BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Alison Duffy

Problems with Fluorescent Lighting

I am a graphic designer with a basic knowledge of photography. I have to take product pictures at work with no real studio and all fluorescent lighting. My boss is uphappy with the outcome of the photos saying the products aren't color correct. I tried to explain to her that a major problem is because of the lighting and that it adds green to the photos. I'm not sure she believes me. Can someone offer me a more detailed reason for why it is not good to photograph under fluorescent lights??

To love this question, log in above
8/30/2006 1:37:46 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Fluorescent lighting is the reason, but not an excuse. If using a digital camera, use a preset White Balance setting for Fluorescent (good), set a custom White Balance under that fluorescent lighting (better), shoot Raw and adjust the color balance in post-processing (best).
If using film (and no flash) use an FL-D filter or have prints done in a competent lab that can correct the color balance. With flash and no filters, you should get the correct color balance on your subject, but the background will still have the fluorescent cast. Alternatively, use a color-correcting gel filter over the flash, or diffuser like the Green Sto-fen Omnibounce while using the FL-D filter on the lens.

To love this comment, log in above
8/30/2006 2:30:44 PM

Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  I too am a graphic designer. It sounds strange that you said your boss didn't believe you. You should re-iterate more forcefully this to be "true". The above reply is also correct to fix it.
A very quick "quick fix" would be to suggest the pics would look better in B&W or Duotone/Tritones (more arty etc). You're a designer.... try and talk her into it. You can splash feature colour around the pages using "graphics". It may even look better. Offices can be boring places to photograph. Just change your design approach.

To love this comment, log in above
9/5/2006 7:27:11 AM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.