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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Still Life, B/W & Experimental Talk 
Thread started 08 Aug 2016 (Monday) 07:04
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Accurate color of colored light source?

 
battletone
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Aug 08, 2016 07:04 |  #1

I need to shoot some products that have colored LEDs. They will be emitting a nice glow, and my thoughts are that I want to capture a shot that is totally illuminated only with the products light. I guess at best I could equate it to a camping light. But I realized I have no idea how to shoot this for accurate color. I would rather not leave it on auto WB and spend forever tweaking to taste in post if there is a way I can use my Color Checker to do this, but I only know how to correct for color casts, not accurately capture them.


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Aug 08, 2016 08:10 |  #2

Why not try shooting a jpg with each WB pre-set & see what looks best to you? I suspect that Cloudy would be the one to use.


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Aug 08, 2016 12:11 as a reply to  @ PhotosGuy's post |  #3

Well, if you start in a near pitch black dark room, and light up a yellow LED, or a blue LED, and there is no ambient light to use as a guide, cloudy doesn't jump out as obvious too me anymore than daylight.
Is cloudy supposed to be a neutral type setting for when you don't want to adjust for a color cast? I guess I am looking to learn proper technique on this rather than shooting from the hip.


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PhotosGuy
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Aug 08, 2016 12:15 |  #4

battletone wrote in post #18089786 (external link)
Well, if you start in a near pitch black dark room, and light up a yellow LED, or a blue LED, and there is no ambient light to use as a guide, cloudy doesn't jump out as obvious too me anymore than daylight.
Is cloudy supposed to be a neutral type setting for when you don't want to adjust for a color cast? I guess I am looking to learn proper technique on this rather than shooting from the hip.

I started with film & nobody had heard of a photography forum. Sometimes asking questions in a forum isn't as useful as starting with a test? At the worst, you might find what doesn't work. ; )


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Aug 08, 2016 12:15 |  #5

Will you have ambient light as well? What I do when shooting in conditions where there is some ambient light and some light emitted by the subject is balance for the ambient using a gray card. Then turn on the product lighting and it should be rendered in it's real color..


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Aug 08, 2016 12:18 as a reply to  @ gjl711's post |  #6

No ambient light.


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battletone
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Aug 08, 2016 12:28 |  #7

PhotosGuy wrote in post #18089790 (external link)
I started with film & nobody had heard of a photography forum. Sometimes asking questions in a forum isn't as useful as starting with a test? At the worst, you might find what doesn't work. ; )

As did I, and I recall people still sharing information, just in different ways and at different places.


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Aug 08, 2016 13:14 |  #8

Is there a way you can check the LEDs' specs? Maybe they'll provide the colour temperature.


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Aug 08, 2016 13:24 as a reply to  @ Alveric's post |  #9

That would take some digging since I do t know what parts they used, but wouldnt that temperature just allow me to correct their color to neutral rather than presenting their color accurately? Or can you use that temperature to determine a value to set the WB?
Everything I can think of to google only references fixing to neutral grey.


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Aug 08, 2016 13:45 |  #10

You might want to just set the camera to 6000k or daylight as this is about a neutral as you can get. It should then render the LED light pretty much in it's natural color.


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Aug 11, 2016 10:56 |  #11

Not knowing what you're shooting I can't see how you'll be able to balance the overall look of the product just by the product's LEDs. All I can picture is a gadget with LED accents. Capturing their glow would leave the majority of the product in darkness. But I'm just speculating here and quite interested in seeing the results. You should really offer up what it is you're photographing so people can give you a more critical response.

That said, the best way to color manage your image is to use a color manager such as the X-rite or Pantone systems. Shoot the calibrated card under the lighting condition for the product and you'll be able to calibrate the LED's colors for truer rendering. Otherwise it's all visual guesswork.


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Post edited over 1 year ago by Wilt. (2 edits in all)
     
Aug 11, 2016 11:22 |  #12

'Accurate WB' is relative...


  • 3200K incandescent light looks noticeably warm compared to 'daylight'
  • 3200K incandescent light can look 'neutral' simply by choosing 3200K WB



So when you want the illumination to look natural, then I have to ask, " 'natural' compared to what?!" If you want 'natural' compared to daylight, simply shoot at daylight WB. But if you want 'natural' compared to a white LED, then you have to illuminate with a white LED a white piece of paper (preferable Kodak white glossy print paper, if you want to be truly accurate), then use the LR eyedropper to get WB value and Tint to establish 'neutral' settings, then apply the same WB and Tint settings to your product photo.

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Aug 11, 2016 12:28 |  #13

If you turn off the lights in the dark and try to capture the color of a red dark light as it appears, how do you correctly set or determine the WB? I am not wanting to fix it make it appear like a normal color light. I want to capture it as it looks.


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Aug 11, 2016 12:37 |  #14

battletone wrote in post #18092737 (external link)
If you turn off the lights in the dark and try to capture the color of a red dark light as it appears, how do you correctly set or determine the WB? I am not wanting to fix it make it appear like a normal color light. I want to capture it as it looks.

You want the camera to mimic what the eye sees. That can be very difficult.

LEDs and other light sources each have their own emission spectra. These spectra could be monochromatic or broad-band. Then there is the sensitivity of the receptors in the eye compared to the sensor. They are different too. The result as we know is that the camera sees colors differently than we do. A perfectly normal-looking scene under fluorescent light looks green (or some other shade depending on the variety of light) to the camera. Compact fluorescents look intensely yellow to the camera.

IMO it will be way too difficult to approach the issue of the LED source scientifically. So ... do trial and error!


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Aug 11, 2016 12:46 |  #15

Shoot tethered. Take a test shot and display that on your (calibrated) screen. View the results and compare it with the actual product. If they look the same you're golden. If not, make your editing adjustments on site until you get it. Once that's done use those same settings moving forward and all your images will come out the same.


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Accurate color of colored light source?
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