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Thread: A personal thank you to RobSteve

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    A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Hi Rob
    You've probably forgotten your remark about AWB in daylight on the Nikon colour thread a week or so ago.

    Whatever, I've had a horrible struggle with colour and Nikon ever since the advent of the D1x - why it never occurred to take it off AWB is beyond comprehension, but we all have our blind spots.

    Since your message on the 21st:

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...?t=1523&page=2

    message 26

    I've set the AWB to daylight, and my problems have gone - I just can't tell you how grateful I am.

    Here is an example shot at 7.22 this morning - the light and colour is just how I saw it; AWB would have produced some horrible yellow cast, but in this case I've changed nothing.



    The final proof was this evening, I was doing some horse and rider shots just before sunset, and again, the colour was spot on.

    So simple and soooo goood!

    It just goes to show how useful forums like this can be (so thank you Guy and Jack for making it all possible as well).

    Thanks again

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    This is why we are here, all of us. Love to see posts like this and if someone learns something than any effort everyone here does is worth it. Kudo's Robert first drink on me in San Juan
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Forgive me my ignorance here, but I need to admit that I still don't get it.
    If you put the WB to Daylight, won't the camera then just set a WB to about 5300 Kelvin and thus be pretty much off and completely remove all the weird and lovely magic cast of morning light or evening light, unless you adjust the 5300 Kelvin in your post processing afterwards ? What am I missing ?
    Steen

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    What he was missing is constancy . Each frame jumping around to different color temps and more important tints. This way you can select maybe the 30 you shot and adjust a little warmer. Just really makes it visually easier to edit and work.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    Forgive me my ignorance here, but I need to admit that I still don't get it.
    If you put the WB to Daylight, won't the camera then just set a WB to about 5300 Kelvin and thus be pretty much off and completely remove all the weird and lovely magic cast of morning light or evening light, unless you adjust the 5300 Kelvin in your post processing afterwards ? What am I missing ?
    Steen
    Hi Steen

    Well, actually, it puts it to 4981K and a tint of -5

    My history behind this was that I had never been able to get decent colours from Nikon for early morning and evening light. . . . and I'd been using AWB

    The camera was trying to get a sensible white balance from mixed lighting including a lot of shadow and some evening light - and the solution seemed to be to cover it all with a nasty yellow cast. I'd had the same problem with landscapes with the D1x, D2x, D200, and was finding the same issue with the D3

    Robert posted:

    When I shoot scenics I will tend to put the camera (DMR, M8) on daylight and deal with it in processing of the RAW files. This gives you a starting point as if you were shooting slide film and the AWB is not adjusting out all that nice warm evening light.

    Robert
    But actually, it turns out to be even more simple than that - if you set white balance to daylight, then it works really well with accurate and subtle colours in daylight (as you might expect). But in evening light (and morning light as in this shot) it's no longer trying to work out what it SHOULD be - so you get the nice warm glow in the evening, and the subtle pink shimmer in the morning.

    Of course, I was simply being stupid, but once you've dug yourself into a hole, it's difficult to see out of it! Rob simply pointed out the ladder.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    What he was missing is constancy . Each frame jumping around to different color temps and more important tints. This way you can select maybe the 30 you shot and adjust a little warmer. Just really makes it visually easier to edit and work.
    Hi Guy
    Of course, that's what he meant, and he's right. The added advantage is that if you set it to 'daylight' then in the evening the camera is no longer trying to balance it to a grey card.

    it's a double whammy - you get the constancy, but actually, assuming that the daylight preset is about right, you also get the right colour.

    B I N G O!

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    This is a good trick, but it doesn't matter too much if you are shooting raw, right? You can just set the white balance for daylight (or whatever else) after the fact, right? I generally just leave it on auto, then adjust it how I see fit for a given image, and then if there are several images in that light, I just apply the first image's white balance to all the others. If I were shooting jpeg, I would definitely just leave it on daylight though...

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Yes exactly Stuart it really does not matter doing raw but it does help when editing and gives a more visual balance. Jpeg is another story

    It really just helps all around. It's a good way to do things and something folks should learn is kelvin temp and what sources of light at what temp. along with sunrise and sunset. Also when in doubt when processing just getting to the kelvin temp you know the lighting is becomes a huge benefit if you have nothing to WB off of
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    This is a good trick, but it doesn't matter too much if you are shooting raw, right? You can just set the white balance for daylight (or whatever else) after the fact, right? I generally just leave it on auto, then adjust it how I see fit for a given image, and then if there are several images in that light, I just apply the first image's white balance to all the others. If I were shooting jpeg, I would definitely just leave it on daylight though...
    Hi Stuart
    Of course, you can do whatever you like if you're shooting RAW . . . . BUT, working out 'what you like' can be a real nightmare - especially if you're confronted with 200 landscape shots taken in evening light where the only common denominator is that they have a nasty yellow cast - kelvin temperatures varying from 4500 to 7500 and tints from -50 to +50. Which is actually what happens if you shoot AWB in early morning or evening light with any of the recent Nikon cameras (in nature, with shadows).

    If you set it to Daylight, then at least you have the consistency. However, as I've discovered, generally speaking you ALSO get the colour you saw when you were there - and trying to get back there by changing both the colour temperature and the tint (when you are no longer seeing the scene) can be really nasty.

    Using daylight for everything gives you terms of reference which you understand . . . .but with the D3, it actually also gives you colour that you remember to have been right!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Also when in doubt when processing just getting to the kelvin temp you know the lighting is becomes a huge benefit if you have nothing to WB off of
    Hi Guy
    Quite agree, still, I always have something to WB off (grey card). But then, If I'm shooting outside should I do the WB in the shadow . . . or in the sunlight. Added to which if I'm shooting landscape in evening light I don't want white to be white . . I want it to reflect the temperature of the light I'm seeing!

    'Correct' white balance for landscape in evening light is like the 'correct' taste of wine in a restaurant! it's subtle, it varies, and if you aren't in studio conditions there isn't a 'right' answer.

    Well, at least, that's what I think

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    White puffy clouds are great , also when you get in the soup and don't have anything try black . A really dark shadow in most cases will work because it has no color reflecting from it to throw it off.

    But if you do white off the clouds at sunset or sunrise look for a white cloud that does not have color in it. This sometimes can be tough , than try the black. I think of black as my backup emergency plan when nothing else is in there to WB off of.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Also Jono sometimes you can correct for WB and get it perfect daylight but if it is sunset than after you get looking daylight just bring the temp slider down. This does two things for you it corrects the tint which can be off and it gives you a starting point to work it down to sunset colors.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Hi Guy
    thanks for the suggestions . . . but in odd lighting getting a black off the shadows will make the shadows right . .. and a white off a puffy cloud will make the puffy cloud right . . . . but if you have mixed shade and sunlight, the colour temperature between them can vary by 3000K (easily) and correcting for one simply makes the other wrong.

    The stupidity of all this is that it's stuff I understand really well, and have handled well in all the other cameras I've used (Leica, Kodak, Olympus, Canon, Ricoh etc.). Why I thought I could leave Nikon in AWB is beyond belief (I haven't done it with any of the others).

    I think there is a widespread belief that in any shot there is a 'correct' white balance, but in mixed lighting there might be ten completely different 'correct' white balances for different parts of the shot.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    In that case with mixed lighting the best thing to do is WB the most important part of the scene and let the rest fall were it may unless you want to get into color masking and such. But here is where you just have to find what works visually the best and again a calibrated monitor is something one would need to see it. Sometimes you just have to make a call to what you like which frankly not a darn thing wrong with that as long as it get's what you envision it to be. I know we like to make rocket science out of this which is good but really sometimes you just have to go what your gut is saying. There really are no hard and fast rules to this but more directional paths to follow. And if someone does not like your color than frankly too bad , your the artist and it is your impression of the scene.

    Good discussion
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    HI Guy
    I think the issue here is that for landscapes (especially early and late) one is really photographing the light, and not the subject - any kind of tools for getting the WB 'right' are dealing with the effect of the light on the subject, and not with the light itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    In that case with mixed lighting the best thing to do is WB the most important part of the scene and let the rest fall were it may unless you want to get into color masking and such.
    In which case Guy that part will no longer show the nice evening light (because, you are, by definition making 'white' white) - and everything else will actually be wrong. It might be a good idea for commercial work, but it's no way to get good light in an evening landscape!

    What actually happens, assuming that the sunlit bit is the most important part of the scene is that you reduce the colour temperature here, giving the shadier part of the scene an obvious blue cast.


    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    But here is where you just have to find what works visually the best and again a calibrated monitor is something one would need to see it. Sometimes you just have to make a call to what you like which frankly not a darn thing wrong with that as long as it get's what you envision it to be. I know we like to make rocket science out of this which is good but really sometimes you just have to go what your gut is saying. There really are no hard and fast rules to this but more directional paths to follow. And if someone does not like your color than frankly too bad , your the artist and it is your impression of the scene.

    Good discussion
    Of course, you are right - on the other hand, Rob's point was really that if the camera has a decent 'daylight' white balance (i.e. in mid day sunlight with a temperature around 5000), it gives you a really good static starting place. What I have found is that for morning and evening light, it's still about right - one doesn't WANT to remove the colour (and one certainly doesn't want the yellow cast that AWB on Nikon cameras seem to add in such conditions).

    Of course, one danger is that we process white balance in our own brains, so that in a mixed lighting situation there is no reason to believe that your viewer will see the scene the same way as you do (whereas he 'probably' will see your print the same way).

    What I'm trying to say is that one should be able to get a pretty good estimation of what one actually saw, but the minute you start playing around with traditional WB techniques things get very sticky!

    I think I might have a go at taking a couple of shots this evening to illustrate the point. As I say, it's been a burning issue with me for years, and I've always managed to get it the way I want with other cameras, this issue was simply about my rather silly problem with Nikon

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Following all this discussion and comparing to my own experiences I must say:

    1) setting WB to daylight for daylight is absolutely nothing new and can help in lot of situations (same for the other dedicated WB settings)

    2) having worked with DMR, M8 and several other Nikon top DSLRs (D1, D2X) before I must say since the latest FW update in M8 AWB works pretty perfect there and even better in the D3.

    Point is - since I use the D3 I almost never ever had a single shot which was not spot on with AWB. So the whole issue and long discussion seems to be something really individually observed and depending very much on subjective impression.

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Following all this discussion and comparing to my own experiences I must say:

    1) setting WB to daylight for daylight is absolutely nothing new and can help in lot of situations (same for the other dedicated WB settings)

    2) having worked with DMR, M8 and several other Nikon top DSLRs (D1, D2X) before I must say since the latest FW update in M8 AWB works pretty perfect there and even better in the D3.

    Point is - since I use the D3 I almost never ever had a single shot which was not spot on with AWB. So the whole issue and long discussion seems to be something really individually observed and depending very much on subjective impression.
    I think I'm going to have to do some examples to clarify my point. It was the fact that the D3 is so good under most circumstances which had kept me (like you) using AWB - which I don't agree is okay with the M8 . . . at least, not for landscape and outdoor work - I agree that it's HUGELY improved. The only camera system I've had where the AWB was alright for nature (in low light) was the 4/3 Olympus system, which has done a grand job right since the E1.

    You can easily test the basic point yourself - if you go out half an hour before the sun goes down, and shoot a bunch of images with the D3 (where there are a lot of greens) you'll find that the AWB, and notably the tint, will change radically from shot to shot, whereas, of course, the ambient colour temperature is not changing.

    If you like the results, then, shrug, as Guy says, it's fine.

    It's worth emphasising that this is ONLY about mixed lighting in the early morning and late evening (if you don't shoot then, it's not an issue).

    Thanks for chipping in though - I'm going to see if I can put something together this evening (weather looking good) and I'll post it as a new thread

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Jono, you are welcome.

    I will let the others argure the point

    Robert

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Jono, you are welcome.

    I will let the others argure the point

    Robert

    Yes, I should keep well out if it if I were you!
    Thanks for posting though

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    i've always thought the term "white balance" was a misnomer, color balance would do fine. And the picker technique in post is only semi useful, even if you are including a color balanced grey card in the scene. if the lighting is "normal" it works great, but if the light temp is skewed, as in sunset/sunrise, that balanced grey card will not (and should not) appear balanced, so if you "pick" it, you are going to remove the sunset light. I like Guy's approach of setting kevin temp as a first guess

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post

    Yes, I should keep well out if it if I were you!
    Thanks for posting though
    It's a great discussion.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: A personal thank you to RobSteve

    Jono,

    I see your point. The tint can be an issue under the circumstances you describe, maybe I did not pay the right attention to it.

    Will try to watch it from now on.

    Thanks!

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