Yellow flowers distort my color

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by drewsof07, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #1
    I'm very fond of snapping spring flowers as they bloom, and I've never been able to score good shots of yellow flowers. The whole image seems to take on an orange/red tone that isn't easily corrected by editing. I have my WB set to sunlight and take pictures of white, purple, pink, and green foliage with great color replication. I've attached two examples, the first is what most of my "yellow" pictures look like. The second shows the same plant minus flower with the same settings. By looking at the mulch in the lower right corner you can easily see the difference in color temps. Please help a noob :eek:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #2
    The first one looks like you used some kind of filter. Try the same shot in the shade, or in a day the sky is cloudy. My best shots of flowers and foliage (close-ups) are in the shade, or on overcast days. Also, do you have an automatic or all purpose WB setting on your camera? A lot of cameras allow you to change the default settings to your liking.

    These photos were taken in the shade, RAW format, and no filter of any kind. I shoot RAW, and later can control WB, color, etc., to my liking. I use PSE6. Used a Canon 200mm f/2.8L, plus a 12mm Kenko tube:
    [​IMG]
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  3. drewsof07 thread starter macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #3
    Just a UV filter and I don't have this problem on other shots. Maybe because of the afternoon sun? idk
    It wasn't on the "Auto WB" setting because I know it can change dramatically and uncontrollably. It was set on "Sunlight"
     
  4. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Automatic WB is OK, specially if you shoot RAW.

    I have seen countless examples-on the Internet-of lens focus and color rendition problems because of UV filters. Go back to the same spot you took the photo above, under similar lighting conditions, and take four photos: two with the filter on, and two with the filter removed.

    Instead of UV filters, use a lens hood. Well, UV filters are good for protecting the lens' front element from scratches, flying dirt, water splashes, and such. I never use them, however.
     
  5. drewsof07 thread starter macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #5
    I mean I paid $3 for the filter.. to put on a $200 lens lol
    But I don't have any trouble with other shots, they look beautiful. That's the weird part.
    Could it be the camera trying to prevent being overexposed by the brightness of yellow + sun?
    Settings were Program Auto, Sunlight WB, ISO 200 I believe, and it's a jpg because I haven't had time to figure out RAW yet.
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #6
    Try setting the exposure by using a grey card. The grey card does not have to be at the subject's location just in the same light. Next after setting up the shot on the tripod take one shot on the flower and another with a white card in the scene. In post, set the white point using the card then transfer the WB adjustment to the shot without the card.

    I think your $3 filer acts like a mirror and shines yellow light back on the subject. Try without it

    I notice the exposure changes quite a bit with and without the flower. I think you meter is sensitive to color. So set it to manual and meter a grey card. If you don't have a grey card use some green grass. just make sure it is in the same light as the flower.

    A white cardboard reflector can help too to redice lighting contrast. But the #1 trick is a small "tent" made of white ripstop nylon. Put it over the flower, camera ut out of the caera's field of view.
     
  7. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #7
    Well for flower photography, most ppl will say avoid shooting in direct sunlight, shoot somewhere during the sun set or dawn, avoid taking flower photos especially around noon time where the sun is usually brightest during that time. Also what lens are you using? Cause a cheap filter will deteriorate your photo quality giving a yellowish cast (from what I heard)
     
  8. Maxxamillian macrumors 6502

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    Utah
    #8
    Another way to look at this is that you spend $$ on a lens. Of course you want to protect the elements. However, when you add a UV filter you are adding another optical element to the lens. If you are not careful of the quality of UV lens then you've just cheapened your $$ lens. If you decide to go this route dont skimp on the UV lens quality...which of course means more $$. Wheelhot heard right.
     
  9. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    #9
    I'd suggest using manual white balance too (Preset Manual in Nikon's terminology).

    It makes such a big difference, and is far easier than trying to tweak things correctly in software. (I tried this recently for the first time under some difficult indoor lighting, and was really happy with the results).
     
  10. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    #10
    One photo is in a shade, while the other is in direct sunlight.
     
  11. drewsof07 thread starter macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #11
    No, they are in the same light. I specifically stated this in the original post. The color just makes it appear this way. Both shots were taken using the same settings (Programmed Auto)

    I've tried using this method, but I cannot seem to get the camera to read my white card? I set to "Pre" then put a white card in my light, shap the shutter, but it just takes a picture??
     
  12. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Ah, I think we might solve the problem.

    So you are using Auto mode while taking this photo? Cause if it is, then that would explain why the color is distorted, could be the camera focused on the wrong object or because of the metering. (could here means could be the cause of problem and by no means correct or anything, just my guess)

    Also in photographing flowers its best to use manual focus so you can fine tune the DoF :D
     
  13. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    #13
    I've got a D60, so I image the procedure is pretty much the same (in fact, I just got back in from taking some foggy weather photos). :)

    From the Shooting Menu select White Balance>Preset Manual, press the right arrow on the direction pad, select Measure, it'll ask you if you want to Overwrite existing data, then it'll tell you to shoot a photo (which isn't recorded to your SD card) to set the white balance. You'll get a confirmation message that says Data Acquired, and then you're good to go.
     
  14. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Hmm, I thought to set custom WB, the trick is to place a white transparent plastic over the lens and do the test shot to get the correct WB? I read this somewhere though but don't know how true is it. Something bout Pringles cap work well.
     
  15. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    #15
    I'm not looking at the color. I am looking at their tones and also the fact that one has soft shadows and the other has hard shadows.

    I attached a comparison after a quick pass through to relatively equal the two out. Notice the tonal contrast in the image on the right. This begs the question of whether something was blocking sunlight in the image on the left, which softens the light up and changes not the color, but the contrast produced.

    Either way, observe how you respond to people. I honestly don't give a **** about your photo problems, but still offered a helping comment.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    #16
    The idea is to shoot something white that fills the screen (so, in the instructions I posted, the idea is to take a picture of a white or neutral grey piece of paper, or something like that). Different colours can (blue is popular) give different effects (using blue will make things look warmer, i.e., more yellow).

    A Pringles cap or something like that can work, but you want to make sure that it represents what the colour white would look like where your subject is situated. So, I don't think the Pringles cap thing is always appropriate, since it may not be illuminated by the same light as your subject.

    Of course, I'm still a noob at this myself, so maybe someone else will correct anything I may have gotten wrong here. :)
     
  17. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    May 5, 2007
    #17
    The one with the flower in it was taken at:

    Exposure Time: 1/500 sec
    F-Number: f/11.0
    Exposure Program: Normal Program
    ISO Speed Rating: 200

    I suspect, like the others, that the other one was exposed for longer/with a larger aperture. The EXIF is not however included in this version. Could you tell us what it was taken at?

    Probably if you expose the flower for much longer the yellow clips. I think nikon metering takes colour into account.
     
  18. drewsof07 thread starter macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #18
    Thanks everyone for your help so far :) I will try to get outside today and shoot some more using different settings, especially setting the WB with a white card and without a filter.

    I didn't mean to seem ungrateful :eek:
    Sorry if I came off that way.
    I do assure you there was nothing shading the flower though, I am careful about where my shadow falls when snapping. And I agree, it does appear as if the flower photo has lower contrast.

    Well I used "Program" mode or the "P" setting, as it allows me more freedom to change the WB, ISO, & flash settings, but has auto exposure, shutter & aperture. It very well could be the color was metered and exposure changes were made on this setting. I did manually focus both those shots though :eek: however poorly, I'm a noob, you'll have to excuse my deficient dof :p ha
     
  19. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    #19
    Ah, okay, well its okay to use P mode but P mode for me is still Auto, lol, okay, well dun be scared to use semi-auto (AV or TV) and manual, I used to fear manual due to you need to change both shutter and aperture but now I love manual!, it allows me finer control over things. Also, since you are a beginner, avoid using flash to take flower shots first cause if you didn't set the flash properly, it will make your flower lose the details.

    It's okay, I'm a noob too :D

    Here is a tip how to get beyond P mode, when in P mode, see what the camera settings for shutter and exposure, den switch to M mode and start experimenting! You will be surprise with the result you might get, happy manualing ;) (okay, that sounds odd)
     
  20. neutrino23 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    #20
    Flowers are hard to shoot in strong light as they are extremely reflective (the easier for the pollinators to find them). If you look at the separate color histograms of a flower picture you generally find one color much brighter than the others. In auto mode the camera probably sensed this and reduced shutter speed or aperture to compensate. This is the value of shooting RAW. You can capture a wide range of brightness and later in the computer you can tweak the image to show both the darker background and the bright flower.

    You could also try carrying some sort of diffuser to reduce the effect of the bright sunlight. Try a piece of white cloth to shade the flower.
     
  21. drewsof07 thread starter macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #21
    Alright, I took some shots yesterday using both the sunlight WB and a preset WB from a white card (my tshirt lol) they seem to be a little more balanced in terms of color. I also took a few with the UV filter removed. I didn't see any notable difference with my eye, nor with the histogram between UV and without.
    You can see there is a notable difference between the first and second shots with differing WB's. Obviously these have not been processed or adjusted yet. Also I'm wary on switching to RAW because I honestly don't know how to process RAW images... :eek:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  22. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Ah, erm..what photo editing/management you have? Aperture? Lightroom? Photoshop? Photoshop elements? or non at all?

    Actually any dSLR camera brand you buy will come with their own RAW processing software, I think for Nikon is its called something NX Pro or something? And for Canon its DPP I think.
     
  23. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #23
    If you don't want to spend too much on PhotoShop, you could always buy PhotoShop Elements, and use this one to process your RAW photos. There is nothing to it, really. Elements comes with "Bridge," so when Elements show its window on the screen it gives you some options in relation to where to get the photos from. One of the options is "Download From Camera," so if you choose that option, Elements automatically launches Bridge, and Bridge downloads the photos to a folder on your desktop. Once the RAW or JPEG images are downloaded to the folder, quit Bridge, and Elements reappears on the screen. Now, choose "Open" whichever RAW image you want from the folder, and Elements presents you with a few options and sliders for you to adjust the photo to your liking. meanwhile, you can see the changes you make to the RAW image right on the screen. If you like what you see, then choose OPEN, and now the RAW photo appears on the screen where you can adjust it further, and then save it to TIFF or any other format you want.

    That's all there is to it.
     
  24. drewsof07 thread starter macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #24
    I used an Aperture demo that has since expired and I have Lightroom 2
    I've tweaked color in LR and Aperture and so far I prefer the UI of LR so I'll stick with it.
    Anyone know any good tutorial vids/sites for lightroom?
     
  25. theblueone macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2007
    #25
    I think you might be trying to fix this from a slightly different angle from how I would. Irrespective of color balance, your shot seems underexposed. I think first reshooting this with a better exposure might put you a lot closer to where you want to be.

    Where in the frame are you metering this shot? Did you meter off the petals of the flower? If so, try metering off the green leaves instead. That ought to expose pretty close to reality.

    This isn't to say you aren't correct about your white balance. I just think a better-exposed original might put you in a position where you can do a lot less post-processing.
     

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