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Color Temperature question
Old 06-08-2006, 02:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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if you follow general glamour photography rule #94 that Rolando has and set your WB to 6,000k.

so when you shoot outdoors with no flash either attached for fill or something like the dynalite jackrabbit. the effect is a general warming of tones throughout the entire image because daylight temperature(noon sun) is 5,500k? correct?

now this is where i get confused. when you are using studio lighting isnt your lighting around 5,400k? so what happens when you shoot the same model by the pool with the flash? what happens to the background? doesnt that turn the model more natural looking because you are lighting her with "cooler" light? and the same warming effect would be in the background because the flash doesnt have that range? what would happen if you bumped this custom setting to more like 7,000k? would your model still be around 5,400k and your background that much warmer?

and what happens when you use an on camera flash like the 580ex? doesnt the camera sense the WB setting and therefore wont put out as much light? and the temperature of the flash is so much less powerful anyway (3,200k i think) so what does that do to your subject and a WB setting of 6,000k? are you better off not using a on camera flash for fill and try and use a reflector and then the custom WB?
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Re: Color Temperature question
Old 06-08-2006, 03:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh boy, several points here, first off the difference in color temp between noon day sun and most flashes is almost impossible to tell. By setting color temp to 6000 you will see a warmer look to the photo with or without flash. If the noon sun (and flash) on your subject is ~5500 or 5400 and the camera is set to 6000 you will not see much of a difference between subject and background.
The on camera flash will always be the same color temp, generally around 5000 or so and it is not effected by how much power it uses when flashing (full power, 1/2 power etc). Keep in mind when you manually set the color temp of your camera it is like putting a filter over your lens. For most people they want a clear filter, or no bias to the color so they try to use the "accurate" color temp for the photo. If you manually change the temp setting you will be warming up, or cooling the look of your image. For Rolando this is his "style" to give a warmer look to all his images, it is a style of shooting and not the rule!
I seem to be rambling but I hope some of this helps, be sure not to confuse power output with color temp.
Here is an over the top version of playing with color temp!

Darn, can't seem to get the photo to post... sorry

SteveB



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Re: Color Temperature question
Old 06-08-2006, 03:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry about the multi photos... it went crazy on me!

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Re: Color Temperature question
Old 06-08-2006, 07:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itshowmuch
if you follow general glamour photography rule #94 that Rolando has and set your WB to 6,000k.

so when you shoot outdoors with no flash either attached for fill or something like the dynalite jackrabbit. the effect is a general warming of tones throughout the entire image because daylight temperature(noon sun) is 5,500k? correct?
That is generally correct. To get specific, the color of daylight changes throughout the day and also depends on elevation and weather. The color temperature of daylight in the middle of the day at lower elevations with little or no cloud cover is ~5500K. If you shoot early in the morning, late in the afternoon, at high elevations, under cloudy conditions, or in the shade (just to name a few scenarios) the color temperature of the light might vary quite a bit from 5500K.

Quote:
now this is where i get confused. when you are using studio lighting isnt your lighting around 5,400k? so what happens when you shoot the same model by the pool with the flash? what happens to the background? doesnt that turn the model more natural looking because you are lighting her with "cooler" light? and the same warming effect would be in the background because the flash doesnt have that range? what would happen if you bumped this custom setting to more like 7,000k? would your model still be around 5,400k and your background that much warmer?
You will be extremely hard pressed to see the difference between 5400K and 5500K color temperatures. A difference of 100 degrees Kelvin at that base color temperature is not noticable. (By the way, lower values = warmer light and higher values = cooler light.) When you set the camera to 6000K, you're telling it that you're using cool light. The camera compensates by increasing the sensitivity in the lower portions of the color temperature spectrum. Since you are really making use of 5500K light, the resulting image is warmer than normal. If you bumped the setting to 7000K your image would be extremely warm. Try it and see.

Quote:
and what happens when you use an on camera flash like the 580ex? doesnt the camera sense the WB setting and therefore wont put out as much light? and the temperature of the flash is so much less powerful anyway (3,200k i think) so what does that do to your subject and a WB setting of 6,000k? are you better off not using a on camera flash for fill and try and use a reflector and then the custom WB?
The power of an on-camera flash is typically expressed by a guide number. The guide number is not related in any way to the color temperature of light that the flash emits. On-camera flash units are daylight-balanced to somewhere in the neighborhood of ~5400K to 5600K. While you can directly control the power output on many camera-mounted flash units, you have little direct control over the color temperature of that light (except by taping different colored gels to the light...but that's another story).

By manually setting your white balance, you are taking direct control over the color balance of the shot. You're making an image with warmer coloration. Since your flash unit is balanced to that of daylight under "normal" conditions, you end up warming up the shot. Now, if you were shooting early in the morning or later in the afternoon, you might want to tape a piece of "bastard amber" gel over your flash unit to match it to the color temperature of the light at that time of day.


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Re: Color Temperature question
Old 06-08-2006, 08:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Keep in mind that if you use a Kelvin setting of 5600K and you are shooting with a light source that is 3400K (for example), then the color balance will be totally off. The reason 5600K to 6000K works for Rolando is because he shoots mostly with studio strobe or daylight which is already in that temperture range. What I usually do is to simply shoot RAW and do a Custom White Balance for the primary light. Then if I want a little warmer shot, I just slide WB slider in the RAW converter a bit higher. But if you know your strobes are at 5600K and you want a slight warming, then you could do the 6000K trick and your JPG shots will come out of the camera slightly warm.



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Re: Color Temperature question
Old 06-08-2006, 09:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipBulgin
Now, if you were shooting early in the morning or later in the afternoon, you might want to tape a piece of "bastard amber" gel over your flash unit to match it to the color temperature of the light at that time of day.

-Chip
Hey Chip,

Just so that I make sure that I understand this, the bastard amber over the flash during golden hour shooting is more about keeping the disparity between natural light and flash produced light tight. Is that correct? The idea being that a larger disparity produces shots that look less natural or are harder to correct in editing.

I am in the right ballpark?
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Re: Color Temperature question
Old 06-08-2006, 10:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i gotta disagree with this color temp parlor trick. when you change the camera's color temp in an attempt to warm things up, you warm everything up. personally, i'd rather warm with gel on the fill flash or a warming reflector so i just warm the model and don't warm everything in the image.
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Re: Color Temperature question
Old 06-09-2006, 07:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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first, thank you guys for your replies. this kind of clears up a little of the haze. the rest of the haze is probably due to lack of sleep.

jimmy, i like that approach too. my basic approach is to do everything i can to an image so that i "have" to do as little as possible during the PP phase. so in an effort to follow that ideal i am at least trying to learn all the "tricks" of the trade i can. some of which i might not agree with how some people get from A to B but at least i know and understand the principle.

you have lead me down another mental place i have to explore now. so i guess i'll post my diatripe in the main forum. thank you for you insight to.
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Re: Color Temperature question
Old 06-09-2006, 07:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpe Imago
Hey Chip,

Just so that I make sure that I understand this, the bastard amber over the flash during golden hour shooting is more about keeping the disparity between natural light and flash produced light tight. Is that correct? The idea being that a larger disparity produces shots that look less natural or are harder to correct in editing.

I am in the right ballpark?
That is correct. You can do the same thing with strobes that are set to different power levels. Many models vary by as much as 600 degrees Kelvin between full power and low power (where the color temp is much cooler). You can use gels to bring all of your lights back to the same color temperature.

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Re: Color Temperature question
Old 06-09-2006, 10:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipBulgin
That is correct. You can do the same thing with strobes that are set to different power levels. Many models vary by as much as 600 degrees Kelvin between full power and low power (where the color temp is much cooler). You can use gels to bring all of your lights back to the same color temperature.

-Chip
Did you ever have one of those moments where you begin to feel like you actually are starting to get it? When the planets line up and for the first time you "see the light"....literally. Ahhh...it feels so nice.

Now I'm going to play golf and re-learn humility. FORE!
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