White Balance at night??

markj

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I think I found a great spot to experiment with some night photography. It is a cityscape of Rosslyn, Virginia shot from the DC side of the Potomac River. Using my tripod, I can shoot with a low ISO setting, mid f-stop, maybe f-8/f11. Then shoot at a variety of shutter speeds to get an acceptable or even great exposure. How am I doing so far? But what about WB, Do I use the auto setting or set a preset using my WB lenscap? Thanks for any help.
 

AlexanderB

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It may seem a bit ridiculous but 'Daylight' or 'Sunny' may work very well for nighttime photo.
 

PlanetStarbucks

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It's kinda depends on the lights around, but I usually have the best results with the "tungsten" setting (3300K I think). Halogen lamps are the most common in cities and they put out a relatively warm light at about 3300-4000k. You can get away with a daylight setting, but I find in my night shots it ends up just a touch too warm. You're essentially shooting at a neutral white, so the yellow lamps give everything a slightly sickly yellow.

But...chimp it. When you're setting up the shot and getting the exposure time right, check the image preview and play around with the WB.
 

TheFantasticG

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It's kinda depends on the lights around....

It really depends what kind of lights are around, how bright they are, how cloudy it is, what type of clouds, how low those clouds are. If the moon is out that may or may not affect depending on how bright it is.
 

KmH

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Night scenes usually have several different types of light in them - mercury vapor, low pressure sodium, high pressure sodium, incandescent, neon, flourescent, and more.
Each light type has a different color temperature. The situation is known as 'mixed lighting'.

The camera white balance setting tells the camera what color temperature of light dominates a scene. But the camera white balance can only be set to one color temperature for each exposure.
 

cgipson1

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If the majority of the light available is moonlight.. then that is reflected sunlight.. SUNNY WB.

If there are a lot of electric lights... and you want them to look normal, pick the WB for that light type.

As KMH pointed out, you can only pick one....
 

panblue

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All good knowledge and sound advice IMO. What you could also try is shoot raw and then, in development, comb through all incremental Kelvin values until you find the one you like, or use multiple coloured layers in Photoshop etc to tint different parts of the image...try different layer modes, 'screen', 'soft light', 'color' ..off-hand, i forget which would work.
 

Derrel

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Shoot in raw obviously, and then look at how the image looks with differing WB settings when processing the images. I have found that f/8 is often a decent f/stop for nighttime. f/7.1 or f/8 work well most times, when longer exposures are needed.
 

runnah

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I like 5000k, I know its a bit yellow but I like the way ti looks at night especially for cityscapes. Moon lit scenes I tend to lean more bluish so I go around 3200k.
 
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markj

markj

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$rossyln wtde.jpgSet to auto, then changed to florescence seemed like the best for my first attempt.
 

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greybeard

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I shoot Raw and use Light Room. I mess with the WB/tint sliders until it looks right to me.
 
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markj

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Since no one has offered a single comment on my night shot, it's evident that nobody found it worth commenting on. In that case, what can I do in post to make it appealing?
 

manaheim

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It's a fine capture...maybe a bit dark/underexposed... It's not that exciting, however.
 

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