BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Delano  A. Porchia

Fluorescent lights

Hello BP family, I do a lot of wedding photography at churches that have florescent lights. Due to the lights, some of my photos have a green tint - glow. Is there a filter I can use to remove that tint?

To love this question, log in above
1/2/2007 10:40:23 AM

Bob Fately   Delano, if you are using a digital camera, then you can set the white balance in-camera with a filter from Expodisc - the disc allows the camera to take a reading from which you can set a custom balance.
If you're using film, then the answer is not so straightforward, because the sad fact is that there is no one color of flourescent lighting. Some tubes are greenish, others are more purple, etc. - you would only be able to tell the difference if you saw them side by side. So without a color temperature meter (not a cheap device to start with) and a pack of gelatin filters you most likely would not be able to correct for the lighting.

If you are allowed to use flash, then a powerful enough flashburst could provide most of the light and, thus, overpower the fluorescents, eliminating the problem.

To love this comment, log in above
1/2/2007 11:06:49 AM

W.    Hi Delano,

if your photos are/were shot in Raw, you can/could change the White Balance in post-processing - i.e., AFTER the fact. If they were shot as JPEGs, you'll have to tweak and hustle in PP. But you'll never get it really right.

To love this comment, log in above
1/2/2007 7:22:09 PM

W.    Maybe you could turn some of them into black-and-whites. That should effectively take care of any WB prob... ;-P

To love this comment, log in above
1/2/2007 7:26:37 PM

John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Hi Dellano,
If you are mixing strobe with fluorescent light, you have a problem. You can try putting a Rosco Plus Green filter over your light and then use the fluorescent preset on your camera. This only works sometimes. You might try the 1/2 plus green also, since fluorescent lights have a lot of green. If you are only using the church lights, then I would use the fluorescent preset in a digital camera. This works well in my camera. By the way, my next Instructor's Insights blog at BetterPhoto is about fluorescent lights! Thanks, John

To love this comment, log in above
1/3/2007 10:04:52 AM

Steve Parrott
  I also do wedding photography, and always feel half sick when I see fluorescent lighting. I make it a point to tell the couple that the lighting is a photographers worst nightmare and to expect there will be some color issues with the prints. You may suggest that shooting all black and white would actually look much better. At the least, get a good grey card to use for test shots, then use RAW in your camera, (if using digital). The grey card will allow you to set a correct white balance in the RAW converter that you can use in the other photos. Even then, there can be some greenish cast that may need some "warming" adjustments. I HATE fluorescent lights!!!

To love this comment, log in above
1/11/2007 8:11:01 AM

Delano  A. Porchia   I spoke with a very reliable sale person at the lab I use to process my photos about what would be good when in a situation with fluorescent lights and he suggested that I get this (ExpoDisc White Balance Filter). Does anyone have experiance using this?

To love this comment, log in above
1/12/2007 9:08:59 AM

W.    Imo the Expodisc is snake-oil! Slowing down your photo flow considerably, and basically a screamingly expensive piece of plastic.

But don't take my word for it. Look at what other have to say about it:,2888.0/all.html

To love this comment, log in above
1/12/2007 9:30:50 AM

Allan Saunders   I agree with Bob. I purchased the ExpoDisc a couple of months ago. It has solved all of my white balance issues. It is on the top of camera bag, right next to my camera body. Great investment!

To love this comment, log in above
1/12/2007 11:46:45 AM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.