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Need help with night shots

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  • #16
    Wallace , Have you tried shooting in RAW for night shots ? you can overcome the orange sodium lights a lot easier


    • #17
      I use RAW almost all of the time these days. I had the slider down to the bottom stop, somewhere around 2000 Kelvin and it still did not null the light. It then struck me that the the aircraft really was bathed in a yellow light, not a yellow light that looked white to the eye, e.g. fluorescent light.

      (A quick and dirty Google search give a colour temperature of 2100 K for high pressure sodium lights.) Interesting to note that the same source gives sun rise / sun set as 2000 K

      Now there is something worth knowing..... I use Canon's DPP for RAW conversion, the minimum colour temperature is 2300K while Photoshop's RAW converter goes all the way down to 2000 K and whites really are white. I'll rework the image and see what I can come up with.

      I was lucky in that I only had one form of light. I have seen photos, taken by a friend at Glasgow Airport of aircraft illuminated by overhead yellow sodium lights conflicting with the blue tungsten lights of the aircrafts logo light. A tricky problem. His solution was to null the sodium and keep the tungsten.

      You learn something new every day. This was processed with Adobe RAW and I have to admit that results are good. The extra 300 K that Adobe RAW has over DPP makes all the difference.


      • #18
        A quick and dirty Google search give a colour temperature of 2100 K for high pressure sodium light
        Thanks! Good to know for future reference, i.e. next wednesday on our next night photography tour

        What strikes me most, when editing yellowish night shots, is, that - if properly exposed - you can go down with the Kelvin without loosing quality. Your photo, as far as I can tell with your quick edit, is another showcase for that.

        Last edited by LX-A343; 2006-12-23, 10:37.
        My photos on Flickr


        • #19
          Here is the reference source I used for the sodium lights

          Source Color temperaturein kelvin
          Skylight (blue sky) 12,000 - 20,000
          Average summer shade 8000
          Light summer shade 7100
          Typical summer light (sun + sky) 6500
          Daylight fluorescent (caution!) 6300
          Xenon short-arc 6400
          Overcast sky 6000
          Clear mercury lamp 5900
          Sunlight (noon, summer, mid-latitudes) 5400
          Design white fluorescent 5200
          Special fluorescents used for color evaluation 5000
          Daylight photoflood 4800 - 5000
          Sunlight (early morning and late afternoon) 4300
          Brite White Deluxe Mercury lamp 4000
          Sunlight (1 hour after dawn) 3500
          Cool white fluorescent (caution!) 3400
          Photoflood 3400
          Professional tungsten photographic lights 3200
          100-watt tungsten halogen 3000
          Deluxe Warm White fluorescent 2950
          100-watt incandescent 2870
          40-watt incandescent 2500
          High-pressure sodium light 2100
          Sunlight (sunrise or sunset) 2000
          Candle flame 1850 - 1900
          Match flame 1700


          • #20
            Well guys, there's also a good way to edit the white balance in PS, but better make it directly on the camera. Actually I've noted a certain amount of noise even at low ISO setting and am trying to find out why...



            • #21
              I never set the whitepoint in PS and my attempts with the in camera settings were rather poor. I select the white point during the RAW conversion.

              Wallace: thanks fot the link and list. Will be something for my camera bag.

              My photos on Flickr


              • #22
                Best thing you can do is use a grey card. When you go out, take a proper exposure of your grey card underneath the lighting (this will also give you your exposure setting) in RAW mode with Auto white balance. When you go into RAW, correct the grey card exposure first so that the card is neutral grey, and then use that color correction on all of your shots.


                • #23
                  I had considered editing the WB in camera but the problem for me is that I could not go air side to take a photo of a grey card to use as a custom WB image. To complicate matters, I was standing under street lamps so I could not turn round and take a reflected shot off the apron lights either.

                  Are there any other ways of obtaining a custom WB in camera?

                  I hope the original poster of this thread is still getting some use from this thread because I am!


                  • #24
                    I can select the color temperature on my 20D, but that's not possible with many cameras.

                    But as I mentioned already, you can also do it when converting a RAW file. On a RAW file, the WB settings are just parameters to interpret the raw sensor data, just as the parameters for sharpening, color and so on. You can ovrride those settings during the RAW conversion.

                    My photos on Flickr