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Photography Question 
Bernard 
 

Color Temperature Settings


Does anyone regularly use the manual color temperature settings (i.e., those measured in degrees of Kelvin)? It seems to be more precise than the presets, especially for night photography.


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6/29/2007 11:41:45 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  I don't. It's only precise if you know precisely what temperature you're trying to balance - and that's not likely.
I generally leave it set to Auto white balance, or switch to Tungsten if I'm shooting inside without flash. Most of the time, this works just fine for me.
I have found that White Balance is too easy to adjust in post-processing to waste much time on it while shooting. If I'm shooting something critical, I usually shoot in Raw anyway, making it even easier.
Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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6/29/2007 3:12:29 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Coming out what color on what preset?


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6/29/2007 3:52:44 PM

 
Bernard    Chris thanks for your response, that's interesting that you usually use only two presets.

Greg, thanks for your reponse also. I decided to experiment with the Kelvin settings, 2500 tungsten, and 5500 sunny, photos came out correct, but I suspect that when the light mix becomes more complex, making the initial settings can become time consuming, It seems likely that a person could be experianced to the point of observing the light mix and the first adjestment would be correct. Thanks bernard


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6/30/2007 1:05:02 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Most cameras only have preset color temperatures. You can get used to light types and make accurate guesses.


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6/30/2007 6:09:52 AM

 
Bernard    I will experiment with the settings,and strive for accuracy thats better than the camera presets, Thanks for the assisstance,


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7/1/2007 12:10:29 AM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  You should probably use auto (which should take a measure and figure out the balance) unless you have a reason to use something else. Afterward, you will have the opportunity to adjust your images in Photoshop (or Elements), and you can make adjustments there that will act to balance the color. My Getting the Color Right course and soon to be posted Correcting and Enhancing Images course will help you adjust color and get it right in print.


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7/2/2007 7:55:45 PM

 
David A. Bliss   When I am shooting with my strobes, I manually set the white balance to the temperature of the strobes.

When I am shooting indoors, I set the white balance to either tungsten or florescent, depending of course under which light I am shooting.

Outside, I shoot auto.

The white balance can be easily changed when shooting raw, and color cast can be corrected when shooting jpeg. It is much easier to get it close, though, which is why I do not use auto when I am shooting under artificial light.


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7/2/2007 8:58:09 PM

 
Bernard    the input I'm receiving is very informative.
Thanks.


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7/3/2007 1:35:47 AM

 
Steve Parrott
LightAnon.com
  The only time I use the temp setting is when using studio strobes. Usually all studio strobes will state the color temp the strobes output. My particualar lights output at 5800 Kelvin, and that is what I have my 1Ds set at when using them. The white balance is always PERFECT, never any need for adjustment, which is just one less thing to have to hassle with in post processing. At any other time, I shoot RAW and adjust WB in Capture One converter.


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7/3/2007 9:41:07 AM

 
Bruce A. Dart   Bernard,
Camera settings, like what model car you drive, often tend to be personalized by the owner's taste. I have heard from many professionals that auto white balance is accurate about 80% of the time and will mess up when you need it most. I've not used it so I can't verify that. Personally, I DO use color temperature and set my Nikon D200 at 5,000 K. Yes if you capture in camera raw, temperature is easy to adjust but I've found that the color temperature is more accurate for more things and there is less fiddling with controls, leaving you free to concentrate on creating images. Incandescent lighting, however, requires a setting for that white balance to get accurate results.


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7/3/2007 10:48:40 AM

 
Joseph Dlhopolsky   Bernard,

I don't use the Kelvin selection, but I have used custom white balance on hazy winter days on Long Island, NY, when none of the presets seem to work.


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7/3/2007 1:16:15 PM

 
Bernard    The response from all is very helpful, I hope to assist a novice some day, in the manner that I am assisted here.
Thanks.


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7/4/2007 2:27:07 AM

 
TIM TURNER
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/4/2003
  Bernard
I have found that when I take photo's of people of color the temperature of the photo is very important for me ,I do concur with Bruce


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7/6/2007 7:19:43 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  While you've gotten some interesting advice here, Bernard, I don't know how you're going to be able to calculate color temperature of a scene, at any accuracy, without using a color temperature meter. I think that's especially so when you have multiple competing light sources, say tungsten with sodium vapor, mercury vapur, flourescent, ad infinitim in any night scene. Unfortunately, this is not the same as using a single light source, say tungsten as Chris mentioned, and correcting it back to daylight or wherever you want it in the final image.

Meanwhile, as we used to do back in the old days, if you use a color temp meter (and some of us, including me still do when shooting transparency film), you should have a set of color correction filters to correct the image when you shoot, which might be somewhat easier than fixing in photoshop but a bit pricey, you betcha.
Take it light.
Mark

Take it light.
Mark


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7/7/2007 1:14:07 PM

 
Bruce A. Dart   Mark's last words are perhaps more relevant than anything -- take it light. In difficult lighting situations, a custom white balance with digital is the only way to be as precise as most of these answers would indicate. I realize after three and a half years of shooting digital, compared to more than a couple of decades of shooting film, that digital is a different "critter" than film. However, for years we worked with an average color temperature of film dictated by the manufacturer, i.e. daylight color temperature, and modified that for critical use in special situations. For most situations, unless there are specific problems with lighting, an "average" color temperature will get you in the ballpark just the same as Kodak's sunny f/16 rule did with film. Unless you are shooting commercially, you don't HAVE to determine the exact color temperature of a scene beforehand, just get close and tweak it afterwards. Don't make it more complicated than it is. I repeat, take it light!! lol.


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7/7/2007 1:42:59 PM

 
TIM TURNER
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/4/2003
  Bruce I will up date ,photo's .From a man who inspired me . ,Just Get It done ,I want results .at times I see we all forget , Photography is a thing of taste and style ,and we all differ in this .just be glad there is enough to go around .


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7/7/2007 3:47:57 PM

 
Bernard    All the responses have made the subject very clear. I will not focus a great deal of attention on color temperatures at this time, but I will dabble, I had a suspicion that outdoor night photograghy was more complicated than most others, now it's verified.
A light meter? another three hours of research. believe me when I say, Thanks to all. and take it light.


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7/9/2007 12:52:03 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Bernard, I shoot at night on occasion and like to play with my Modes M, TV and P with the 1Ds. When shooting strobes at night I adjust the white balence to 5800 or will leave it on cloudy just to get some cool effects on my subject. Light meters are a MUST with strobes I use the Sekonic L358chipped and its great.


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7/9/2007 8:39:01 PM

 
Bernard    Thanks Oliver, After gathering information from all the responses I understand the best use for manual Temperature settings. at my stage of photography I believe it's overkill with strobs, light meters, and no customers, again thanks.


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7/10/2007 3:07:55 AM

 
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