Will the Color War Ever Be the Next Big Thing in Photography?

Model: Bec Fordyce

Model: Bec Fordyce

It’s really easy for photographers and enthusiasts to sit here and geek out all day and night about dynamic range and high ISO results. Manufacturers started the war after all when the megapixel race happened. The High ISO wars have been happening for a while now and in some ways we see dynamic range wars to a lesser extent.

But why don’t we see the war that really, genuinely could matter even more to photographers in terms of what they can do when it comes to creative freedom? Why is there no color war?

Details recovered

Details recovered

I simply refuse to acknowledge the statement that it’s not possible. Years ago they said that a full frame 35mm sized sensor couldn’t be put into a mirrorless camera; and that happened. They also said that it wasn’t physically possible to put more megapixels on an imaging sensor and we all know that that’s hogwash. It also seemed impossible for high ISO results to become better, but it happened. Not only did it happen, but they’re fantastic.

But colors for the most part haven’t enjoyed anywhere as much of the conversation despite the fact that they’re so incredibly important to photography. Sure, lots of photographers say that they love Fujifilm’s colors and testers all acknowledge how good the colors can be from Sigma camera sensors, but why is no manufacturer trying to push this even further?

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Great State Classic Skinny strap review images (1 of 8)ISO 1001-100 sec at f - 2.0

If the white balance of an image can go from one end of the spectrum all the way to the other end of the spectrum, why can’t this be done at the pixel level? We already know that colors can be highly modified, and that knowledge of color theory and gradients can help fix issues with mixed lighting, but in that case individual pixels can have much more potential. A red pixel could have the ability to move all the way across the ROYGBIV scale to become violet without any sort of evidence that the image quality overall is breaking apart.

Now just think about how this technology could help photographers. It would position dedicated cameras way ahead of what a phone is capable of doing and would help photographers to re-establish themselves as being able to do more with a dedicated camera than they could with a phone. Images, either way, are all about the content. And being able to get that much incredible versatility from an image would truly allow a photographer much more potential if they learned how to harness it.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography LCA 120 color photos (6 of 24)

A feature like this would really appeal to concert photographers. There are times where a photographer is shooting a concert and doesn’t necessarily want to embrace the super red lighting that the venue shines on the artist. Instead, they want to interpret the scene in their own specific creative vision. With lots of work (see the RAW file versatility section), it’s possible from blending, but it could be much simpler by using a brush of some sort.

Adobe Lightroom has started to embrace this in a way with the white balance brush; but I’m talking about going further. Complete and total creative freedom of how a photographer could interpret and stylize the colors in a scene could be huge for not only creatives, but also for professionals who face color issues at times.

Just think about what could be possible.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.