Foveon Workflow: How to Get More out of Color Photos?


As the Foveon differs greatly from the market-dominating Bayer sensor, you need to approach your photo-editing differently. On the one hand, this is because of the Foveon’s sharpness and sensitivity for bokeh fringing, on the other hand, only Sigma’s own RAW-converter, Sigma Photo Pro (SPP), is compatible with the raw data of the Merrill-Foveon. By means of one of my favorite photos, I will demonstrate my Foveon-workflow for color photos. How to improve high-ISO-usability can be seen here.1As the Foveon captures subjects very sharply, what I always do first is tone down the sharpening to -2, the lowest value in SPP. This step is entirely unproblematic, because you can always resharpen in retrospect, in case you are dissatisfied with this level of sharpness.
SchärfeNext, I check how highlights and shadows look like. In this photo, there are no problematic highlights, as it was taken under an overcast sky. If some sections were overexposed, I would just pull the slider for exposure and highlights to the left. The way the photo is, the black cat somehow lacks spice. It is advisable to push the shadows with the „X3 Fill Light“ slider. This slider works differently than the “Fill Light“ slider known from other programs. It doesn’t merely lighten up, which usually results in loss of contrast, but it also succeeds in making the photos seem brighter while maintaining the same level of contrast.X3-Fill-LightThe white balance and color settings always remain on auto or neutral. Should I want to change anything WB or color-related, I usually do it in Lightroom.Weißabgleich-FarbeinstellungI am not a huge fan of noise reduction, which is why I pull the slider in SPP to the very left. If at all, I only use a little bit of chrominance noise reduction (luminance stays 0 at all times) in Lightroom.RauschreduzierungIf chromatic aberrations and bokeh fringing were visible in the photo, I would make use of the chromatic image error correction and color fringing correction. Since the 50mm f/2.8 lens of the DP3M, which I used to take this photo, is unproblematic in this regard, I export the photo as 16bit TIFF and put the finishing touches on it in LR.
First, I use the auto-function below tonal value, just to get inspired by my PC. In this case, it “thinks” that +0,35 at exposure, +2 at black and +5 at contrast would look great.LR AutoI am inclined to agree, only that I like +,15 exposure, +3 black, +15 brightness and +7 contrast a bit better.LR-meine-Einstellungen-TonwertAfter a bit of sampling, I determined the WB values of +6 for temperature and +2 for tinting.LR-WeißabgleichThe colors are slightly too pale for my taste, so up with the dynamics to +30.LR-DynamikThe only thing left to do is adjust the colors a little. From experience I know that the Merrill-Foveon captures the yellows and greens as slightly dominant. These colors are often lighter and more intense than you want them. The fur also looks a little odd, which is why I desaturated purple and magenta a little.LR-FarbaabstimmungAnd voila, this is what the final picture looks like. 🙂SDIM2329Visit Pinterest and Flickr to view the all my photos.
You can find my most-viewed photos here.

  1. I find this very helpful for processing Sigma SD15 photos. Thanks for sharing.


    1. You are welcome Martin.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: