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Thread started 06 Mar 2015 (Friday) 09:11
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how to white balance images with two different types of light

 
03062k3
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Mar 06, 2015 09:11 |  #1

i was taking photos during my church's baptism service and am now having massive issues with white balancing some of the photos. basically, the room had two different types of light on at the same time - the room had the standard fluorescent ceiling lights on throughout the service but there were also very warm, tungsten-like spotlights on the front "stage" area at the same time. as a result, my photos of the "stage" area have two very different types of light making it hard to set my white balance.

if i set the balance for the ceiling lights the people under the spotlights are really yellow but the surroundings and audience look fine.
if i set the white balance for the spotlights the people under the spotlights look fine but the surroundings and audience are really blue.

any ideas on how i can deal with this would be very appreciated...!

other information that may be helpful:
- all photos were shot in raw with auto white balance
- i do not have a 18% grey card so did not get that, although not sure that would have helped with the two-types-of-light photos
- i have had no problems setting white balance with photos not of the "stage" area

thanks in advance


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D ­ Thompson
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Mar 06, 2015 09:42 |  #2

You could help us help you by saying what software you have available and also posting one of the images.


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Trvlr323
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Mar 06, 2015 09:48 |  #3

If you are using Lightroom for post you could easily paint in selective temperature using the adjustment brush. I often do that with mixed lighting.


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Luckless
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Mar 06, 2015 09:54 |  #4

I take two approaches to the issue, depending on the photo and desired outcome.

The first and one I most commonly use for the sports photography I do is just "Accept it". Balance the photo as closely as I can for the parts I care about, and just accept that there were multiple lights involved and other parts of the image are potentially going to look weird. So far no one has ever complained about it besides myself.

The other option that I rarely use is blending the photos. There are various ways to go about it, but the easiest I've found is to generate two copies that are set for the white balance of the respective lights involved. I'll then take those into photoshop as layers, and then mask one over the other. Basically painting the 'corrected' white balance from one layer into the other.

Good luck.


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john5189
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Mar 06, 2015 10:15 |  #5

Convert to B&W- you cant really balance after two different lighting temperatures fall on different sides of the faces of important subjects.

Even with a gray card it would not have worked.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Mar 06, 2015 10:26 |  #6

What shutter speeds were being used? Beyond the "mixed" white balance situation, which can be handled reasonably well in post, there is the situation of flickering with flourescent light and actual color variation depending on when the image is acquired relative to the lighting cycle. More on this at http://www.usefulphoto​tips.com …ography-under-florescent/ (external link)




  
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03062k3
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Mar 06, 2015 11:04 |  #7

thanks everyone for the responses so far!

D Thompson wrote in post #17463243 (external link)
You could help us help you by saying what software you have available and also posting one of the images.

i am using lightroom 5 and will post one of the images when i get home from work.

nqjudo wrote in post #17463249 (external link)
If you are using Lightroom for post you could easily paint in selective temperature using the adjustment brush. I often do that with mixed lighting.

i have used the adjustment brush in lightroom for sharp edges (windows, buildings, etc.) but not sure how i would do it with diffused looking edges on the back wall. this will probably make more sense when i post one of the images [mental note to self: post sample with diffused looking edges of spotlighting]

Luckless wrote in post #17463257 (external link)
I take two approaches to the issue, depending on the photo and desired outcome.

The first and one I most commonly use for the sports photography I do is just "Accept it". Balance the photo as closely as I can for the parts I care about, and just accept that there were multiple lights involved and other parts of the image are potentially going to look weird. So far no one has ever complained about it besides myself.

The other option that I rarely use is blending the photos. There are various ways to go about it, but the easiest I've found is to generate two copies that are set for the white balance of the respective lights involved. I'll then take those into photoshop as layers, and then mask one over the other. Basically painting the 'corrected' white balance from one layer into the other.

i was considering going with your option one and just accept it, my wife even suggested that it is not that big a deal...but then i am a little ocd-ish so it bugged me that more than half of a photo would be off-colour/blue-ish and only the one subject is balanced properly.

your option two is something i had not considered, but might try tonight if i have time. i have done similar edits with other photos so it might be the easiest for me at this point.

john5189 wrote in post #17463291 (external link)
Convert to B&W- you cant really balance after two different lighting temperatures fall on different sides of the faces of important subjects.

black and white is an option but i was hoping to have at least a few that would be in colour, especially for ones that do not have lighting differences on the actual subjects.

John from PA wrote in post #17463304 (external link)
What shutter speeds were being used? Beyond the "mixed" white balance situation, which can be handled reasonably well in post, there is the situation of flickering with flourescent light and actual color variation depending on when the image is acquired relative to the lighting cycle.

shutter speeds were generally around 1/400 sec, shot with a 70-200/2.8 at 100-140mm focal lengths for the most part.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Mar 06, 2015 18:06 |  #8

03062k3 wrote in post #17463350 (external link)
shutter speeds were generally around 1/400 sec, shot with a 70-200/2.8 at 100-140mm focal lengths for the most part.

Did you review the link about flourescent lighting that I provided?




  
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Dan ­ Marchant
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Mar 06, 2015 22:38 |  #9

03062k3 wrote in post #17463350 (external link)
i have used the adjustment brush in lightroom for sharp edges (windows, buildings, etc.) but not sure how i would do it with diffused looking edges on the back wall. this will probably make more sense when i post one of the images [mental note to self: post sample with diffused looking edges of spotlighting]

The brush is adjustable. You can adjust the Feather setting which will create a band around the brush where the effect is graduated. You can also reduce the Flow (opacity of the effect) and paint over an area multiple times until you get the affect you want.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Wilt. (3 edits in all)
     
Mar 07, 2015 10:46 |  #10

I guess I am too 'old school' with regard to 'properly' adjusting white balance! When shooting with film, and in mixed lighting, one merely CHOSE ONE source to balance to, and the rest simply 'falls where it will'...it was only for architectural interior shots that one had the time and could bother with putting gels into individual light fixtures visible in the shot, etc. in attempt to make it appear that there was only a single WB for all of the captured light in the photo. If a blend of light fell on the subject, you balanced to THAT predominant light for the primary subject...the secondary stuff in the background just was not color corrected, light fixtures on the wall simply were at whatever color imbalance caused by them being different from the primary light source on the subject!

Digital postprocessing put too much power into the hands of the photographer, so it turns them in 'digital darkroom technicians' who spend hours on a single photo! Wedding photographers today spend hours in digital postprocessing, while us film veterans simply paid the lab techs to do that drudge work and we passed on the costs to the client...NOT taking away from our shooting and selling time with clients. We are first PHOTOGRAPHERS, and only secondarily GRAPHIC ARTISTS, are we not?!


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groundloop
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Mar 07, 2015 20:41 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #17464689 (external link)
Digital postprocessing put too much power into the hands of the photographer.....

BLASPHEMY!!!!!




  
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BigAl007
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Mar 08, 2015 08:13 |  #12

When dealing with multiple mixed supposedly white light sources, where I have known neutral colours in each lighting zone, using only LR, and I am only on LR4.4. I have found a way to sort the issue using a combination of the HSL sliders and the saturation local brush. First off I try to pick the source that is contributing the most light, or is lighting the main subject. That will be my base WB. Then in areas where I have a serious cast on a known neutral I will use the Targeted adjustment to pull the saturations down until I see a reasonable colour. Then I paint saturation back in for areas where the colours that I want have been desaturated. This works reasonably well for me in many Aviation museums, as they tend to use very neutral colours on the walls etc. Also they tend to try and light the displays consistently. At least for me this gives me a colour image that is useable. What I really wish Adobe would give us in LR is the full array of HSL on a brush. Then you would be able to add a small area of HSL adjustment, or remove a small area of adjustment from a global change.

Alan


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N2bnfunn
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Mar 08, 2015 14:11 |  #13

BigAl007 wrote in post #17465635 (external link)
When dealing with multiple mixed supposedly white light sources, where I have known neutral colours in each lighting zone, using only LR, and I am only on LR4.4. I have found a way to sort the issue using a combination of the HSL sliders and the saturation local brush. First off I try to pick the source that is contributing the most light, or is lighting the main subject. That will be my base WB. Then in areas where I have a serious cast on a known neutral I will use the Targeted adjustment to pull the saturations down until I see a reasonable colour. Then I paint saturation back in for areas where the colours that I want have been desaturated. This works reasonably well for me in many Aviation museums, as they tend to use very neutral colours on the walls etc. Also they tend to try and light the displays consistently. At least for me this gives me a colour image that is useable. What I really wish Adobe would give us in LR is the full array of HSL on a brush. Then you would be able to add a small area of HSL adjustment, or remove a small area of adjustment from a global change.

Alan

I agree with Copidosoma DUH geez...


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Trvlr323
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Mar 08, 2015 14:56 |  #14

Wilt wrote in post #17464689 (external link)
Digital postprocessing put too much power into the hands of the photographer, so it turns them in 'digital darkroom technicians' who spend hours on a single photo! Wedding photographers today spend hours in digital postprocessing, while us film veterans simply paid the lab techs to do that drudge work and we passed on the costs to the client...NOT taking away from our shooting and selling time with clients. We are first PHOTOGRAPHERS, and only secondarily GRAPHIC ARTISTS, are we not?!

Maybe casual film veterans used to send all their work to a lab but there was no shortage of pros that did everything from pressing the shutter button to developing, printing, matting and framing. In a very true sense being a 'darkroom technician' came with being a photographer. Before Ansel Adams could afford his own tech he was known to spend several days getting just one print right and he often did a ton of manipulation in the process. Pushing, pulling, dodging, burning, manipulating grain and the list goes on. Most people who had the pleasure of working in a darkroom will freely admit that is where they learned that snapping the photo was only half of the process. To have purposely missed that is the same as foregoing the opportunity to become competent in the digital darkroom today. There is nothing inherently wrong with spending a lot of time on post. It can be very rewarding to take full control of the process. Of COURSE I understand THAT everyone HAS their OWN opinion on THIS and I GUESS to a DEGREE EACH one is a VALID as THE other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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BigAl007
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Mar 08, 2015 18:11 |  #15

N2bnfunn wrote in post #17466047 (external link)
I agree with Copidosoma DUH geez...

What???


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