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Re: [PanoToolsNG] Re: OT - Light Meters

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  • Eric O'Brien
    ... My understanding about raw is that it isn t a matter of latitude. Instead, the raw is not changed at all -- regardless of what color temperature setting
    Message 1 of 17 , Nov 22, 2007
      On Nov 22, 2007, at 10:04 AM, Keith Martin wrote:

      > Sometime around 22/11/07 (at 05:07 -0700) mrjimbo said:
      >> Hi guys,
      >> So far it seems that the conversation has been about how to get out
      >> of stepping up to a color meter..
      > [...]
      >> I realize all this is the old way but I'd rather be shooting that
      >> fixing stuff..
      > Jim, very good advice. It is best to be shooting rather than
      > fixing, indeed.
      > I do try to make at least approximate white balance choices before I
      > shoot anything important; as someone pointed out, RAW has more
      > latitude than non-RAW (or film), but it isn't an excuse for getting
      > things right in the first place.

      My understanding about raw is that it isn't a matter of "latitude."
      Instead, the raw is not changed at all -- regardless of what color
      temperature setting is active in the camera at the time. Set the
      camera to "tungsten," shoot in the shade on a cloudless day, look at
      the raw file in Photoshop or whatever.... REALLY BLUE! Turn the
      color temperature dial until the image looks nice to you. The
      quality of the image will be *exactly* the same as if you had set
      "overcast" or whatever in the camera.

      Not to say that getting it close to begin with doesn't have other
      benefits... like making the starting point look more reasonable.
      Then there is that tricky (for me, anyway!) green/magenta slider that
      Adobe calls "tint." If "as shot" is extraordinarily blue, that's
      easy to change with the blue/yellow slider ("temperature"). But it
      can still not look quite right because of a green/magenta imbalance.
      I find that one much more difficult to judge.

      > I do this sometimes by making a subjective judgement and picking the
      > best preset, sometimes by using my translucent white lens cap, and
      > sometimes by making a custom white balance shot of something truly
      > neutral.
      > And sometimes I use a neutral object to balance to in the RAW file
      > afterwards,

      I have taken to always shooting a gray card for my interior
      panoramas. Sometimes just holding the card at arm's length in front
      of the camera, sometimes actually putting it into the scene: propped
      on a counter top or some such. Later, when I convert my raw files to
      tiffs, I sample the gray card with the White Balance tool. That
      rarely is perfect, but gets me close. I then fuss with the dials
      until I like the result, then copy that "white" balance to all the
      other images for that panorama. I committed to using the gray card
      after several situations where clicking on anything in the scene that
      I *thought* was neutral resulted in a horrible result. Clearly they
      were not neutral!

      I recently photographed the interior of a house that probably had no
      neutral color anywhere! Slightly blue, slightly green walls,
      Tigerwood flooring throughout, halogen lighting, MANY windows...
      sunlight streaming in some, blue North light from another. I looked
      at the final pano and wondered "Yeah, what IS the right color here?" :)

      > or just find a 'by eye' setting that feels right. (I keep
      > my screens calibrated and profiled, so I can trust them at least to
      > be doing approximately their best.)

      Absolutely! There pretty much isn't any point to fussing with those
      adjustments if you can't feel assured that the colors you see on your
      screen actually *mean* anything!

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