Character Correction

Have you ever felt like you are missing something but just can’t figure out what it is? What about in the area of displaying godly character? Do you have a problem with forgetting to apply a character quality over and over again regardless of how much you work on it?

#1. The original taken on a cloudy dayIn the physical world, I can associate with the same feeling. My job is to color correct images so that color-wise no one picture looks out of place on a page. Take a look at picture #1. It is the raw image of a rustic, old covered bridge in Center Point West Virginia. It’s a fine picture for being shot on a cloudy day, but the color just doesn’t look right. What is wrong with it?

There's the right amount of blue but now it looks too green For one thing, the overall image is too blue. (This is often a problem with cloudy-day-pictures.) So we open the image up in Photoshop, create a Curves Adjustment Layer (it’s the best color correction tool ever if you can learn how to use it), and pull out blue in the highlights on the Blue Channel.

Looking a lot better, but still a little dull Taking out blue almost always makes an image look too green, so you have to compensate for this by adjusting anchor points in the Green Channel. But how much do you take out? Do I change the Green Channel in the highlights, shadows, or the midpoints? With this picture I find it best to pull out green in the shadows. But watch out, because the more green you take out, the more red is added in.

A smidge of red and some serious contrast in the RGB Channel finishes it up When dealing with subtle color differences, it can get frustrating because it’s hard to detect just exactly how to change what color to get rid of a color cast. (And it’s even more frustrating when dealing with CMYK Channels on top of your RGB adjustments!) However, there is one secret that has always helped me identify how to correctly change the color in a picture. I simply have to look away from the computer for a few seconds. This gives me a brand new first impression of the picture. When I don’t know where to go, I just need to “re-adjust” my eyes.

Isn’t the same thing true with a character deficiency? In what ways can I get a different perspective, a brand new first impression, on what I know I’m missing but just can’t figure out what to change? Not too long ago, I knew I was missing something in a particular character quality, so I strove to get a different perspective based on the spirit of Matthew 5:24.  I simply asked a mature, close friend to point out “blind spots” in that area. As he explained his perspective, I was able to make out a practical list to assist in the character correction of my life.

2 Comments

  1. Jenny Wilkes March 27, 2008 at 4:29 pm #

    Those are some great insights! There definitely is a difference between the first and the last picture! The analogy fits perfectly. How often do we continue to live in a state of feeling like we are missing something in our spiritual walk. I think the key to overcoming forgetfulness in applying different character qualities is to train ourselves to have a selfless focus vs. a selfish outlook!

  2. Donald March 27, 2008 at 5:25 pm #

    Those ARE some great insights James. And very applicable. Being away for a while I have more and more appreciation for the skill the Lord has helped you develop. It may be a “covered bridge” to a significant advancement for God’s kingdom! Keep striving for excellence in each area and the Lord reward you.

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