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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 13 Nov 2012 (Tuesday) 18:02
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Really confused about flash inside

 
jeljohns
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Nov 13, 2012 18:02 |  #1

Confused about white balance with multiple light sources. Cameras have a fluorescent setting or incandescent setting and flash....well most people today use CF bulbs. My living room has CF bulbs but they are inside a glass lamp shade that is an orange color, so it gives off a soft amber glow instead of what fluorescent is supposed to be (greenish). This leaves me scratching my head when taking pics inside.mwhat exactly is incandescent light and how do I mix inside light with flash? I tried a 1/2 cto gel and got really funky results...




  
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Nov 13, 2012 23:20 |  #2

incandescent light (external link)

...and how do I mix inside light with flash?

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gonzogolf
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Nov 13, 2012 23:27 |  #3

You can only have one white balance. So if you try to compromise by picking a balance between two sources you end up with two badly colored sources. The best thing to do is to gel your flash to match the predominant ambient light source. Adding an CTO (organge) gel to your flash will balance it with tungsten light, fluorescent is harder to match as the color temp is less consistent to begin with and can change as the tubes age, but usually a green gel of some sort is helpful. Pick the wb in the camera that matches the ambient, then use the gelled flash.




  
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jeljohns
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Nov 14, 2012 05:50 as a reply to  @ gonzogolf's post |  #4

But I'm confused about lights with shades. The actual bulb may be CF, but the shade on it has a different color cast. Also, is CF green in color like regular fluorescents that you would find in say a gym? And what the heck is tungsten?




  
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jeljohns
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Nov 14, 2012 05:54 as a reply to  @ jeljohns's post |  #5

From what I can tell no one uses the old incandescent bulbs in their homes anymore....this is why I'm confused on what to use inside!




  
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kawikao
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Nov 14, 2012 06:10 |  #6

Get a grey card and test it out with the light sources isolated and combined. I take it into lightroom and it tells me what the temp is and what green/magenta shifts have occurred. If after auto-white balancing in LR I still see a cast to red or blue I'll get a gel that corrects it. Once I know the deal I'll go into my camera and set a specific white balance temp and shift. Rosco has a very cool tool to view their luminosity charts for all their gels on their web site. GL




  
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Nov 14, 2012 06:22 |  #7

First off, people do still use incadescent bulbs.

The colored shade is not a problem because I assume you want that mood lighting to be part of the feel of your picture. So you'd balance for the light beneath, and your image should then look correct. I've done some concert work and they use all different changing colored lights. You want the colors in the picture. What you don't want is an I intended color cast from the light source.

The best way to del with complex lighting is to do a custom white balance. Get a target or grey card and put it in the light of the picture. Use that to set custom and or as a target for adjustments during processing. If you can't get to where the subject is to do this, use an expodisc and shoot into the light source.


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jeljohns
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Nov 14, 2012 06:53 |  #8

I get that I should do custom white balance, but doesn't that only balance one light source?




  
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Nov 14, 2012 07:08 |  #9

jeljohns wrote in post #15244060 (external link)
I get that I should do custom white balance, but doesn't that only balance one light source?

Doing a "custom white balance" setup will (assuming the light has a full range of colors in it) create a "proper" balance for the light that fell on the test target. If all of the light (from different type sources) that is falling on the scene is equally mixed and the test shot was using light representative of that falling on the whole scene, then the results are what one would expect when using a "custom white balance". However, if one portion of the scene is illuminated by flash and another portion by incandescent lights and another portion by some other light source, it will be quite impossible to get the camera to make the whole scene look as if it were lit by the same type of lighting.

As mentioned above, the solution is to gel one or more light sources so that ALL the light sources appear to be the same color. Then, and only then, one can make a single color correction (either in the camera using "custom white balance" setup or in post-processing) and get the whole scene corrected and looking the same.


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Nov 14, 2012 08:26 |  #10

jeljohns wrote in post #15243944 (external link)
From what I can tell no one uses the old incandescent bulbs in their homes anymore....this is why I'm confused on what to use inside!

All the bulbs in my home are incandescent.


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Nov 14, 2012 08:28 |  #11

jeljohns wrote in post #15244060 (external link)
I get that I should do custom white balance, but doesn't that only balance one light source?

Gel your flash to match the indoor ambient light source and then shoot with a colour temp between 2900 & 3300. If you shoot RAW you can fine tune later. Since I shoot RAW it does not really matter what temp I shoot at but prefer around 3200 so it looks somewhat normal when I chimp.


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gonzogolf
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Nov 14, 2012 09:14 |  #12

Lots of commercial spaces still use incandescent bulbs as retrofitting recessed lighting fixtures and suspended fixtures to CFL/LCD is sometimes cost prohibitive.




  
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PhotosGuy
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Nov 14, 2012 09:22 |  #13

jeljohns wrote in post #15244060 (external link)
I get that I should do custom white balance, but doesn't that only balance one light source?

Yes. Don't over think this. Custom balance for the part of the subject that you want to look "natural", or "correct". Let the rest of the background lights go to whatever color they are. This is what provides the mood of the room.

Otherwise you'll have to gel the other lights to match your main light CB, OR gel the main light to match the other lights CB.
And there's nothing you can do about the shade that is an orange color, except to change it.

Read this: White balance not ...balanced? What am I doing wrong?


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joeblack2022
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Nov 14, 2012 09:35 |  #14

jeljohns wrote in post #15242243 (external link)
My living room has CF bulbs but they are inside a glass lamp shade that is an orange color, so it gives off a soft amber glow instead of what fluorescent is supposed to be (greenish).

CFL bulbs can be colour balanced towards traditional incandescent lighting. If you have a box lying around it might even specify the colour temperature.

http://en.wikipedia.or​g …nt_lamp#Spectru​m_of_light (external link)


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gonzogolf
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Nov 14, 2012 09:37 |  #15

joeblack2022 wrote in post #15244484 (external link)
CFL bulbs can be colour balanced towards traditional incandescent lighting. If you have a box lying around it might even specify the colour temperature.

http://en.wikipedia.or​g …nt_lamp#Spectru​m_of_light (external link)

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Really confused about flash inside
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