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Slow Shutter + OCF = Blue (think smurf) face?


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Nov 15, 2013
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St. Louis, MO
Can others edit my Photos
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So, I've noticed that when I slow my shutter speeds down significantly (15 seconds last night) and use a speedlite to "pop" some light at the end, I end up with blue skin on the subject. I don't have access to an example image at this point (on my work computer) but thought I'd put the question out there and see if anyone else has run into this?

I'm thinking it might be because I'm using a cheap speedlight but I've noticed the same issue with my Adorama Rovelight as well.

Regardless of the cause, any suggestions for cleaning up the smurf people without impacting the color for the rest of the shot?
It's hard to say without an example, but don't overlook the white balance.
Have you adjusted WhiteBalance in Post Processing.

or are you shooting JPEG in camera?
If in JPEG, You can, on many Nikons, adjust WhiteBalance in camera and see the result while keeping the original.
This sounds like it could be a mixed light issue. You didn't say where you were testing this. Your flash is blue compared to typical indoor lights which tend to be very yellow. If you shoot indoors and your camera chooses a white balance to compensate for the indoor lights then your subjects, lit more by flash than anything else, will look blue in comparison. Try setting your white balance to "Flash and see if your subject is good and the rest is bad.
Have you adjusted WhiteBalance in Post Processing.

or are you shooting JPEG in camera?
If in JPEG, You can, on many Nikons, adjust WhiteBalance in camera and see the result while keeping the original.

I haven't adjusted white balance yet. There's nothing else white in the photo (it's a sparkler shot for an engagement session) so it'll be manual and it was super late when I got back home last night. I did nothing but import into LR and did some super quick (extreme) slider moving and nothing seemed to even get close so I gave up and went to bed.

I make like the "Fro" and only shoot in RAW since I know I'm going to be processing anyway.
If you're using LR, try just setting WB to "Auto" and see where that takes you.
Will do! Typically that's my first step but I was in a post-shoot + exhausted fog or something last night. I'll be giving it a go again tonight with that. @idcanyon's post seems to make the most since for the cause. We were outside but outside a pavilion and there were a couple lights on inside. That may have caused the camera to freak out a bit and create the smurf people.
a lot flourescent lights are "cool" blue in color.
When I buy them for my basement I make sure of the color temperature
You won't have a choice in some public place. But try to become more aware of what you can see, especially if there are multiple temps in one area. I did that in the basement once and that is how I started noticed after getting a blue tint to stuff.
Cheap lights may not have a marking. But you can usually find their temp marked somewhere on the packaging and bulb.

http://www.lamptech.co.uk/Images/Illustrations/FL Colours.jpg
When I have a basement suited to photography, I'll have to keep that in mind. My current basement is less than ideal. Ceilings are less than 7' and the ductwork is lower than that. I'm 6'4" so I have to constantly duck to move around down there and there's not room to do anything where the lighting needs to be any higher than about shoulder height, depending on the modifier. An umbrella or softbox fills up the tiny little room I have down there really quickly.
Most sparklers seem to emit a yellowish light, so naturally the flash will appear more bluish by comparison. What did you have your WB set to? Mixing those two light colors is going to be problematic, but you can probably get the shot looking half-way decent in editing. Capture the RAW file to help with that.

As for shooting in a basement; even if you eventually have a basement with 8-foot ceilings, you may find that there isn't enough height in which to set up a photographic studio.
Yeah, that's what I'll have to do. Hopefully they end up turning out okay. They were happy with the look from what they saw on the camera screen so I think that if I can get it closer to natural, they'll be happy. Won't be the portfolio shot I was looking for though. Live and learn!

So, in the future, setting my camera to a "Flash" WB would help me avoid this, correct?

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