Red a 6, so also a Cad Scarlet. Cad Orange a 5.

Some say the Chinese Red is a very pure red, with no bias.

To distinguish black from red in b/w photo, one has to shine an extremely bright light on, for example, a red business card with black text, in order to photograph them as separate values.

So, if the bird looks black, I'd say go with the darkest pure red you've got, and use blues and greens a purples for shading and toning down, saving the red for the lightest parts.

Hope this helps.

Deborah Secor
03-03-2008, 03:41 PM
Red often reads as black in grayscale, as far as I'm concerned! (What Charlie said...)