Processing Aurora Shots-White Balance?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by AdventuresInMyTrustyBoots, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. AdventuresInMyTrustyBoots

    AdventuresInMyTrustyBoots No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When post processing aurora shots, which white balance do you typically use?
    I shoot with the Nikon D810 in RAW with the white balance set to auto. I've read that 'Daylight' should be the correct setting, but don't really like the results.

    Auto White Balance as shot. Colour temp 7350k Tint +63. Seems to capture more purples, but the greens are yellowish. DSC_7085-5.jpg

    No other adjustments other then changing the White Balance to "Daylight" as recommended. (4000-5000k if no moon) This here is actually 5500k, tint +10 DSC_7085-6.jpg

    I've tried sliding the sliders around and seem to be unable to obtain green lights as well as the purple.

    What is your methods of processing your Aurora photos?


     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The WB setting has no effect on the Raw files. That's just for JPEGs (if any) and the imbedded JPEG files.

    Take a photo of something without color (gray or white) and set your WB adjustments later, in editing, using that image. As the sky color changes with the aurora, take additional shots of your white WB target.

    Take note of the WB adjustments that were used in the WB target shot, and copy those adjustments to the final photo.
     
  3. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Try using the curves tool.

    Side note; if you allow editing, and can post a link (or e-mail the file) to someone who knows what to do, he/she can adjust the WB and tell you exactly how it is done. There are some members who really know their stuff.
     
  4. photoflyer

    photoflyer TPF Noob!

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    What lens, speed and aperture were used for these? I will be in Finland over Christmas and hope to capture the aurora.
     
  5. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Aurora shots, much like Milky Way shots, are very subjective.

    Daylight balance is the technically accurate setting in most cases, but photography is art, and art is subjective. Experiment with different white balances and see what you like the best; ultimately there is no correct answer here.

    If you want the green and the purple you’ll likely need to use some selective adjustments or layer masks.
     

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