Why are my pictures so orange

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by STINKY PICTURES, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. STINKY PICTURES
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    STINKY PICTURES New Member

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    Hi everyone I`m so glad I found this place I really need some help.

    I sell on ebay and I need great pictures. I prefer to use natural light but I have a problem many of my pictures turn out too orange. I don`t use house lights, I set up in front of a large garden window. I use a light cube box. I put my camera on a tripod and get some great shots but about 75 out of 100 turn out orange even without me even moving the tripod. I can have one great shot and one orange shot with no changes. I`m wondering what I can do to get natural skin tones, not orange. I have photo lamps but I hardly use them because they seem to cast a blue tone on my subject... I make dolls and I need the skin color to be as natural as possible. Does anyone have any tips for me?
    I really need help bad.

    My Camera is an Olympus 5 megapix.


    Thanks for your time.

    Stinky

    SEE HOW ORANGE THIS BABY LOOKS...
    ITS NOT ONE OF MY GOOD SHOTS
    [​IMG]
  2. LaFoto
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    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member

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    You don't mean to sell this lovely baby on eBay, now do you? :shock:

    :wink:

    Sorry, can't help you in why some pics are orange and some are not (while I don't find this one very orange, mind you) ... it cannot be a wrongly chosen whitebalance (for outdoors) when it is the light through a window (i.e. coming from outside) that you use. Else I'd have said it is tungsten light combined with a white balance for sunlight.

    Is there a yellow light that gets involved in your taking photos somewhere?

    By the way, welcome to ThePhotoForum, and if this baby is yours then you have among the cutest babies I have seen in a long while :D.
  3. Hair Bear
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    Hair Bear New Member

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    I don't find your picture has too much colour cast in it

    I did do some levels and dropped out a little red but it was OK really

    [​IMG]

    Good picture as well
  4. ksmattfish
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    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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  5. STINKY PICTURES
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    STINKY PICTURES New Member

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    Thank you so much for responding. I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!!
    I`ll try messing with my white balance.

    Maybe I should have posted some of my really orange ones. That picture is a doll that I made, its not real, just vinyl. That color is not what the doll really looks like. She is much lighter and has true to life flesh tones. Not that orange stuff. Should I be setting my camera to manual settings and what would you recommend? Just something to get me close then I can fiddle around with them as I shoot. I find that the big window really gives me problems at times depending on how bright it is. But other times its a blessing. I see that closer to noon my pictures get really RED. I`m not in direct sun, just bright light and they get worse then about after 2:00 they start to get a little better. But this red and orange tone is really a problem for me.

    [​IMG]
  6. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    When using window light...there could be any number of things giving you a color cast. One reason is the direction/position of the sun...and what it may be reflecting off of before it gets to your window. Do have curtains? Is there anything outside that may cause a color shift?

    You don't necessarily have to set the camera to manual settings...but it might be a good idea to set a custom white balance (check your manual).
  7. STINKY PICTURES
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    STINKY PICTURES New Member

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    What do you mean custom white balance. I have a number of settings but there doesn`t seem to be an OFF setting.
  8. Soocom1
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    Soocom1 New Member

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    First, there is defiantly a white balance issue here.
    I would work that first.

    I have seen this kind of orange many times before, and is typical of double pane UV protection coated windows. The UV protection has in the past allowed certain color temperatures to come through casting the orange hue.
    After I worked the image in photoshope, I saw that adding cyan, and blue helped some, and that other processing also helped.
    Suggestions:

    1: Set the white balance during the midday... (This will help keep the colors relatively neutral.)
    2: Shoot outside in the sun, but with some kind of shade set up to eliminate harsh light.
    3: Invest in a set of strobes to shoot inside at a constant color temp.
  9. castrol
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    castrol New Member

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    Give you $1,000 for the baby...

    ;)

    I like the first shot. Definitley a WB problem in the second one.
  10. STINKY PICTURES
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    STINKY PICTURES New Member

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    Thanks for your help, I think my windows are tinted. In fact I know they are.

    Its kind of hard setting up my stuff outside. its almost freezing and windy and I have so many items to set up.... baby bed, blankets, pillows, background props etc.... I do have 3 photo lamps and umbrellas are they what you call strobe?

    I have the manual out. I see I have an AEL... I`m thinking thats the back light setting for shutting it off. I could be wrong. There seems to be about 6 back light settings some with pictures, clouds, sun etc and the last few with numbers, like l, 2 and 3. My manual is not really giving me much help here unless I`m really missing it.

    What I don`t understand is what do I set my white balance to? Do I just set it to something, take a picture then look at it? I did that the other day and it took me about 6 hours to get my photo shoot finished. I took over 225 pictures trying to get good pics for ebay. I never ended up with being all that satisfied. I count on ebay for a living and pictures can really make or break an auction.

    If I set up my light tent/cube and the lamps my pictures look too cool, too blue. The babies don`t have a good HUMAN color to them. I`m really at a loss I either go with ORANGE and try to tone it down or I go with lamps and take the blue tones and try to tone that down. I`m really a mess.
  11. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    With most cameras...there are the 4 or 5 WB settings (cloudy, sunny, flash, indoors etc.) and there there should be a custom setting. This is usually how I've seen it done. You place something white in your light (sheet, paper, fabric, etc) and then take a photo that fills the frame with that white surface.
    Then go into the menus of the camera and there would be a place where you can choose to set a custom WB. You select that, then the camera lets you scroll through the images on the card...and you pick the shot you just took of the white fabric. Then back to the settings...you choose custom as your WB setting.

    It may be that your camera does not have this function...I don't know.
  12. Soocom1
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    Soocom1 New Member

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    Ok...
    For those who don't understand white balance, let me give a bit of a refresher here.
    Anyone else who can add...please do.

    The white balance is an internal process using a series of algorithms that supposedly recognize the color white as a default value of 0 or 255 or whatever number they give it. (I am thinking windows....)
    Anyway, by allowing the camera to 'see' what color white is under certain lighting conditions (i,e. tungsten light, fluorescent, ambient, etc.) then the computer shifts the color temperature in the camera to match the lighting conditions to achieve "true color".
    In many cameras, the white balance can be adjusted only by the on board computer, and is automatic given the settings on the camera.. (Sorta like idiot lights in cars.)

    On the mid to high end DSLRs, and some P&S you can both adjust, as well as calibrate the white balance. (read owner's manual).
    As for turning it off.. Forget it. This is the default system that tells the camera what color is what. Depending on the circumstances, your best bet is to let the camera set itself automatically to the light temp. and have at it.
    As for the lights you have, they will work fine with a shadow/soft box, but I would recommend that you check the setting on the camera for the proper color temp.

    I would also check the camera outside in daylight. See if your getting any hue/tint/color/contrast shift.. If so..I would have the camera looked at.
    But in the mean time. Start with the simple stuff and work your way up the food chain.
  13. STINKY PICTURES
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    STINKY PICTURES New Member

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    Thanks so much for your help. Your knowledge is sort of beyond me.... sorry if I sound stupid. I took some pictures outside and they look fine, normal. I`ve been working with my manual really steady and trying to duplicate what they say to do. I`m having a little luck, I see some improvement. I ordered an 18% gray card. I hope that helps. I looked on Google to see how to use it, so far I`m finding out why to use it. I under stand now pretty much the why. But I don`t understand how to set my camera when I have that gray card. Can you or someone give me an idea of what settings I need to change. Not so much the actual numbers, just what the setting names are called. Thanks for your time I really appreciate it.
  14. kevin8x
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    kevin8x New Member

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    the child is very beautiful, it look as an angel

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