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Thread: Tonal Balance....?

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    Ready to Print Wayno's Avatar
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    Tonal Balance....?

    I watched a tutorial the other day, and they refered to something called "Tonal Balance' as part of their adopted workflow.

    I am constantly looking to improve my digital workflow - and take on board tonal balance.

    After googling it, not too much came up. Anyone out there got a good definition (or even examples) on tonal balance so I can get my head around it? Does it tie in with colour balance?

    Cheers,

    Canon user and abuser.


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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    My understanding of:

    colour balance is when the histogram doesn't have any clear saturation separation in any of the three colours.
    That is, if you look at an RGB histogram(as opposed to a simple luminance histogram) the overlay of all three colours will basically follow each of the other colour's graphs.
    Of course in some images this is impossible to achieve as there may be a huge swing to one of the primary colours in the scene(eg. a red flower or something like that)
    But in those situations, colour balance is less important anyhow as red my be the predominant colour .. as long as any other colours look as natural as they can in that scene.

    Tonal balance( I think) they refer to the rise and fall of the histogram. So an image with good tonal balance will have that bell shaped curve, so each tonal range rolls off into the next.
    Images can look slightly bland with that type of histogram curve, but a bit of PP can make them pop like the proverbial weasle.

    I suspect that the diametrically opposed situation of good tonal balance would be tonal contrast.
    An example of good tonal contrast(where the tone levels at at odds, and hence contrasting strongly) would be a black and white image .. eg, as in a checker board pattern. Black and white only .. no greys.
    The histogram, either RGB or luminance) would simply have two spikes at either end of the spectrum. That should be 'tonal contrast'.

    Well that's the way I've always treated those terms ... but I've probably been wrong.
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    Thanks for the definition ArthurKing83. Its a tough one to get my head around, but you have made things clearer.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    ps. don't take my answer as definitive tho!!(I'd say use it as a guide, I'm sure it can't be too far off from a legitimate explanation).

    I only shared what I think they're referring too when it comes to those terms.
    I have no formal training in photography terminology, I only know what I've learned from sites like AP, and reading up various sources of info.

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I think we need a context. Tonal balance, in my mind can refer to a few things.
    Can you post a link to the tutorial?
    Nikon FX

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Tones: brightness levels. (Black-greys-white. Look at the tone bar at the bottom of the AP pages.)
    Balance: a state of some equilibrium.

    Tonal (No! Not a trimmed toenail!) an adjective relating to tone(s).

    Tonal Balance: an idea that the range of brightness levels should be balanced.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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