Color cast help

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by Jer, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Jer

    Jer Member

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    F7D3EE87-4E63-4C24-B449-8EF703B29142.jpeg 3FE1981F-D587-4696-BD07-6A27F7C18B8A.jpeg 53A518D4-B6EF-4DA4-A798-AB5C40C38681.jpeg 84D248F2-8172-43D8-9148-C045FC61E2BA.jpeg

    Hi all,

    Forgive me if this question has already been posted but I am at my wit’s end and need some advice, so I made an account and here we are. I recently took these exposures and as you can see: they’ve got some funky color casts going on. I’ve at least figured out that this is stemming from the tungsten lights (wouldn’t that make the image more orange though?) contrasting with the daylight outside.

    So i’ve resolved that I need to purchase a filter (don’t want to correct in photoshop), something like an 81A, but my question is, even if that nullifies the blues overtones, will that be enough to get rid of the weird greenish hues present as well? Is there a different filter you would recommend? Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks!!

    Btw, I shoot with a Nikon F3.
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG Photrio

    Which film did you use?
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Welcome to Photrio.
    I'm assuming that you posted a scan of your film. What film is it by the way?
    I expect that what you are seeing is some sort of auto colour balance function trying to correct for the tungsten light source, and by doing so over-correcting the result.
    Any time you have a variety of different light sources you are likely to have colour problems. It would make sense though to attempt to correct for the predominant source.
    By the way, with a bit of colour adjustment work using digital tools, I get the following:

    upload_2018-8-7_19-51-23.png

    I don't know whether this is closer to what you were trying for, but at least it tells you that there is a decent amount of usable colour information there.
     
  4. OP
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    Jer

    Jer Member

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    Thanks for the responses all- this was shot with Portra 800. I’ve since learned that Fuji is (apparently) better at handling indoor lighting..

    Good to know that this is possible, I guess i’m Just realizing with two opposing color sources that are pretty harsh, there’s bound to be some color shift. The guy at the camera store said he actually used to do a double exposure with two different filters for each lighting source when he had a tough project- might give that a try cos I really would rather not do any post on film work.
     
  5. OP
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    Jer

    Jer Member

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    Oh yeah, and I took ‘em the negatives to three different processors. On the third they let me watch as they scanned it raw- no color correction. Each came out exactly the same, sadly.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    What you are seeing is the automatic colour correction doing its best to correct for the colour. When they say "no colour correction" they are mis-stating the result. A better phrase would be no over-ride of the automatic colour correction.
    Portra 800 is quite capable of handling mixed light sources, but it would do an even better job if you did some on-camera filtering.
    And you really need a better scanning resource.
     
  7. Carriage

    Carriage Member

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    If you're wanting no post processing due to not wanting to manipulate as much as you can with digital, rather than because of less effort or post processing is no fun, consider the fact that in the darkroom you can affect colour cast by changing the filtering. If you're scanning I don't see the issue with fixing your white balance digitally apart from it perhaps being a bit harder.
     
  8. OP
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    Jer

    Jer Member

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    Hm, so in this instance a warm filter- say a Hoya 81A, would do the trick? I feel like that would eliminate the blue cast but not totally sure about the green.

    Yeah, that makes complete sense. I suppose it’s stubborn-ness that keeps me from delving in, but i’m starting to realize that as i’m not completely at the helm of the darkroom anyway, doing some post-production really isn’t breaking the ‘integrity of film’ or whatever it is I seem to cling to, ha.
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    No.
    The film doesn't have a blue cast. The film has an over-all red-yellow cast, due to the light. When the automatic scanning software interacts with the film, it tries to correct that cast by adding blue and cyan. Unfortunately, it over-corrects, leaving you with too much blue and cyan in the digital image.
    In almost all cases, commercial scanners use automatic systems to set colour balance and exposure in the digital results.
    If you take film photos under mixed light sources, and have the results scanned with those automatic system reliant commercial scanners, almost all of those scanners will give results that require manual intervention in order to get acceptable results. A good scanner operator will make those manual adjustments. Otherwise, you will need to do them yourself in a digital post-processing environment.
     
  10. OP
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    Jer

    Jer Member

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    Ah, okay. Now I got it. Looks like it’s time to invest in a scanner, then. I may experiment with using a cooling filter, because it seems like, perhaps with less to auto-correct, maybe the scanner wouldn’t over-correct so sharply. Although in any case it sounds like work needs to be done in post anyway so... Might as well invest in a scanner. Thanks for all the info.
     
  11. btaylor

    btaylor Subscriber

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    If you want correct color without a lot of post manipulation you’ll have to get it right in the camera. Natural outdoor light tends towards blue (cool), tungsten interior light goes orange (warm). So you have to match the film and light sources to get natural looking color, and to make life more difficult your lighting sources are mixed. Your Portra I believe is daylight balanced (I don’t think there are any tungsten balanced still films anymore) so you can gel or replace the lights inside to 5000k and balance with the daylight outside or do the opposite, correcting the orange cast in post or with a filter on the camera, by using gels on the windows to convert to tungsten balance (but the second option isn’t so good because you’ll loose to much light to the filter). Here’s the thing, color correction to get color balance right is part of the process of using color negative film (films and papers vary from batch to batch and brand to brand) so don’t worry about “the integrity of the film” it always requires adjustment to get a corrected final print.
     
  12. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    If you are using film, there is a possibility that the processing house is not that careful with the developer. I know by experience that if you use slightly stale C41 developer, or developer that has not been adequately replenished, then you can get casts like you have found on your posted samples. You may be able to correct these with careful darkroom processing, but the easiest way is almost certainly going to be using software such as Photoshop.
     
  13. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I suspect you are not going to want to hear this and it may stem from my being easily pleased but I see very little wrong with the pictures. I suspect what the film saw in the first frame is an accurate representation of the light as it was. Matt has done a great job of making the colours appear brighter and much warmer that it may have been but is this how the place looks in reality?

    The second one looks very accurate to me as does the third. The fourth has lost shadow detail, I'll concede, but this is because the people are set against the bright window. If you want greater detail in the people then in darkroom terms you can "dodge " the people for some of the exposure which might bring our more detail in their bodies and faces or have a look at a thread by someone called halfaman where he has achieved the same effect by digital masking. You could next time expose more for the faces "in camera" this will give more detail and lighten the inside of the restaurant but the outside detail may and probably will suffer - it will be over-exposed.

    I do not think there is anything wrong with the film or the processing involved.

    pentaxuser
     
  14. tedr1

    tedr1 Member

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    Given that we are looking at scans, which as has already been pointed out may be confounding the situation, like pentaxuser my perception is that these exposures are revealing the color of the light sources. Overcast daylight can be extremely cold. Incandescent light is extremely warm. Put both in the same frame and it may appear something is wrong however the film is probably close to telling the truth. Are you familiar with the white-balance concept? Do you have access to a digital camera? If you haven't already done so take a digital camera out and play with the white balance presets under a variety of lighting conditions, experiment with using the wrong preset to see what happens. Light is colored, daylight changes color and artificial light is all over the place. Visual color perception does all kinds of crazy stuff to color and ambient light that is below the conscious level of awareness, one of these things is color-constancy.
    Getting color right with film can be hard work. Digital offers a variety of post-exposure editing options that make it a breeze to adjust for complex lighting situations.
     
  15. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    ^^^Me too!
    Unless you filter your light sources by filtering the daylight to tungsten or vice versa by changing
    the lamps in the fixtures You're doomed to hat ther digital manipulation.

    FWIW a 81A is a slight warming filter, normally used to eliminate blues in shadow areas with slides.
    At that the difference is seen with slides side by side on a light box. It'll have no effect with C41
    because there are too many variables in the developing and printing process
     
  16. OP
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    Jer

    Jer Member

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    Boy, thank you all so much for the responses!

    I think I have come to realize that the exposures themselves actually are fine- which is a relief! I’ve received some additional advice and it looks like I just need to delve into utilizing fill flash as a means of nullifying the color casts. The only problem is figuring out how to do all of that with my old F3HP, ha! I actually love how you’re never really done learning when it comes to film- at least with me anyway!
     
  17. Berkeley Mike

    Berkeley Mike Member

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    This is a "found" opportunity and is much more difficult than it seems. It exposes the limitations of shooting from the hip, automated features. It demands that one investigate new parts of the craft. This is not a matter of "tips and tricks." It is a matter of skills; it has all been done before.

    There are at least 2, maybe 3, kinds of tungsten light (orange), with sky light (blue) from the left window. The light from the door (yellow) is bounced off of the warm-colored building across the street coming through a yellow plastic lamination. It is just inside the dynamic range of the sensor. The light is much cooler from the transom. The shaded windows in the back do little to illuminate the room but will have a color. In any case you will have myriad color crossovers no matter what you do.

    If you add a flash to will add yet another color, blue. Further, the light direction will change and fall-off will cause the scene to be lit unevenly. A simple "filter" will not even everything out. 81A will only make things even warmer. That could be okay, as Matt has demonstrated, as a matter of style.

    I suggest that you filter for the dominant light, tungsten, and let the other light fall where it may. All of the tungsten-lit surfaces and lamps will appear more neutral. However, the bar, being lit by the window, will go blue. The door will settle some but will still be very bright. It also might help to come on a clear sunny noon day; that would bring ambient external light into a more neutral color range, eliminate hard direction from the windows and close the ratios overall.

    I hear that you want to avoid developing (post processing) the image but I do not understand why. In this capture I would use Lightroom to bring down the highlights, adjust the general brightness, and work with the color temperature. Even better, shooting in RAW, place a gray card in the scene and shoot with and with out the card. and key on that to set your neutral color balance in Lightroom. Apply that key to your overall shot. You can do something similar in Photoshop: Command M, pick the middle dropper on the bottom of the wind, then click on "neutral color "surfaces to see what you might get.

    All that said, you might not light-color neutrality but it is a great place to start.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  18. OP
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    Jer

    Jer Member

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    Thanks for the input.

    I suppose the desire to keep my photo manipulation as in-camera as possible is just a preference. I did actually play around with the rudimentary iPhone cast-correction and I found that I do like the way each photo benefits from a slight warming.

    I feel like the first picture posted above is just going to have a million different casts and I’ve made peace with that. My only annoyance with the other three however, is the blue tone (which I presume is coming from the window- which sounds like adding a filter would help correct that to a degree). I think for my next shoot then, i’ll bring an 81A for the shots mainly lit by the window and a Tungsten-correcting lens for shots closer to the interior light sources like the ones in this post (same roll, Portra 800, early afternoon). I’ve heard the 80A would be a good idea for Tungsten correction- In your opinion, would the 80A be a good idea for getting rid of these casts? Or would there be a better filter?

    Thank you so much for your help.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    A Skylight 1-A provides that warming, reduces UV haze, and protects the lens from all but the hardest impacts.
     
  20. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    I'm going to keep this brief, Portra 800 is absolutely fine for mixed lighting conditions: the problem is getting a colour balance that looks convincing when both daylight & artificial light sources are in shot. As much as people are advocating for correction filters, you might be surprised to learn that even when printing by fully analogue means, it's perfectly possible to correct daylight balanced film to a convincing level for having been shot under tungsten (even domestic sub 3000k bulbs) & vice versa.

    Anyway, unless you gel the windows to match the interior or replace all the interior bulbs with practicals to match the exterior, it's a problem you'll run up against - though if you're prepared to do a little light Photoshop work (or make some correction masks for darkroom printing) it can also be evened out pretty easily. The even easier solution is to make compositional choices that don't force hard work at the post production stage...
     
  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The problem gets worse if the types of light sources are different. In the past I used a strobe directly or bounced to overcome these problems. Bounced strobes or flashbulbs almost always gave better lighting.
     
  22. Berkeley Mike

    Berkeley Mike Member

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    With a a goal of doing as much in-camera as possible you also need to appreciate that such a simple formula has its own limitations. Film and filters cannot do this alone. As Lachlan suggests, though, there are things to be done to prepare for printing to make further adjustments. That is not cheating; it is how it is done.

    I like that you have adjusted the way you look at this. I thought your first exposure was just fine, all things considered. There really is only so much you can do. Lachlan's approach is the way a pro would skin that cat. A simple screw-on filter will clearly be limited. 80A? Sure. At the same time it will put a lot of blue into the shot, which you already have.

    The new images seem more pleasing but note, that while the auto correction handles the blue window light nicely, the orange of the tungsten is still around. No such thing as a free lunch.
     
  23. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    Your pictures don't look that bad for mixed lighting. What you'll run into is that when you correct for one lighting source or the other over the whole image, the other end of the image may suffer.

    I've shot a bit of Portra 800 myself, and what you might try next time is overexposing the Portra a stop or two and then correcting in post. Unfortunately for analog purists, doing it digitally is probably the easiest way to do it. What the overexposing will do is bring up the details in the wavelengths of light that you're a bit short of (for example, shooting daylight balanced film under tungsten lighting - you're short about 3 stops on blue light). By overexposing (shoot the Portra 800 as if it were ISO 200, for example), you get more detail in the blues, allowing you to do a bit more correction in post without ending up with blue shadows. Negative film handles overexposure better than underexposure. Portra 800 can be exposed 1 stop under to 2 stops over, maybe more over.

    If you're shooting E-6, there's no chance for color correction in post if you're shooting for projection. You end up with better results by relighting the scene, either by using daylight balanced flash or by using daylight-balanced bulbs. I've done this with Portra 800 as well and got pleasing results, but it's easier to do this at home rather than in public. Somehow I think the restaurant you depicted would frown on you going around and changing all their light bulbs to match the film you want to shoot.

    Here's another option: Forego the color altogether and shoot high speed B&W film. If Kodak Tmax P3200 or Ilford Delta 3200 are too grainy for you, Ilford HP5+ pushes to 1600 quite well, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to push to 3200 for HP5+. You skip over all the color balance issues by recording only luminance!
     
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