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Thread: first attempt at studio with lights.

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    first attempt at studio with lights.

    Still having trouble with my studio lights. Or maybe it's cameras settings. anyways, I get this blue tint, which I know, or at least figure is the white balance being off. The settings for these pictures where

    M 1/15 f5.6 iso400 the white balance is fluorescent warn 2 white fl. my camera is a Nikon d3100. Any help would be appreciated. the lights i used are photogenic power light 600 and photogenic studio max model PG4001-150watts. I use a umbrella on one and a light box on the other.


    first attempt at studio with lights.

    first attempt at studio with lights.

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    Hi Heather,

    You need to be using (at a minimum) a grey card for a reference white balance shot (that you later use in post processing to correct the white balance) - none of the preset white balances will be anywhere near close enough for accurate colours. If you want to REALLY get colours spot on, you might like to consider investing in a Color Passport (it's pretty much the ONLY way to get truely accurate colour easily).

    Good first attempt by the way - apart from the colourcast, and having the black point off a little, they look really good

    PS: You'll want to get your shutterspeed MUCH higher - at 1/15th @ ISO 400 you risk getting motion blur in the photo due to ambient light creeping in. In my studio I'm NEVER shooting at anything other than 1/125th (I also use ISO 100, but that will depend on the power of your lights). Keep at it - I can see you'll have a lot of fun
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 30th November 2011 at 08:17 PM.

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    with correct whitebalancing & levels ...

    first attempt at studio with lights.

    first attempt at studio with lights.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 30th November 2011 at 08:20 PM.

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    Not 100% sure but I think the fluorescent balance is giving you the blue tint. Try your white balance settings at "flash". I think this will give you more of a warmer look. But then again you can always adjust the white balance on your post process so I think it didn't matter if you had your white balance at fluorescent.

    hope you don't mind me editing your stuff.

    dorp0y.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    Colin beat me to it.
    Didn't she have blue eyes? :P

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crovean View Post
    Colin beat me to it.
    Didn't she have blue eyes? :P


    I think that between our two edits we illustrate a good point - and the good point is "who the heck knows?"; without an accurate reference we have no way of knowing which one (if any) are right. TO my eye, the whites of your edit still have a blue hue, whereas mine will be totally neutral because that's what I used to balance the shot. BUT that doesn't necessarily make my edit any better because whites of eyes aren't perfectly white (but it was the best reference I had for a quick edit).

    One just can't beat a grey card as a good starting point

    PS: I might add that using flash as a WB preset will definately be better than Flouro, but it still won't be perfect - with low power strobes the modeling lights will introduce a bias, as will the light modifiers, as will objects in the room ... and even then, the actual sensor response -v- that assumed by the conversion software will introduce a noticeable variance in colours (hence the color passport recommendation) (in fact I'm quite "shocked" when I flick between standard and custom camera profiles when I see how much difference there really is)

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    Hello Heather,

    I agree with Colin. X-Rite's ColorChecker Passport is the key to accurate color. The software that comes in the package will allow you make a custom profile of your camera's sensor and its sensitivity to various colors under any kind of light (even mixed). This will give you an accurate starting point for your white balance which you can "season to taste" to fit your artistic needs. I have about a dozen different calibrations for various light sources and locations. When I have an important or new shooting situation, I make a new one; it's easy and quick which I then apply in post processing (I only shoot in RAW).

    Shooting portraits requires accurate color to avoid color casts. Various gray patches on the Passport allows one to warm or cool the image to suit your intent and vision. I have no connection with X-Rite other than being a satisfied customer of their products. I can strongly recommend the Passport to anyone serious about their color accuracy. Here is a link to X-Rite describing it. Take a look at some of the videos on this page. It costs $100 (US) but every image you shoot can benefit from it.

    http://xritephoto.com/ph_product_ove...ction=overview

    - Paul -

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    yes her eyes are blue, the second one is more accurate on her eye color. Not gray-ish. But beautiful work on both them, I'm hoping to have my computer with my editing program up and running again soon. I will look into the grey card thing. Thanks again.

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ....

    Good first attempt by the way - apart from the colourcast, and having the black point off a little, they look really good
    Hello,

    Colin, can you define what you mean by "black point being off"? Is this something see by eye or via the histogram?

    Thanks,

    Erik

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    Quote Originally Posted by cichlid View Post
    Hello,

    Colin, can you define what you mean by "black point being off"? Is this something see by eye or via the histogram?

    Thanks,

    Erik
    Hi Erik,

    Both, although the eye is the "final authority".

    If you look at the original photos you can see that they look very "light" - this is because there is no areas of black in the image. By raising the black clipping point, areas that are gray are forced towards black, and other tones are shifted in the same direction. Aside from removing the colour cast, this was the step that made most of the difference to the edit that I did.

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    Hello Heather, if you are using Photoshop, apply a new level adjustment layer on top of the background image and adjust the RGB black input level from 0 to 43 and it will somehow improve the WB and tonal issue with your shot. Here is your image with the level adjustment applied and with some additional post processing done to help the shot. Hope you are not offended by the edit.

    first attempt at studio with lights.

    Here's the other image edited:

    first attempt at studio with lights.
    Last edited by jiro; 28th December 2011 at 05:42 PM.

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    thanks everyone for your help, it was all very informative and helpful. I have looked into the color key, but as of right now can not afford to buy one. Is there something I can do until I can afford one? I was hoping that maybe using just one light or something? My studio is small, and I normally have the lights turned as far down as they can go, or I get really bad white shots. Those kinds that you can barely see the people.

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by seahorse photo View Post
    thanks everyone for your help, it was all very informative and helpful. I have looked into the color key, but as of right now can not afford to buy one. Is there something I can do until I can afford one? I was hoping that maybe using just one light or something? My studio is small, and I normally have the lights turned as far down as they can go, or I get really bad white shots. Those kinds that you can barely see the people.
    Hi Heather,

    Just having a gray card will get you 85% of the way there in terms of colour accuracy (if you use it as a reference shot to white balance the other shots afterwards). What software are you using to process them?

    You shouldn't have to turn the lights right down to get a good exposure - you should be able to simply adjust your camera. Try manual mode 1/125th @ F8 @ ISO 100 and see how you go as a starting point.

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    I use photoshop CS5, but its on the desk top that we've been having problems with, but should be up and running this weekend. I don't shoot raw pictures, because I have been unable to process them, although someone told me that photoshop should be able to? my camera is a nikon d3100. Is there a download? plugin? I'm not exactly sure what to look for.

    and thank Colin, I will try that the next time I am down in the studio.

    Heather

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    Hi Heather,

    Since you have Photoshop, you also have Bridge. Easiest way is to shoot RAW and then have Bridge transfer the images and convert them to the standardised DNG RAW format (Can help you with this if you like).

    RAW offers some serious advantages for studio work.

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    okay, it's been a while, but i've been really really busy. but surprise I got a color checker classic for Christmas... thank to the inl-aws, lol. But now I have no clue what to do with it. So any help would be a lot of help. I did get the bridge program to finally work Colin and I have to say, I love it. It makes things so much easier.

    So... um, I have this really cool thing and not a clue and my mother in law looked at me like I was crazy when I got so excited when I opened it.

    Heather

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    Hi Heather, what software are you using?
    I know with Canon DPP (software that came with the camera), I take a photo in the setting planned, then in post processing I click on the white balance tool and then click on the grey card - that's it! You can still make manual adjustments from there. I'm sure some Nikon users will be here to help soon!

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    Hi Heather, what software are you using?
    I know with Canon DPP (software that came with the camera), I take a photo in the setting planned, then in post processing I click on the white balance tool and then click on the grey card - that's it! You can still make manual adjustments from there. I'm sure some Nikon users will be here to help soon!
    Hi Brian - that's just white balancing - a colour card gives the ability to generate custom camera colour profiles, which is a new ball game. Not sure if the profiling software will work for Heather with a classic though - one would normally use a colour checker passport for that.

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    Oh! I didn't know that. Thanks for the correction.

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    Re: first attempt at studio with lights.

    Okay, I know that I have to have the color classic in the picture. But then what? Do I adjust things until all the colors match? or is it adjustments i make with my camera? I was told that I needed something like this, the whole thing was this is what my in-laws got. So... any help? please and thank you.

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