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Subject: "Color Correction for Office Lighting" Previous topic | Next topic
chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Wed 03-Feb-10 02:52 PM
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"Color Correction for Office Lighting"


Baltimore, US
          

Greetings,

I've volunteered to take some pictures for my company to use in some inside publications and website. Almost all of them will be taken in the terrible fluorescent lighting typical in most offices.

I've done a lot of reading on color correction, but I'm having problems putting what I've read into use.

I've calibrated my monitor (using a Spyder device). I'm using the sRGB colorspace both in my camera and in the color management settings for my PC.

All of these pictures were taken with my D700, a Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lens and an SB600 flash mounted in the hot shoe. For the portrait/group shots that I'll have to do, I'll be using off-camera flashes (SB-800 and 2 SB-600) and umbrellas. I don't think that will matter for this color correction test, so I used a much simpler setup. Please let me know if I'm wrong here. All of these pictures were taken at my desk, under lighting similar to what I'll have to deal with around the office.

This first shot is a reference shot. The camera is in manual mode, settings are f4, 1/125, ISO 400, Camera WB set to flourscent, and no flash. The colors in this image are accurate.



For the second shot, I changed to f/6.3 and turned on the SB-600, which was in TTL mode. I decreased the aperture so that the effect of the flash on the image would be more evident. This image has a blueish green cast when I compare it to the first image.



For the third shot, I added the FL-G1 gel from Nikon's SJ-3 gel set to the SB-600. All other settings remained the same. This image has an extreme green cast to its colors.



For the fourth shot, I added the FL-G2 gel from Nikon's SJ-3 gel set to the SB-600. All other settings remained the same. This image still has a greenish cast to it, but it looks better than the third shot.



For the fifth shot, I added the Rosco 3316 gel from their color correcting kit. This is the best image yet, but there still seems to be an improper cast to the colors when compared with the first image.



Am I on the right track here? Do I just need to find the right gel? Or is the color correction something that I should be doing in either Photoshop or Capture NX?

Any advice is always appreciated.


Chris

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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
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scenicshutterbug Silver Member Nikonian since 27th May 2008Wed 03-Feb-10 04:26 PM
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#1. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 0


Richland, US
          

Did you adjust the white balance in the camera for fluorescent lighting?

  

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gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Wed 03-Feb-10 04:34 PM
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#2. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 03-Feb-10 04:35 PM by gkaiseril

Chicago, US
          

Are the office lights florescent bulbs?

If so you may need to keep your shutter speed low enough to include the full power line cycle, 1/60 sec for the U.S., and use the appropriate filter. Because there are many types of florescent lights you will have to experiment or use a color temperature meter.

You can also shoot raw and include a white balance card, so you can adjust the white balance in post processing.

George
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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Wed 03-Feb-10 04:41 PM
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#3. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 0


Baltimore, US
          


Yes the camera white balance was set to florescent in all of the photos in my pose.

Chris

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gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Wed 03-Feb-10 06:09 PM
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#4. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 3


Chicago, US
          

What happens when you change your shutter speed faster than 1/60 second without the Speedlight?

Take a couple of shots at the same shutter speed. What do you see?

George
My Nikonian Galleries

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Wed 03-Feb-10 10:45 PM
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#6. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 4


Baltimore, US
          

For this series of shots, I set the camera WB to fluorescent, the ISO to 400, and the shutter speed to 1/60th.


For the first shot, I set the aperture to f/5.6 and used no flash. The colors look good.



For the second shot, I changed the aperture to f9 (to allow the flash to affect the exposure) and placed the FL-G1 gel on the flash. Colors look very green.



For the third shot, I added the FL-G2 gel to the flash. Colors look better but still green.



For the fourth shot, I added the Rosco 3316 gel to the flash. Still a slight green cast to the colors.



Should I lower the shutter speed further, perhaps to 1/50th?

Is this whole issue better handled by post processing with digital photography?

Chris

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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)
Attachment #4, (jpg file)

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 04-Feb-10 02:38 AM
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#10. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 6


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

I looked at your exif data in each image. In all images, the light source is listed as Cool White Fluorescent, and that matched the camera FL white balance setting in the first image. Cool white runs about 4000 on the Kelvin scale and is almost neutral in the red/green axis.

Then, all the gels you tried were for the older regular fluoerescents that were all much greener than the cool white ones.

Sometimes you will get a better match with the CTO gel that is normally used for tungsten, which is cool and neutral red/green as well.

However, cool white fluorescents are not really that far from daylight so they normally match the flash pretty well without any gels at all. Just set the WB to Flash or even AWB.

>Should I lower the shutter speed further, perhaps to 1/50th?

If you lower the shutter speed, it will let more ambient into the image. I would go the other way. Run the shutter up to 1/160th or even 1/200th to greatly reduce the ambient contribution on the subject, and set your WB on Flash or Auto. Then the flash will handle the exposure and the white balance should be perfect on the subject and close on the background. You could also reduce your ISO to 200 and that will cut down on the ambient as well.

>Is this whole issue better handled by post processing with
>digital photography?

You might be able to fix the examples you posted, but in general, when you have white balance problems due to mixed lighting it can't usually be fixed in photoshop very well at all. The problem is that there is no single white balance that will work.

It is much much better to control the WB with gels and proper WB settings.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Thu 04-Feb-10 06:51 PM
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#11. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 10


Baltimore, US
          

>I looked at your exif data in each image. In all images, the
>light source is listed as Cool White Fluorescent, and that
>matched the camera FL white balance setting in the first
>image. Cool white runs about 4000 on the Kelvin scale and is
>almost neutral in the red/green axis.

Can you tell me how you were able to determine the temperature of the light source from the exif data? Is the light source the same as the camera WB setting? What were you using to examine the exif data?
>
>
>Sometimes you will get a better match with the CTO gel that is
>normally used for tungsten, which is cool and neutral
>red/green as well.

Thanks, I'll try that gel on my SB-600 and will post the results here.

>
>However, cool white fluorescents are not really that far from
>daylight so they normally match the flash pretty well without
>any gels at all. Just set the WB to Flash or even AWB.

I will try these settings too, and will post the results here.
>
>>Should I lower the shutter speed further, perhaps to
>1/50th?
>
>If you lower the shutter speed, it will let more ambient into
>the image. I would go the other way. Run the shutter up to
>1/160th or even 1/200th to greatly reduce the ambient
>contribution on the subject, and set your WB on Flash or Auto.
>Then the flash will handle the exposure and the white balance
>should be perfect on the subject and close on the background.
>You could also reduce your ISO to 200 and that will cut down
>on the ambient as well.

I'd like to try and use at least some of the ambient light so that the flashes don't have to work as hard to light up a group of people, and so that I don't have to use a flash to light the background. Our corporate logo is on a wall in the lobby, which is lit by the same florescent lights as in the photos in my post above. Using a flash to make sure that the background is lit up may be difficult (I may not have enough flashes to light the background and the group). I was planning on letting the ambient light from the overhead fluorescent lighting help with that. What do you think of that approach?

Russ, thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions.

Chris

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 04-Feb-10 10:33 PM
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#12. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 11


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

Chris,

I use a free software product called 'Opanda IEXIF'. You use it in Windows by hovering over the picture with your mouse and right-clicking, and selecting it from the menu that appears.

I attached a screen shot of the Exif Data. I'm hoping you will be able to read the entry for Light Source in this highly compressed image.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide




Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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ctadin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2008Fri 05-Feb-10 04:27 PM
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#17. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 12


St Louis, US
          

Chris,
I have been following this thread, what great advice you have been given. I noticed on the above Opanda IEXIF (that Russ posted) your metering mode was set to "Center" and not "Matrix. I use Matrix metering with Manual Exposure on my camera. Maybe that's why a few of your test images were over exposed. I also follow Russ' and Marty's examples and tend to use the flash as my primary light source by underexposing the ambient from anywhere to 2-3 stops.
Is your signage reflective? Can you take a few practice shots with your set-up to see how it would look? What is the distance (in height) between your group and the sign? If there is significant distance, I would suggest you bring the group of people forward, to reduce the distance between the tallest person and the signage and shoot with a zoom lens to compress the two. Also, when you line up the group make sure you follow any pecking order (people's titles). I tend to have the most important person, President, Vice-President, etc dead center and then have group fan out from there. If there is no pecking order, I would place the tallest person dead center and then have the rest of the group fan down by height. I also have people line up as they would in a wedding party.

I hope you don't get as much snow as the weather forecasters are predicting in your neck of the woods.

Best of luck with your shoot.

Cheryl

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Fri 05-Feb-10 08:54 PM
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#18. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 17


Baltimore, US
          

Hi Cheryl and thanks for your response.

I hadn't noticed the metering setting, thanks for pointing that out. When I take a practice shot of myself in front of the sign, I'll check to make sure that it is on Matrix and not Center or Spot.

Luckily for the first group, there is no pecking order, and at 6', I'm the tallest. The sign is really just letters and our logo on the wall behind the receptionist's desk in our lobby. If you look at the mugs on my messy desk in the test shots, you will see the lettering and logo. My forehead is just above the bottom of the lettering.

The sign isn't too reflective, but it will have hotspots if I use too much direct flash. This is one of the reasons that I'm using the umbrellas.

I'll post the test shot when I take it next week, and the final product after it is scheduled.

Thanks again for reading and responding.

Chris

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ctadin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2008Fri 05-Feb-10 11:17 PM
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#19. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 18


St Louis, US
          

Are you all going to be standing in front of the receptionist's desk?
When using the umbrella's, make sure you have them equally distanced apart to get the exact exposure throughout the group.
I look forward to seeing your images.

Cheryl

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSat 06-Feb-10 01:31 AM
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#20. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 19


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Are you all going to be standing in front of the
>receptionist's desk?
>When using the umbrella's, make sure you have them equally
>distanced apart to get the exact exposure throughout the
>group.
>I look forward to seeing your images.

Also it's important to understand that wherever the light from the umbrellas overlap, it will add and that will make the overlapped areas brighter than the areas that don't overlap. Try to set the umbrellas so that they overlap each other over the entire group. For small groups that usually means keeping the umbrellas close to the camera and aimed straight forward.

Also, don't aim the umbrellas at severe angles to the group. That will cause shadows from each person in the group to fall on the person beside him/her. If you keep the umbrellas close together and aimed straight forward, then the shadows fall behind each person.

Also, for groups, always set each umbrella to the same power. Don't attempt to set a lighting ratio with a group, because you will get a different ratio across the entire group. Each person will look different. It can be done, but it takes lots of umbrellas and strobes (and time).

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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ctadin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2008Sat 06-Feb-10 01:45 PM
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#21. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 20


St Louis, US
          

Russ,
Thanks for writing a much thorough description in setting up his umbrella's for a group shot.

Cheryl

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Sun 14-Feb-10 05:04 AM
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#22. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 20


Baltimore, US
          

Hi All,

Sorry it took so long due to the snow, but I finally was able to take some test shots in the same location that the company wants the group photo taken.

I set the camera to manual mode, matrix metering, ISO 400. Since f/5.6 at 1/60 was properly exposed, I went with f/5.6 at 1/100 to get the ambient light at 2 stops underexposed.

Although the lighting above the receptionists desk is fluorescent, there are also recessed incandescent lights in the ceiling. This, combined with the daylight that comes in through the glass lobby produces too many different color temperatures. I elected to turn the lights off completely, and just use the daylight and my flashes to provide lighting. I set the camera WB at Auto. On either side of the camera is an umbrella with an SB-600 in it. On the floor behind me is an SB-800 pointed up at the wall, in an attempt to light the background and eliminate shadows. All images were taken with my D700 and a 28-200 f/3.6-5.6 D lens.

These images were shot in raw, and are straight out of the camera, exported from ViewNX. No adjustments were made except to export them as jpegs in a size suitable for upload to this forum.

For the first image, I zoomed the lens out to where I would need it for the 5 person group that I will have to shoot. Even though I added some flash comp (+.3) after my initial try, the image still looks underexposed and blah. It looked properly exposed on the LCD on my D700. How can I eliminate those nasty flash shadows behind me? I tried to light the wall behind me with an SB-800 on the floor, but it doesn't appear to have worked.



For the second image, I zoomed in tighter like you would for a head shot. The image is a little better exposed, but still seems dim. Again, it looked great on the D700 LCD. Flash shadows are still present.



The last image is simply a reference that shows where I placed the lights and the camera on the tripod. I backed up and zoomed out as far as possible.



First and foremost, these images all look dark and rather dull. I don't understand why the flashes aren't providing more light. Are my SB-600 flashes simply too weak when used with umbrellas?

How can I get rid of the flash shadows on the wall behind me? Even the letters from the sign have shadows.

I realize that by using photoshop and adjusting their the levels or the exposure, I could brighten these images up. I'd rather make this adjustment in the camera. I'm just having a difficult time turning the good advice from these posts into results.

Any help and comments are always appreciated.

Chris

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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSun 14-Feb-10 05:27 PM
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#23. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 22
Sun 14-Feb-10 10:08 PM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

Well, you are never going to get rid of all the shadows from your umbrellas with your subjects so close to the wall, if your umbrellas are aimed at the group.

First, the underexposure is not important. You can easily brighten the image as you said, and it will lose no noticeable quality. The reason it is happening is that the white wall is fooling the meter and the flashes are firing at lower power than they should. All you have to do is turn up the flash power in the Commander by a stop or so to fix it in the camera.

The shadows are the difficult problem. There are several things to try.

First, and easiest (if there is room) is to move the people away from the wall about eight feet or so. I wouldn't try to light it, however, due to the shadows from the letters.

Another thing you can do to reduce shadows is to turn your flashes around and fire them backwards and let them bounce off everything in the room. I would try that without the umbrellas.

Another way is to use a multiple exposure with a tripod. Shoot a separate shot of the background with no one in front of it. Then, place that shot in a separate layer (in Photoshop) under the one with the people it it. Then erase the wall with all the shadows using a soft brush, and the clean wall behind will show through.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Tue 16-Feb-10 02:44 PM
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#25. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 23


Baltimore, US
          

Russ,

Once again, thanks for taking the time to respond, and for the explanation of the underexposed images.

Unfortunately, there isn't much room behind the desk. One thing I could try is having everyone sort of lean on the receptionist's desk, which will get them further away from the wall. I'm not sure that there will be enough room, but it is worth a try.

Above the desk is lowered ceiling. Do you think I could simply bounce the flashes (without umbrellas) off of the ceiling to try and eliminate the shadows?

I will also try turning the flashes around as you suggested, but the wall directly behind the tripod in the last picture above are glass, so I'm not likely to get much reflection from them. I could try turning them around and bouncing them off of the ceiling, but the angle may be too severe to produce enough light in the right direction.

I'll try some more test shots and post them this week.

Chris

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ctadin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2008Sun 14-Feb-10 06:17 PM
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#24. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 22


St Louis, US
          

Chris,
Hi, Thanks for posting the test images.

>I set the camera to manual mode, matrix metering, ISO 400.
>Since f/5.6 at 1/60 was properly exposed, I went with f/5.6 at
>1/100 to get the ambient light at 2 stops underexposed.

1/100 from 1/60 is less than 1 stop. 2 stops underexposed would be 1/250.


Was this exposure based on all of the lights turned on? Or, based on when you turned all of the lights off and used the ambient with the flashes? What mode did you have your flash set on, manual, ttl?

I think Russ has given you some great advice.



>Although the lighting above the receptionists desk is,
>fluorescent, there are also recessed incandescent lights
>the ceiling. This, combined with the daylight that comes in
>through the glass lobby produces too many different color
>temperatures. I elected to turn the lights off completely,
>and just use the daylight and my flashes to provide lighting.

>I set the camera WB at Auto. On either side of the camera is
>an umbrella with an SB-600 in it. On the floor behind me is
>an SB-800 pointed up at the wall, in an attempt to light the
>background and eliminate shadows. All images were taken with
>my D700 and a 28-200 f/3.6-5.6 D lens.
>
>These images were shot in raw, and are straight out of the
>camera, exported from ViewNX. No adjustments were made except
>to export them as jpegs in a size suitable for upload to this
>forum.
>
>For the first image, I zoomed the lens out to where I would
>need it for the 5 person group that I will have to shoot.
>Even though I added some flash comp (+.3) after my initial
>try, the image still looks underexposed and blah.

It looked
>properly exposed on the LCD on my D700. How can I eliminate
>those nasty flash shadows behind me? I tried to light the
>wall behind me with an SB-800 on the floor, but it doesn't
>appear to have worked.
>
>
>
>For the second image, I zoomed in tighter like you would for a
>head shot. The image is a little better exposed, but still
>seems dim. Again, it looked great on the D700 LCD. Flash
>shadows are still present.
>
>
>
>The last image is simply a reference that shows where I placed
>the lights and the camera on the tripod. I backed up and
>zoomed out as far as possible.
>
>
>
>First and foremost, these images all look dark and rather
>dull. I don't understand why the flashes aren't providing
>more light. Are my SB-600 flashes simply too weak when used
>with umbrellas?
>
>How can I get rid of the flash shadows on the wall behind me?
>Even the letters from the sign have shadows.
>
>I realize that by using photoshop and adjusting their the
>levels or the exposure, I could brighten these images up. I'd
>rather make this adjustment in the camera. I'm just having a
>difficult time turning the good advice from these posts into
>results.
>
>Any help and comments are always appreciated.

Cheryl

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Tue 16-Feb-10 02:48 PM
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#26. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 24


Baltimore, US
          

Hi Cheryl and thanks for your response.

One of these days I'm going to remember that the shutter speed settings are in 1/3 of a stop increments. I've tripped myself up before by forgetting that.

Can I use the large tic marks on the light meter display (in manual mode) as a guide too? Nikon refers to the large tick marks as "Exposure Values". How does that relate to a stop? If I set the camera to underexpose by 2 EV, is that the same as 2 stops?

Thanks for reading

Chris

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ctadin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2008Tue 16-Feb-10 03:41 PM
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#27. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 26
Tue 16-Feb-10 03:50 PM by ctadin

St Louis, US
          

>Hi Cheryl and thanks for your response.
>
>One of these days I'm going to remember that the shutter speed
>settings are in 1/3 of a stop increments. I've tripped myself
>up before by forgetting that.
>
>Can I use the large tic marks on the light meter display (in
>manual mode) as a guide too?
Do you mean on your flash? I don't own an SB 600, does it have a +/- button where you can change the flash exposure compensation? I know on the SB800 flash you can adjust the flash exposure compensation.

Nikon refers to the large tick
>marks as "Exposure Values". How does that relate to
>a stop? If I set the camera to underexpose by 2 EV, is that
>the same as 2 stops?

It depends on what your custom settings are set to on your camera.
Go to menu>custom settings menu>scroll down to "b"metering/exposure>right arrow> and choose b3 Exp Comp/fine tune>select either 1/3, 1/2, or 1 stop. You may have it set to 1/3. If you do, each tick on your camera would represent 1/3 of a stop. So, in your previous post you stated you stopped down 2 stops from 1/60th to 1/100th, but in actuality you only stopped down 2/3rds of a stop, (2 ticks). 2 stops from 1/60 would be 1/250.

Cheryl

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberWed 17-Feb-10 12:02 PM
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#28. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 22


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

I noticed in your second image that the flash pattern is not filling the shoot-through umbrella. This is not what is causing your shadows, but it will make them more sharply defined. You want the flash to completely fill the umbrella without spilling over the edge. This will give you the softest light possible.

In this case, you need to pull the umbrella out to the end of its shaft to get it farther from the flash. Then, deploy the wide angle lens on the flash a make sure it is zoomed to the wide angle position.

You should always check your umbrellas to make sure the flash is just filling them without 'spill'. You can check them by shooting a picture of the flash going off (as you did in this picture), or you can fire the modeling light feature and look at them. Either way, you can tell if you are filling them properly.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Thu 18-Feb-10 02:21 AM
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#29. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 28


Baltimore, US
          

Russ,

Thanks for your advice, I am new to using umbrellas and wasn't sure where to set the zoom head on the flash.

The SB-600 is a tall flash, and when it is sitting in the umbrella, the center of the flash is not aimed at the center of the umbrella. Should I be using a bigger umbrella? Most of the flash umbrella holders seem to be about the same size, so I don't think I can find a smaller one to center the flash in the umbrella any better.

I've just found out today that I'm scheduled to take the group shot tomorrow (Thursday), so I won't have a chance for any further tests.

Thanks again,

Chris

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 18-Feb-10 11:46 AM
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#30. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 29


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>The SB-600 is a tall flash, and when it is sitting in the
>umbrella, the center of the flash is not aimed at the center
>of the umbrella. Should I be using a bigger umbrella? Most
>of the flash umbrella holders seem to be about the same size,
>so I don't think I can find a smaller one to center the flash
>in the umbrella any better.

Check to make sure you have the umbrella mounted in the adapter from the right direction. In one direction it slants to make the flash hit the center and in the other direction it slants in the wrong direction and the flash will hit off-center like in your picture.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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ctadin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2008Thu 18-Feb-10 03:21 PM
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#31. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 29


St Louis, US
          

Chris,
Best of luck with your shoot today. Would you please mind posting an image or two of today's shoot?

Cheryl

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Thu 18-Feb-10 11:33 PM
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#32. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 31


Baltimore, US
          

Hi All,

I took several images of the group. They are all very similar, except for the usual closed eyes and funny expressions. Here is the best one from the series:



To save you from pulling the exif data

WB - Auto
ISO - 400
f/5.6
1/250
Matrix metering, camera in manual mode
+1.0EV Flash Comp

This is completely unaltered, all I did was resize the image for export in ViewNX, so that it was under 150k in size.

Things I liked:

1. Colors look good
2. Exposure looks good, adding +1.0EV flash comp brightened up things up nicely.

Things I don't like:

1. I had to zoom out so that the lady in the green top wasn't just a floating head. I wanted a tighter zoom originally so that the desk (visible on the right edge of the photo) wasn't in the picture. This resulted in too much space above our heads as well.

2. The young woman in the dark sweater in the left front row looks a little overexposed. She was closest to the flash. She also has some slight shadows on her face.

3. I was very careful to use the levels on my tripod to make sure the photo was straight, but it looks crooked to me.

4. The focus is a little soft on the woman in the right front row. I had the camera set to use the dynamic focus, and it chose to focus on the guy with the dark hair and tie in the center back row. I wish now that I had used a smaller aperture (like maybe f8) for more depth of field.

5. I forgot to take my badge off, so I have that ugly strap around my neck. (I'm the guy in the left back row).

6. I should have made the guy in the center snug his tie up to the collar, it looks too loose and casual.

7. Shadows on the wall/letters. Unfortunately this was a limitation of the scene. There wasn't enough room to move the subjects away from the wall to try and eliminate the shadows.

Please feel free to respond with advice on improvements for next time, and also what I can do in Photoshopt or Capture NX to make this photo even better.

Thanks in Advance,


Chris

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Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 19-Feb-10 12:50 AM
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#33. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 32


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Hi All,
>
>I took several images of the group. They are all very
>similar, except for the usual closed eyes and funny
>expressions. Here is the best one from the series:
>
>
>
>To save you from pulling the exif data
>
>WB - Auto
>ISO - 400
>f/5.6
>1/250
>Matrix metering, camera in manual mode
>+1.0EV Flash Comp
>
>This is completely unaltered, all I did was resize the image
>for export in ViewNX, so that it was under 150k in size.
>
>Things I liked:
>
>1. Colors look good

Yup! You solved that problem! The 1/250th eliminated the ambient and you flash added all the exposure needed.

>1. I had to zoom out so that the lady in the green top wasn't
>just a floating head. I wanted a tighter zoom originally so
>that the desk (visible on the right edge of the photo) wasn't
>in the picture. This resulted in too much space above our
>heads as well.

Whenever shooting people in front of a sign, you should always zoom out to balance the people with the sign. It never looks good to have people's faces at the bottom of a picture with a sign above. You probably should have cut the people about mid-thigh.

>2. The young woman in the dark sweater in the left front row
>looks a little overexposed. She was closest to the flash.
>She also has some slight shadows on her face.

She is not too far from right. You can fix her in post processing.

>3. I was very careful to use the levels on my tripod to make
>sure the photo was straight, but it looks crooked to me.

The reason it looks slightly off is because you weren't quite perpendicular to the sign. You were slightly to the left of perpendicular. That can be fixed with a slight touch of perspective transform in photoshop.

>4. The focus is a little soft on the woman in the right front
>row. I had the camera set to use the dynamic focus, and it
>chose to focus on the guy with the dark hair and tie in the
>center back row. I wish now that I had used a smaller
>aperture (like maybe f8) for more depth of field.

Yes, f/5.6 is just barely enough to keep two rows of people sharp, IF you get the two rows to stand as closely as possible. Also, if you focus on the

>
>5. I forgot to take my badge off, so I have that ugly strap
>around my neck. (I'm the guy in the left back row).

That might be able to be fixed.

>6. I should have made the guy in the center snug his tie up
>to the collar, it looks too loose and casual.

He's hidden quite a bit, so I don't think that is a major issue.

>7. Shadows on the wall/letters. Unfortunately this was a
>limitation of the scene. There wasn't enough room to move the
>subjects away from the wall to try and eliminate the shadows.

The shadows really aren't too bad. Lots of group shots have shadows like this. It's impossibile to get rid of them with the constraints you were under.

>Please feel free to respond with advice on improvements for
>next time, and also what I can do in Photoshopt or Capture NX
>to make this photo even better.

One thing that would help is if you would never have anyone directly face the camera. Always turn everyone slightly toward the center of the group. The lady in the front would look better if she were not facing directly into the camera. I realize that she is in the center, but it still would look better to shift her either righ or left a bit and face her inwards.

If you are forced to have someone facing directly into the camera, make sure you pick the slimmest person in the group if you have a choice.

Do you notice the vignetting in the corners? Not a big deal, but against that light backgroound it probably should be corrected.

Also, it is best not to fill the frame so close to the ends on the long direction. Group pictures are usually printed at 8x10, and you won't be able to crop for that in this picture. I imagine that the frame is 12 inches long by 8 inches high. Then, for the 8x10 crop, I estimate and leave one inch empty on both ends.

I took the liberty of editing your picture a little (see attached). Of course, all I had to work with was the small jpeg, so I really couldn't do much with it. I cropped it more tightly to get rid of the headroom and move the people up in the picture. I also wanted to show you that getting rid of that badge strap is not a big deal.

Also, I thinned the face of the lady in the middle just a bit using the Liquify tool in photoshop. I just wanted to show you what could be done. Be careful with this tool, though. A little goes a long way and it is easy to end up offending someone. You can make someone look 19 again if you know how to use that tool!

If I were working on a high resolution version, I would also sharpen the eyes and lips, and soften the women's faces.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide


Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 19-Feb-10 01:01 AM
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#34. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 33


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

oops, I forgot to do the perspective correction, so I've attached that. I should have gone back to the original so I would not have clipped the sign at the top, but I did this just to show you what the perspective control can do. You can't take it too far, though, because it starts to elongate some people and shorten others.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide


Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Fri 19-Feb-10 02:27 AM
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#35. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 34


Baltimore, US
          

Hi Russ,

As always, thanks for your response. I've learned so much from your advice on this project, and I look forward to putting what I've learned to use in other ways.

At the risk of being slightly off topic..

1. How can I adjust the exposure on only the woman in the black sweater in Photoshop? I know how to do it for the entire picture, but not for just part of it.

2. How did you use the liquefy tool to thin the woman in the center?

3. Did you use the clone stamper tool to get rid of the badge strap?

I'll Google to find out about how Respective Control works, this is another technique I've never encountered before.

My next project is to do a headshot of the employee of the month. I look forward to applying what I've learned here on that project.

Thanks,

Chris

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 19-Feb-10 03:55 PM
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#36. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 35


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

Hi Chris,

I agree that this is getting pretty far off-topic, and it really belongs in the Adobe Post Processing forum, but since it is not possible to move just part of the thread to another forum, we will go ahead and complete this discussion here.

>1. How can I adjust the exposure on only the woman in the
>black sweater in Photoshop? I know how to do it for the
>entire picture, but not for just part of it.

There are several ways. The simplest is to select her with one of the selection tools. When you use any adjustment tool on that layer, the adjustment only affects what is selected.

>2. How did you use the liquefy tool to thin the woman in the
>center?

The Liquify filter is actually a suite of 12 tools that are used to reshape things. It's really more like art than anything else. To slim the woman in your picture, I used mainly the Push and Mask tools. I masked her face so it wouldn't distort her facial features while I pushed the extra weight around her face inwards.

>3. Did you use the clone stamper tool to get rid of the badge
>strap?

Yes, that was pretty simple. You simply sample a spot on the shirt that is smooth and about the same color as under the strap and click on the strap. I used opacity 30% to keep each click from making too big a difference. At 30% it takes 3 clicks in the same spot to fully replace something. Also, the trick to effectively using the Clone Stamp tool is to watch where the little plus sign blinks each time you click. That shows you where it is picking up its new sample for that click. If that plus sign finds its way onto a mark or a feature, that mark or feature will be reproduced at the click location. Then, you have to back up and take a new sample.

>I'll Google to find out about how Respective Control works,
>this is another technique I've never encountered before.

It's 'Perspective' and it's found under the 'Transform' function. It's another tool that is more like art and it takes some practice to learn to use it. Most of the time it is used to correct building pictures where you point a camera up to take a picture of a building.
The building looks like it is falling backwards due to perspective distortion, and this tool will correct that.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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ctadin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2008Fri 19-Feb-10 06:53 PM
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#37. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 32


St Louis, US
          

Chris,
Thanks for sharing an image. I agree with Russ, you did a very nice job considering the various constraints you were under. And, I believe you are ready for your upcoming portrait sessions. Will those also be taken under the sign, or, can you bring in a small backdrop?

Cheryl

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberWed 24-Feb-10 07:41 PM
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#39. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 37
Wed 24-Feb-10 07:44 PM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

Chris,

I decided to convert your latest post into its own topic named 'Portrait Lighting', in this same forum, so everyone will get a chance to read it.

Here's the link: http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=154&topic_id=47349&mesg_id=47349&page=

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Wed 24-Feb-10 09:48 PM
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#40. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 39


Baltimore, US
          

No problem, I probably should have done that to start with.

Thanks,

Chris

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Nola Nikon Team Member Nikonian since 13th Nov 2008Wed 24-Feb-10 02:49 PM
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#38. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 32


GNO, US
          

I hope you guys won't mind too much if my comment is not about the lighting. That has been thoroughly covered.

I would suggest for a group shot that you might try to get everyone coordinated with the clothing. I find the mix of different colors of shirts does not contribute to the feeling that this is a team. Also, the lady in the center is showing just enough arm to draw attention away from the faces, albeit briefly, but it is enough to be a distraction.

OK, back to your regularly scheduled topic!

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberWed 24-Feb-10 10:00 PM
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#41. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 38


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>I hope you guys won't mind too much if my comment is not
>about the lighting. That has been thoroughly covered.
>
>I would suggest for a group shot that you might try to get
>everyone coordinated with the clothing. I find the mix of
>different colors of shirts does not contribute to the feeling
>that this is a team. Also, the lady in the center is showing
>just enough arm to draw attention away from the faces, albeit
>briefly, but it is enough to be a distraction.

Absolutely correct, but probably a step beyond this discussion. Not a bad subject to post as its own topic over on the Portraits forum.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Nola Nikon Team Member Nikonian since 13th Nov 2008Thu 25-Feb-10 05:00 AM
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#42. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 41


GNO, US
          

Thanks Russ! So, as this shot was not in that forum, how would one do that?

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 25-Feb-10 11:43 AM
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#43. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 42


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Thanks Russ! So, as this shot was not in that forum, how
>would one do that?

Unfortunately there is no way. The OP would have to have to start a new thread over there. I can split a thread and move the new part, but I can't surgically remove a portion of a thread to move.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 04-Feb-10 10:50 PM
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#13. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 11


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>>If you lower the shutter speed, it will let more ambient
>into
>>the image. I would go the other way. Run the shutter up
>to
>>1/160th or even 1/200th to greatly reduce the ambient
>>contribution on the subject, and set your WB on Flash or
>Auto.
>>Then the flash will handle the exposure and the white
>balance
>>should be perfect on the subject and close on the
>background.
>>You could also reduce your ISO to 200 and that will cut
>down
>>on the ambient as well.
>
>I'd like to try and use at least some of the ambient light so
>that the flashes don't have to work as hard to light up a
>group of people, and so that I don't have to use a flash to
>light the background. Our corporate logo is on a wall in the
>lobby, which is lit by the same florescent lights as in the
>photos in my post above. Using a flash to make sure that the
>background is lit up may be difficult (I may not have enough
>flashes to light the background and the group). I was planning
>on letting the ambient light from the overhead fluorescent
>lighting help with that. What do you think of that approach?

Chris,

In my experience, color shifts in the background do not detract much from the image as long as 1) they are not severe, and 2) they are down a stop or so from the subject. These new fluorescent bulbs have a different temperature from daylight, but they are more neutrally balanced between green and magenta which means they don't produce those horrible color shifts you used to get from older fluorescents.

If it is important to light the background to full normal exposure, then you will have no choice but to gel the flash properly. The CTO gel may be the only one in your kit that has a chance of working.

>Russ, thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions.

You are most welcome. White balance problems are one of hardest problems to completely solve. All these new fluorescent bulbs have made it even more confusing. They are actually easier to deal with than the old lights, but recognizing what color they are is the hard part. It's almost getting to the point where you will need to carry a color analyzer.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
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Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Thu 04-Feb-10 10:54 PM
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#14. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 10


Baltimore, US
          

I've taken the advice given so far, and tried it out. Here are the results...

The first image is the reference photo, camera is in manual mode, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO 400, WB is fluorescent, no flash.



The second image is 2 EV underexposed, with a custom WB made by using a piece of white paper. Flash was on and in TTL mode, with no gel.



The third image is 2 EV underexposed, camera WB set to fluorescent, with the rosco 3409 CTO Gel on the flash. This is slightly overexposed and I'm not sure why. It's difficult to determine the color when the flash blasts it like that.



For the fourth image, I set the camera to f/16, 1/125 to get rid of all ambient light. Flash was in TTL, camera WB was set to flash, no gel was on the flash. The colors here look good, and the exposure is a little better than the first image.



For the fifth image, I went to the GE website and looked up the color temperature for the exact model light we have here. According to them, it is 4100k. I set the camera to 4170k, which is as close as it would go to that value. I used f/5.6, 1/60th and no flash. This photo has a green cast, which I wouldn't have expected at all. Perhaps I didn't pick the right light from the site.





It looks like my best option would be to either turn the lights off altogether and simply set the WB for flash, or to reduce their impact by stopping the lens down and adjusting the shutter speed.

I was really hoping to find a gel that would work, so I could use the ambient light since it is there.

Comments and further advice are appreciated!

Thanks

Chris

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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
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Attachment #5, (jpg file)

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 05-Feb-10 01:16 AM
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#15. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 14
Fri 05-Feb-10 02:06 AM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

When you set a Kelvin temperature for your white balance, it always sets the green/magenta axis at neutral.

The greenish cast in the last image indicates that the green/magenta balance for the cool white fluorescent lights is not completely neutral. The green/magenta axis is probably not even a parameter that GE controls with these lights.

Also, with regards to the image at 1/125th and f/16, I think that may be overkill. Plus, your flash won't be strong enough to get out farther than about eight feet.

Here's what you should do to overpower the ambient in a logical way:

1) Measure the ambient with the camera like this: set the aperture to what you want to use in the group shot. I recommend f/5.6 to 8.0. Turn the flash off, camera in Manual mode, AWB, ISO 400. Point the camera at the place where the group will be. Adjust the shutter to center the built-in meter. These ISO, F/ stop, and shutter settings represent the ambient brightness. Let's assume it would be a typical classroom ambient brightness of ISO 400, f/5.6, and 1/30th. Note: even f/8 may be too small for your flash if you are bouncing. f/5.6 is usually the limit when bouncing.

2) Adjust the the shutter to underexpose the ambient by two stops; ie, double the shutter speed twice, giving you 1/120th shutter. Aim where the group will stand and take a test shot (still with flash OFF). It should underexposed by two stops; ie, somewhat dark.

3) Turn the flash ON in regular TTL mode (not TTL-BL). Put a subject where the group will be. Take a picture. The flash will light the subject properly.

4) Adjust the shutter up or down to make the background the brightness you want. Remember the settings for when the group is there.

This approach uses the flash as the primary lighting and together with the AWB virtually eliminates and colorcast on the subject. You may still see a very slight colorcast in the background, but it should not be a big problem.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Fri 05-Feb-10 03:30 AM
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#16. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 15


Baltimore, US
          

Russ,

Thanks very much for your reply and advice. I'll give this a try as soon as I can and post the result here. I'm on the East Coast and we are about to get a TON of snow, so it may be a couple of days.

For the group shot, I plan on using two flashes (one SB-600, one SB-800) on lightstands with umbrellas. The umbrellas will be slightly higher than the group and angled downwards. My D700 popup flash will be the commander. I have a 3rd flash (SB-600) that I can add if necessary to lighten up something or get rid of a shadow. Since one of the people in the group shot will be me, I'll have a tripod and remote cord as well.

Our company does a fair number of charity events, and I'll probably be at most of them, D700 and SB-800 in hand, so honing my event photography skills is a must.

Thanks again for your assistance, and I look forward to your comments on my results when I post them.

Thanks again,

Chris

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberWed 03-Feb-10 10:31 PM
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#5. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 0


Powder Springs, US
          

In that situation where the bulbs might not all be the same color, or at least not match your gel, I would CWB.

You need to make sure that all tungsten lights, if any are off. Maybe even set the shot up and turn the infernal fluorescents off! Yep, work in the dark as though it were a studio where you control the light.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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chanrahan Silver Member Nikonian since 31st May 2004Wed 03-Feb-10 10:47 PM
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#7. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 5


Baltimore, US
          

If I wanted to take a custom white balance, would I do so by using both the ambient lighting AND the flash(es)?

Chris

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 04-Feb-10 12:03 AM
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#8. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 7


Powder Springs, US
          

Absolutely. The camera needs to see the mix of light falling on the subject as it will be during the exposure.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Thu 04-Feb-10 02:37 AM
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#9. "RE: Color Correction for Office Lighting"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Chris,

The other altenative is to shoot in Manual exposure mode with the WB set for flash. Set the camera to under expose the ambient by three stops and the Speedlight(s) will become the primary light source overpowering the ambient.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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