Bad Lighting At Reception

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by LarissaPhotography, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    I usually shoot exclusively natural light and my wife is a heavy strobe user. We get a good variety that way. I've run into an issue though at receptions shooting natural light. DJ and band lights almost always throw my camera off.

    I'm pretty sure it's not my white balance - I've tried every possible white balance including every temp in K.

    Here's a sample shot - any suggestions on what I'm doing wrong?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Very tough to pull of a reception in natural light. If there's a stage I usually tie wrap a 580 ex facing the stage onto some DJ light stands or place it ontop of a speaker to act as standard fill. I then can have another on camera or offcamera flash on a lightstick and be mobile with it.

    If you're going to do natural light you pretty much have to time it as the different temperatures/colour of light coming from the DJ may throw off your white balance. If the lights are consistent in colour I don't see a reason why it should throw it off . If you're in manual white balance and manual exposure, all that different type of lighting may screw it up....I know it gets very difficult sometimes.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    WAAAAAY overexposed. Live performances like this normally have a variety of colours and brightness, and often changing lighting conditions to completely throw out your camera light meter. This is one case where it would make sense to drop the camera into manual and take over. That picture looks like 1-2 stops overexposed.

    The lighting colour or white balance is not an issue in the above picture. After all if the band was lit up bright blue in real life, why white balance them back to grey and kill the lighting effect.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    duoblepost.
     
  5. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    I'm pretty sure that the issue isn't entirely about exposure. I've played around with different exposures too. This is an issue I deal with every time these kind of lights are used.
    I'll try to look up a couple images from another wedding to show you from there. The images look like there is no gradual change of color and only move from one color to a completely different color. Kinda like running safe mode on your pc. You can see this effect in the picture above even where the image isn't washed out.
     
  6. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You may have said and I missed it, but was this lighting scheme changing on you, or was it steady? Like, was it flashing different colors and intensities and so on?
     
  7. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    For this one it was always blue. In the DJ lighting scenario, the lighting usually changes.
     
  8. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That being the case, I'd think a custom white balance in the camera should have been relatively easy to achieve, then it's just a matter of exposing for the highlights.

    With stage lighting, it's often the case that a choice has to be made because of the harsh lighting. Usually, that means letting the darkness fall as it will around the background, as long as the subject itself is exposed properly. This one ain't. It looks like somebody fired a death-ray intensity blue photon cannon at the whole stage.

    Have you got your 'blinkies' on, to make it easier to tell what's going on with some chimping? Reviewing the histogram when shooting at all? Have you tried a custom white balance using the actual light involved? Bracket the buh-cheeses out of it to see what happens on the low end? I think in order to tame this sort of thing, you're going to need to dive into those kinds of tools to get a good grip on the exact nature of the problem, and how to thus solve it.

    All that said, this simply looks like it's way out in left field on color balance, combined with a serious overexposure. Reviewing in PS, the blue channel is just totally blown out, while a fairly decent B&W can be pulled out of either the red or green channels.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    It looks massively overexposed to me,which is very common when performers are lighted by gelled spots or area floodlighting,and the stage has dark,velvety curtains. I see signs of massive overexposure throughout the shot posted above.
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Something known as posterisation? Where the image colours step change rather than smoothly changing? Something like this? http://img295.imageshack.us/img295/9796/pst1wa1.jpg

    This is usually the result of excessive or incorrect post processing, and often the result also of poor colour management.

    If that's the effect of what you're talking about, then talk us through some of the basic things you do to the image? Do you shoot RAW? What colour settings do you use, do you bump contrast or saturation etc.
     
  11. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Garbz,
    That's it exactly. But it ONLY happens when they have those lights at the reception. I shoot the rest of the day with no problem. I shoot JPG only. I use the portrait setting then I bump up the sharpness 3 steps, take the contrast down one, bump saturation up one, and bump color tone up one.

    We've established that the picture above needs to be exposed differently. Do I need to adjust my color settings while I'm at the reception?

    Thanks for your help Garbz!
     
  12. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Ah.
     

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