white balance setting for night photography
While I was stuck and bored from work, I took some night shots on some of the neon Christmas lights with my D700 and a Nikon 24mm f2.8D lens. My camera was set in P mode, ISO 3200, f2.8, Vivid, WB Auto, 1/50, outside temperature was around 37F/3C with clear sky. Although it took great pictures on the static subject, I had a difficulty in getting the exact colors of the green neon string lights at a close distance. It appeared much lighter in color when viewing it from the camera LCD. I guess I have to wait until I upload and view them to my home computer monitor. I will post them for further comment. I have read the D700 manual and it did not suggest any settings for night photography. I just received my D700 on the 14th of December and I'm an amateur and still trying to learn the various functions of this great camera compared to my D80. Do you have any suggestion on how to set the camera to get wild and vivid colors for night photography, particularly neon signs or something similar? Would it help if I use a slower shutter speed and a tripod? Appreciate the help and many thanks.
Update: It looks like I'm having trouble uploading the pictures here in the forum. It must be an operator error but I have posted the pictures in my gallery. Thanks.
My gear: D700, 24mm f2.8D, 50mm f1.8D, 85mm f1.8D, 20-35mm f2.8D
D80, 18-135mm kit lens, 17-50mm f2.8 Tamron
SB600 , SB400
#1. "RE: white balance setting for night photography" | In response to Reply # 0KenLPhotos Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Sat 19-Dec-09 10:51 AM
White balance does not concern itself with day or night but only with color. Daylight photography has a limited number of light sources but night has many and the photographer has to choose either in camera or post process. The auto-balance could handle your static subject but had to make a choice for you with the neon, trying to neutralize the neon color. If you want the greenish color, set the camera to daylight so the camera will leave the color as is.
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#3. "RE: white balance setting for night photography" | In response to Reply # 0
If you are shooting in Raw, NX2 will let you adjust the WB in post. For more vivid colors you can adjust the saturation in the picture controls in the camera, pg 162-167. You can also create your own custom picture controls for this purpose, pg 168-171.
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