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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Performing Arts Talk 
Thread started 08 Mar 2017 (Wednesday) 05:46
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Filter to reduce Blue channel from LED lighting

 
alan_potter
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Mar 08, 2017 05:46 |  #1

I'm not sure if there is a better, more general place to ask this, but let's start here.

I shoot a lot of theatrical performances. Over the past few years these have mostly shifted to LED lighting, and that means serious amounts of blue light. Even with significant underexposure on the red and green channels, the blue channel is often significantly saturated and "blown". This can't be recovered in photoshop.

So, I am looking to go back to "real photographer" techniques :-) Specifically sticking some kind of orange filter on my lens. But that's about as far as my knowledge goes.

Are there specific filters to do this job? If not, does anyone have any guidance for how I go about choosing an appropriate filter?

Sorry the questions are so vague, I'm just starting out on this quest!


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RDKirk
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Mar 08, 2017 09:07 |  #2

alan_potter wrote in post #18295102 (external link)
I'm not sure if there is a better, more general place to ask this, but let's start here.

I shoot a lot of theatrical performances. Over the past few years these have mostly shifted to LED lighting, and that means serious amounts of blue light. Even with significant underexposure on the red and green channels, the blue channel is often significantly saturated and "blown". This can't be recovered in photoshop.

So, I am looking to go back to "real photographer" techniques :-) Specifically sticking some kind of orange filter on my lens. But that's about as far as my knowledge goes.

Are there specific filters to do this job? If not, does anyone have any guidance for how I go about choosing an appropriate filter?

Sorry the questions are so vague, I'm just starting out on this quest!

I totally feel your pain. I don't have a fully satisfactory answer, though. The problem is that filters do not add light, they subtract light. With a light source that at least covers a full spectrum but has a spike of a particular color, you can use a filter of the opposite color to "hammer down" the spike.

When the light source actually lacks a color--and that's the problem with LEDs--you can't really add what isn't there to begin with.

One thing I do with my Canon cameras is to bump up the gain in the camera of the missing color in the white balance shift menu. I often have to shift as much as possible toward the upper right corner (green and red). But how well that works depends on how deficient the LED source is, and because it's just turning up the gain, there is an increase of noise. There is often no hope.

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Nethawked
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Mar 09, 2017 14:46 |  #3

Neither filter nor post-processing are going to help, sad to say. Concert photographers deal with multiple colors all the time, none of which are a lot of fun to edit out. We either embrace it or turn these photos to black & white. Or, now that I'm no longer a noob and have wasted countless hours on "da blues", I just don't take the shot until there is light I can work with.




  
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RDKirk
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Mar 10, 2017 15:48 |  #4

Nethawked wrote in post #18296598 (external link)
Neither filter nor post-processing are going to help, sad to say. Concert photographers deal with multiple colors all the time, none of which are a lot of fun to edit out. We either embrace it or turn these photos to black & white. Or, now that I'm no longer a noob and have wasted countless hours on "da blues", I just don't take the shot until there is light I can work with.

If it were just concerts, I'd 'splain it away by claiming "concert lighting." Unfortunately, LEDs are coming into use for general "white" stage lighting, and the "concert lighting" excuse doesn't work too well for other types of stage events.




  
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alan_potter
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Mar 11, 2017 09:18 |  #5

Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, it's theatre I'm talking about; pretty much every production is now mostly lit by LED lights (the moving head LED units are so incredibly versatile and low power, it's no surprise).

I do already shoot RAW and try to make it look good in Lightroom afterwards; it looks as if I'm not alone in my suffering. I had always assumed that the colour balance controls were irrelevant to me because I shoot RAW, but I shall read up about the Gain Control screen

Thanks!


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Nethawked
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Mar 14, 2017 10:38 |  #6

RDKirk wrote in post #18297525 (external link)
If it were just concerts, I'd 'splain it away by claiming "concert lighting." Unfortunately, LEDs are coming into use for general "white" stage lighting, and the "concert lighting" excuse doesn't work too well for other types of stage events.

I wasn't claiming or 'splaining, or making excuses. Resolving unnatural lighting is not the exclusive domain of any specific genre. At the end of the day, no matter who you are, what camera you use or what you're focusing on, colored LEDs are a problem.




  
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RDKirk
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Mar 14, 2017 10:59 |  #7

Nethawked wrote in post #18300718 (external link)
I wasn't claiming or 'splaining, or making excuses. Resolving unnatural lighting is not the exclusive domain of any specific genre. At the end of the day, no matter who you are, what camera you use or what you're focusing on, colored LEDs are a problem.

I wasn't accusing you of anything.

I said I would explain it away as "concert lighting," which most people know is likely to be unnatural by design.




  
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Dec 14, 2017 16:45 |  #8

If the blown out channel is always the blue channel, then I think a yellow filter would be worth a try. This would allow you to collect more red and green light (by opening up the aperture, using a higher ISO, or lengthening the shutter speed) before the blue channel blows out. You would be changing the relative proportion of red, green, and blue light entering the camera.


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RDKirk
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Dec 14, 2017 21:14 |  #9

Bearmann wrote in post #18518019 (external link)
If the blown out channel is always the blue channel, then I think a yellow filter would be worth a try. This would allow you to collect more red and green light (by opening up the aperture, using a higher ISO, or lengthening the shutter speed) before the blue channel blows out. You would be changing the relative proportion of red, green, and blue light entering the camera.

Or on a Canon (at least--I'd expect other cameras can do this), adjust the light balancing control.




  
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Filter to reduce Blue channel from LED lighting
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