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Old May 23, 2010, 9:32 AM   #1
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Default Controlling colors produced by NIKON D700

I have been a Canon shooter for a very long time. Canon colors tend to be subtle and natural looking. I like the vibrant colors which come from my new Nikon D700 however I have had hard time controlling Nikon colors. I mainly shoot weddings and people skin tones tend to be red and yellow. I have never had this problem with my Canon cameras.

I shoot RAW. The problem with manually adjusting white balance on the camera is that I cannot predict lighting situations during a wedding because it changes almost every minute... I do adjust the white balance during post processing but it takes a long time to do it and sometimes I have only moderate success. With Canon it was much easier to produce natural looking skin tones.

Do you have any method you use when you adjust the white balance?

How do you control colors so they are vibrant yet people look natural....?

Thanks a LOT!
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Old May 23, 2010, 9:37 AM   #2
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I guess it is better if I show you a few pictures so you know what I am talking about:
http://www.haringphotography.com/blog/
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Old May 23, 2010, 10:36 AM   #3
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Well... without more original photos including EXIF info, it's hard to say.

I do see that the photo of a bride dancing with her father at your blog has EXIF info (although I had to disable javascript in my browser to save it and look at it's settings since you have right clicks disabled unless you use that kind of approach to bypass it).

According to the EXIF, it was taken using a Nikon D3s wearing a 50mm f/1.4 at f/1.4, ISO 1000, and 1/250 second using manual exposure.

Metering info indicates that you exposed it one stop under what was measured for Ambient Light with spot metering (letting the flash fill in to insure proper exposure). White Balance was set to Auto. In most cases, with White Balance set to Auto when using flash, a camera will set the White Balance so that it matches the temperature of the light from the flash (which is closer to daylight).

So, if your settings are such that ambient light is contributing significantly to the exposure (as it would have been with those camera settings according to metered lighting, since metered ambient light was only 1 stop down from where you had exposure set), then you can usually expect colors that are too warm using Auto White Balance (since the camera is going to set WB to match the flash using Auto in most cases).

One approach you may want to look into is using gels or diffusers so that the temperature of the flash more closely matches the temperature of ambient light, if you want to expose images so that ambient light is contributing that much to the overall exposure.

That way, you could set your white balance to match the temperature of the room lighting (probably closer to tungsten in many interiors) and you'd have less difference between the temperature of the light from the flash and the temperature of the light from other sources.

There are numerous solutions that can do that kind of thing (diffusers with orange domes, various colored gel panels, etc.). For example, there is a very inexpensive ProKit setup available from Asian vendors that has various colored gels available for it. Here are the optional gels for it.

http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/produc...cat=299&page=1

You can find very simple diffusers for a variety of flash models that do the same thing. Or you can buy the materials and make your own. For example, a 20x24" sheet designed to convert from 5500k to 2900k runs under $7.00 at some vendors:

http://www.adorama.com/Als/ProductPa....html#Overview

More colors here:

http://www.rosco.com/us/filters/cinegel.asp

Given your apparent experience, perhaps you are already aware of that kind of thing, and you're talking about something else entirely. Given that I only saw one photo with EXIF from a quick glance at that Blog page, I was only going by what could have been the issue with it if it required more correction than expected from the "as shot" white balance the way the camera probably set it using Auto WB (since Auto WB usually sets it to the temperature of the light from the flash when a flash is being used).

If you're talking about some of the others, it's hard to say without unprocessed images to look at. I don't even see EXIF for those (it's been stripped out). I do notice that the recent engagement photos set taken outside is a bit warm with relatively high saturation, but I figured that was deliberate in Post Processing to add more "punch" to them. If it wasn't deliberate, it could be something as simple as exposing a bit hot and blowing one or more individual color channels, with the raw converter not being able to accurately recover color detail using Exposure Compensation sliders. RGB Histograms should give you a better idea if something like that is the issue.
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Old May 24, 2010, 5:40 PM   #4
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Jimc, thanks a lot!!!!
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