The Shoe Snob Blog

September 4, 2020

Written by , Posted in Educational, Industry, News

Understanding Shoe Colors Online, and Lighting

Understanding Shoe Colors Online, and Lighting

In photography, lighting is key. It is 70% of the battle in my opinion. If the lighting (or camera setting with that lighting) is not right it is very hard to then capture the true color of something, especially certain shades of leather. All different types of lighting will also give a different interpretation of something. In most cases there are these types of lighting: Daylight, Sunlight, White Light, Yellow Light, Low Lighting (think your house) and Strong Lighting (think hospitals) which can apply to both white and yellow lightings. And the same shoe (even black) will look different in all of those lightings. Knowing this is important when buying shoes online.

Understanding Shoe Colors Online, and Lighting

For example, presented here is the same shoe taken in daylight (cloudy, not sunny), strong white light and low white light. So there are 3 lights shown here and of the 6 common ones there are 3 missing which will give other interpretations. Leathers, especially crust colored or museum calfs have a lot of undertones that come out with daylight/sunlight and can go unnoticeable in low lights and be especially distorted in yellow lighting which alters many shades of leather, particularly browns, blues and shades of burgundy which are quite common in footwear.

Understanding Shoe Colors Online, and Lighting

It can be disappointing opening a box of shoes and not thinking the color is what you thought it was. And while of course this can happen just because leather is a natural product and one hide to the next is not the exact same which can happen and unfortunately is simply apart of the risk of buying online. But mainly this happens when people open that box in those low yellow lighting households of theirs, at night especially, and compare that too the outaide ‘Hero’ shot they saw online. And I get it. Your mouth drops at first when it looks 4 shades darker inside. And I guess I am here to tell you, which you might already know, is to judge your shoes colors with true daylight as this will give you the most accurate interpretation of what the shoe is.

Understanding Shoe Colors Online, and Lighting

And if the online hero shot looks dark, judge the shoe in equal darkness, if it looks like a sunny day shot, judge it on a sunny day (as the sun can drastically change a leather color). For a white background only shot the closest color is usually strong white light. But understand what setting was used that attracted you to the shoe and try to mimic that setting when you get your shoes so that you see their true colors and be let down under false pretenses.

Understanding Shoe Colors Online, and Lighting

iPhone

And we won’t even get started on camera settings, different phone pixelations and natural saturation settings (iPhones and Samsungs show completely different colors. Just see the above & below. More vibrance and saturation on iPhone’s. Two things important to judging a shoe’s color.

And if confused or worries, always ask the maker to take a picture of the pair before sending out or before purchasing.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

-Justin

Understanding Shoe Colors Online, and Lighting

Samsung

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