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Old Dec 7, 2005, 10:50 PM   #1
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Under most conditions, my camera (XT) and lens (Tamron 18 - 200mm) combination works fine. Colors are accurate outdoors and in most indoor situations. I take a lot of pictures for my kids' school, and the cafeteria seems to be a Bermuda triangle for pictures. There are overhead flourescent lights, and the tile floor and formica tables are beige. As a result, everyone and everything looks sallow and jaundiced. Very unflattering.

When possible I use a flash and that helps a bit. So far I've been doing a lot of post-processing to liven things up, but I'm hoping someone could point out to some gap in my knowledge of my camera's features. I've tried several modes, but so far no success.

Here is a sample. Note that the two middle kids are actually wearing white clothes, not cream. (They just finished singing in a concert and they are falling asleep.)

Thanks in advance,

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Old Dec 7, 2005, 11:09 PM   #2
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well school lighing is not know for its quaility in photography an expo disc so set the WB should help. also try shooting in raw and adjusting the color temp to get the right WB
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 11:14 PM   #3
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I'm going to take a stab at this and suggest you reset your wb and use a B+W color filter magenta 20 or the special B+W fluorescent light filter 499 FL-D. This filter eliminates the spectral line fluorescent lights cast.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 11:18 PM   #4
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If your RAW converter allows for individual color correction (RGB)in the levels adjustments you can shoot RAW thencorrect the off-color cast. I use Capture One LE to do this very thing. This adjustment, in effect, does the same thing Spy mentions above without having to take the time to mount a color correctionfilter (or spend the money to buy one).

My last Canon body was a 10D, which used ETTL metering. I know the ETTL-II system as mounted on the XT is supposed to do a better job, but I think it still may be heavily weighted towards the focus point used (not at the time of focus, but at the timethe picture is actually taken)and it may be adjusting the exposure based on that light colored table. Did you focus that attachedpicture, then re-compose?If so, when you focus next time, use the flash exposure lock button so the exposure is locked in at the time you focus. Otherwise, you can use the exposure compensation command to adjust your lighting output.

Of course, you could also just open the JPEGimage up and adjust the red and blue channels in the levels command. I made a couple of quick & dirty adjustments here in Photoshop CS2, far from perfect, but it's a little better. The beauty of digital capture- there's never just one way to fix something. The only "problem" with doing this to a straight out of the camera JPEG is the image has already been compressed once, so if you make adjustments & re-save the image again you will be compressing the image additionally if you save as a JPEG, lowering the overall quality of the file. I rathermake thisadjustment to the RAW file and then save as a JPEG. If you decide to go back later and make another adjustment, just re-open the RAW image and tweek it again- you've lost nothing in terms of image data.

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Old Dec 8, 2005, 5:27 AM   #5
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Since you have a Canon, you should have gotten Digital Photo Pro with it. It has an option to set the color temp with a slide bar. Works great.
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 8:26 AM   #6
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I agree that raw is your best option. If I had a camera that cycled raw quickly it is all I would use. There isn't any WB in a raw image. You set the WB in the computer just as you would in the camera but with better feedback.

You should consider your JPG images from the camera as negatives as well. Never overwrite one with a modified image. I go back to images I "enhanced" a few years ago and am very glad I also have the original to start over with. I would imagine I will feel the same way about processing I do today when I look at them a few years in the future.

For the JPGs you already have it is quite easy to adjust out the WB in any decent editor.

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Old Dec 10, 2005, 11:58 AM   #7
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Your best option is to not have to do any post processing in any software. Set the custom white balance before you take any indoor pictures. It only takes a few seconds and your pictures will be good out of the camera and not require post processing. Some people use an expo disc which is fairly expensive, but I find that selecting any neutral surface or using a gray card works just as well. In the attached version of your image, I used a shareware program called Thumbs Plus and did an auto balance correction, its better, but not as good as using custom white balance.

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