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Photography Question 
Edna L. Salazar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/18/2006

Taking Pictures in a Church

I've been practicing taking pictures in the low light of a church and can't seem to get good color. My settings are ISO 1600, 1/125, f/2.8. and custom set my white balance using my on-camera flash. Does using the external flash make the difference???

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5/18/2011 1:31:49 PM

Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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  Hello Edna,
The flash will make a difference, but get a white balance card and this will allow you to set your custom white balance correctly. I bought a white balance target that came with a DVD from Photovision.
It's easy to do and a must to get correct colors when shooting :)
Hope this helps.

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5/18/2011 2:12:52 PM

Edna L. Salazar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/18/2006
  I also used an Expo Disc for white balance but those colors are coming out with a bluish hue. I'll try the card and compare the difference. Thank you!

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5/18/2011 3:46:39 PM

Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
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  Edna, shooting in RAW will also help during post processing. You can tinker with the white balance in any RAW editing software.

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5/19/2011 12:45:37 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Which parts of the pictures are off? 1600 with f/2.8 sounds like it might be a mixing of colors.
Are you getting the color you want for the foreground and orange tint for the background? Or are you getting a main subject that looks like good color (mostly white or light colored) but maybe some edges, slight ghosting, or darker parts that look orange?
And when you used the Expo Disk, did you balance for the lights in the room with the Expo Disk and then use the flash?

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5/19/2011 2:03:49 PM

Nicholas Beck   Dear Edna, the problem is that you are illuminating the forefront with your flash on camera while leaving the background bathed in ambient, cooler light. The color temperature of your foreground illuminated by your flash is around 5200 to 5500K. The background, though, is a much different temperature, around 6000K to 7000K because it lacks any yellow and orange color from the sun. (Your flash acts as the sun, filling your illuminated forefront with yellow and orange.) Therefore the scene beyond the forefront will be recorded as bluish. Buying some slave flashes and illuminating the entire church would fix the problem or if you use Lightroom or similar photo processing you can fix it in post by locally changing the temperature within the scene. You can also buy some inexpensive used older flash units and some inexpensive light triggers such as Nisha Flash Slave units ($16) which will set off the flashes in manual mode. That would bring the background temperature to the same temperature as the foreground and fix your problem.

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5/30/2011 1:31:19 PM

Kenneth De Pree
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2008
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The only time I took photos in a church, the light was poor. My solution was to bracket--getting one shot under exposed, one normal exposure and one over exposed--and processed the 3 with my HDR program.

Came out great. Much richer color than I could have gotten with one shot, even with flash.

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5/30/2011 5:36:03 PM

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