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Jonny

White balance

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Hi, everyone.  I’m ashamed to have to ask this, but I feel forced to!

 

I spent a happy day on Thursday Feb. 7 at the RAF Museum Hendon.  I took my Nikon D7500 and was able to select a suitable White Balance value for everywhere except the Bomber Hall.

 

i tried all options - incandescent, Flourescent  (yes, sodium vapour, white fluorescent, cool white, day white, daylight fluorescent, high temp mercury vapour), everything that didn’t involve what I consider natural light of flash.  Every time I ended up with a heavy ‘cast’, usually green.

 

I didn’t have a problem in the other halls.

 

I think I can adjust the images in Photoshop or similar tools but I cannot understand what went wrong!  

 

I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll be able to revisit RAFM Hendon, but could someone please suggest a white Balance setting to eradicate the ‘cast’? At the moment I’m unable to post images here.

 

Many thanks, etc.,

 

Jonny

 

 

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Hi, Jonny.

 

Did you try the automatic white-balance mode in the Bomber Hall? The lighting is very low-key in there, so I wonder if there was simply too little light for a proper white-value.... an educated guess on my part, admittedly. All the other sections seem significantly better illuminated. If you use a camera-mounted flash, then (in theory at least), this should provide you with a good exposure and suitable white-balance.

 

Cheers.

 

Chris. 

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Not sure what format your camera saves the file in if it's one of the compressed options - JPG, TIFF, etc then editing in Photoshop can be a bit of a faff. You'll need to tweak Hue, colour balance, exposure, gamma etc. If on the other hand you have a raw file Photoshop has a module that gives greater flexibility and has pre-sets that directly adjust colour balance, light temperature and much more with pre-sets for such as lighting type While the pre-sets can do most of the adjustment on their own they may not be perfect but they can be tweaked to suit your own preferences.

 

http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-editing/camera-raw-vs-photoshop/

 

A great benefit is that they leave the original file untouched and save the edited version, and the edit itself, as new files

Not sure what format your camera saves the file in if it's one of the compressed options - JPG, TIFF, etc then editing in Photoshop can be a bit of a faff. You'll need to tweak Hue, colour balance, exposure, gamma etc. If on the other hand you have a raw file Photoshop has a module that gives greater flexibility and has pre-sets that directly adjust colour balance, light temperature and much more with pre-sets for such as lighting type While the pre-sets can do most of the adjustment on their own they may not be perfect but they can be tweaked to suit your own preferences.

 

http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-editing/camera-raw-vs-photoshop/

 

A great benefit is that they leave the original file untouched and save the edited version, and the edit itself, as new files

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Thanks, both of you.

 

The Nikon D7500 I was using the other day permits the saving of images in several formats, including JPEG and Nikon’s equivalent of RAW.  To economise on space I used JPEG fine.  I have one of the cut-down (express) versions of Photoshop.

 

Chris - I’m sure I tried ‘Auto’ among several other WB settings.  As you say, the lighting in the Bomber Hall is ‘low key’ - it looked as though it’s still very much a work-in-progress . The He. 111 for instance was showing its back to visitors (no bad thing!),, the Grand Slam was wedged against a wall, and one needed a torch to even see the Haifax!  And no, I didn’t have a torch.  I do hope the Museum w8ll improve the lighting in the Hall.  The flash on my D7500 is quite good but frankly not adequate to illuminate a whole twin / 4 engine airframe.  My error, I should have taken my SB700 flash.

 

After I posted my plea for help here I realised I could enquire of the Museum what type of light8ng is in use, so completed their form and submitted it.  If I receive a helpful answer I’ll post it on.

 

Thanks again, both of you.  

 

Jonny

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It sounds to me as if they had some cheap fluorescent light tubes. If you look at the colour spectrum for these, they typically have huge spikes in the green part of the spectrum. These will confuse any camera's white balance measurement.

 

For best results, try taking a blank notebook with you and take a photo of a blank white page under the same lighting conditions (and colour balance settings) as your subject. You can then look at that in your image editing programme and fiddle around with the curves to make the image look white, then apply the same curves to your image.

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Hi, Jonny. 

 

After I posted my comment about using a flash, it did occur to me that there are not many flashes available that would give you full, wide-angle coverage of a four-engined bomber, particularly in very low-light conditions. There is always the tripod/long-exposure route to explore, but nowadays a lot of museums object to the use of tripods on "health and safety" grounds (a very convenient excuse, if ever I heard one).

 

Chris. 

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Hello again ...

 

I had a reply from the RAF Museum today.

 

This is what they said: -

 

The Bomber Hall is currently fitted with a metal halide lamp which is to be replaced next financial year.  The lamps can vary in colour temperature due to manufacture and so it’s difficult to be specific about makes.  The ancillary lighting is a standard fluorescent low frequency fitting with again standard coated lamps.

 

At least they answered!  And at least we can expect improvements 'next financial year'.

 

I hope this helps anyone planning on visiting RAF Museum Hendon.

 

That's it,

 

Jonny

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Jonny said:

The ancillary lighting is a standard fluorescent low frequency fitting with again standard coated lamps.

Thought so...

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Bit late to help, but an interesting thing to note about white balance and raw/JPG images... 

 

Raw images are essentially exactly that; raw data from the camera sensor. They aren't, technically, even in colour... it's just data. The colour is rendered through whatever raw app you're using. On the other hand a JPEG is a collection of rendered pixels, it is, in effect, a 'baked' image.

 

The point of all that is; white balance is a 'free ride' in a raw file. It is not a 'free ride' in a JPEG. While a lot of apps will have a good crack at 'fixing' white balance, in post, on a JPEG, there is no white balance in raw file, so you can pretty much make it what you want in post. 

 

Just one of a myriad of reasons to shoot raw... 

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