Red tint in low light...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ivomitcats, May 7, 2010.

  1. ivomitcats

    ivomitcats TPF Noob!

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    This is a really stupid question, but how can I get my D40 to take proper pics in low light? Whenever I take pictures indoors, in low light, the camera just gives everything a red tint, it's really annoying. Then when I'm outside, no matter how dark it is, the camera will always somehow light the picture up (And I never use flash)

    I love pictures in low light, with deep shadows. Example: N i g h t L i g h t s by ~DobbZtaH on deviantART (It's a deviantart link)

    I wouldn't be able to take a picture like that, it'd just come out looking like daytime. What do I do?
     
  2. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  3. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Do you use manual settings? Or do you let the camera decide how to deal with the given light situation?
    Red tint suggests a wrong white balance. When your white balance is set for natural light, any incandescent light will give you a red (warm colour temperature) tint.
    And possibly your camera decides that when it's being used in too dark situations, it needs to work against that. So it sets itself to the highest possible ISO, opens the aperture as wide as can be, so you'd get short shutter speeds ... and like that your night photos won't look good.

    First: you do need a tripod for night photography.
    And you have to manually set your camera. Low ISO, small (!) aperture (which means bigger number! such as f16 or so), and therefore looong shutter speeds of up to 20 or even 30 seconds, depending... That's why the tripod is a must.

    Further, for as long as you don't have a remote control (cable release or infrared remote), set your camera on timer and then move away, so it can release the shutter all by itself without your finger touching it.

    Try it. Night photography is such fun!
     
  4. ivomitcats

    ivomitcats TPF Noob!

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    I tried messing with the white balance settings last night. It gives me florecant, auto, direct sunlight, etc. But they all came out looking pretty much the same. :/

    And the lowest setting my D40 goes is 200 ISO, which is what I always have it set to
     
  5. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, as the Bitter Jeweller is saying: don't take THAT particular photo as your example, as that one is HDR.
    Try the light settings for light bulb light (incandescent is the word, I think, but then, you know, English is not my first language...), and don't let the camera decide on its own. Take over control - use the manual settings.
     
  6. ivomitcats

    ivomitcats TPF Noob!

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    I always have the camera on manual, I've never even taken a shot on auto.
    I tried the 'lightbulb' too. But didn't understand the + and -. Which should I have kept it on and what do they mean? Each lighting setting had me choose a range between -3 and +3. :S

    Is there a way to lower my ISO more than 200?
     
  7. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    You can also shoot RAW if fix it later..


    Most accurate way to get the right color balance is to do a preset WB off something clean and white, like a piece of paper. Look up in your manual "preset white-blance".
     
  8. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    Its not the level of light, its the temperature of the light. In other words, your problem isn't with the lack of light, its the color of light.

    Different types of light have differnt hue's to them, or "temperture". Your brain is able to figure out want color it is looking at and it adjusts for it, but a camera cannot. For example, if you are inside under bright incandescent lighting and looking at a blank sheet of paper, it will look "white" to you. If you take that same paper outside in bright sun light, it'll still look "white" to you. If you move that piece of paper into the shade, again, it will look "white" to you. However, if you were to take a picture of it in each of those different places, that sheet of paper would look very different colors. Redish inside, bluish in the shade, and probably whitish in the sun.

    To fix this, you need to adjust your camera's white balance.... The camera comes with some preset settings, but those don't always work. Especially inside because there are many different types of lights and they all of different tempertures to them.

    The D40 also comes with a Manual White balance setting. Using the manual setting, you take a picture of something that is white. The camera will then calibrate itself to set that shade to appear "white" in the picture. This is the setting you will need to use if you are having problems getting one of the presets to work.
     
  9. erichards

    erichards TPF Noob!

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    Remember that 'white' paper is actually slightly blue so it looks bright white!
    If you want to go the set the WB route you can find reflectors that come with a White 'layer' so you can use it to set the WB, some are even rather small. You could also just buy a white balance screen (like the reflector but specifically for WB only). Other wise just adjust in PP since it seems to be across the entire image.
     
  10. ivomitcats

    ivomitcats TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Boomn, that actually got me some good results. I'll keep messing around with that until I get the hang of it.

    Eric; What's 'PP?'
     
  11. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    As another side note, while using the manual method of setting the white balance as I mentioned, as a second best approach, each of the various presets alow you to fine tune the balance +3 / -3. So you can tweek each preset up to 6 different levels. Move it to the + side makes it more red, moving to the - side makes it more blue. If you auto white blance dosen't work, and you don't have something white you can use to calibrate it, your next best appraoce is to set the preset and try and tweek it from there.

    PP is Post Processing... in other words adjusting the picture in photoshop after it has been taken.
     

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