August 30, 2014, 06:35:45 AM

Author Topic: White balance for moonlight  (Read 2965 times)

EOBeav

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 404
    • View Profile
    • My Landscape Photoblog
White balance for moonlight
« on: April 09, 2013, 01:36:22 PM »
What would be a good white balance level for direct moonlight? Assuming no other light sources, of course.
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

Gear: Canon 5DmkII, 17-40mm f/4 L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-200mm f/4.

canon rumors FORUM

White balance for moonlight
« on: April 09, 2013, 01:36:22 PM »

Skirball

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 341
    • View Profile
Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 01:56:28 PM »
I assume you mean moonlight as a source, not the moon as a subject?

Either way, it's going to depend a lot on what you want your image to look like.  A lot of movie and photo tend to go cool to give that "night feel".  It's also going to be warmer when the moon is close to the horizon.  That said, I'd start at 4200 or so and adjust in post to fit my mood.

Edit:  well, Wikipedia says 4100, and Wiki never lies.

SwissBear

  • Rebel SL1
  • ***
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 02:24:49 PM »
last summer, i shot some moonlit landscape, LR says 4381 for a pleasing slightly cold look. Tested 4100, rather frigid ;)
EOS 50D, 600D - 24-105L - 40f/2.8 - 85f/1.8 - 580ii - Lensbaby Muse, Composer with Plastic, Double Glass, Edge 80
Tokina 11-16f/2.8 - Sigma 150mm OS Macro
Flickr

RGF

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1264
  • How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
    • View Profile
Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 07:22:12 PM »
What would the color temp be of the moon was the subject?

Thanks

Skirball

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 341
    • View Profile
Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 07:35:01 PM »
What would the color temp be of the moon was the subject?

Thanks

I think that's even more subjective, as some people like their pics to have a white moon, some do a yellow tint, and others do blue.  If you're going for white again I'd start at around 4200K.  But if you're looking for a reason to shoot RAW, this is a good one.

fotoray

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 163
  • 5D Mark III
    • View Profile
Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 10:41:12 PM »
Unless I'm missing something, isn't a good starting point just daylight (5500 deg K), since moonlight is no more than just reflected sunlight?   
5D Mk III | 7D | 20D | EF-S 10-22 | EF-S 17-85 | EF 17-40 f/4L | EF 24-105 f/4L | EF 70-300 DO | EF-S 60 macro | EF 100L macro | 580EX II | RRS Series 2 tripod | plus many gadgets |

RGF

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1264
  • How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
    • View Profile
Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 01:17:13 AM »
What would the color temp be of the moon was the subject?

Thanks

I think that's even more subjective, as some people like their pics to have a white moon, some do a yellow tint, and others do blue.  If you're going for white again I'd start at around 4200K.  But if you're looking for a reason to shoot RAW, this is a good one.

Always (shot raw)

canon rumors FORUM

Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 01:17:13 AM »

Skirball

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 341
    • View Profile
Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 11:36:46 AM »
Unless I'm missing something, isn't a good starting point just daylight (5500 deg K), since moonlight is no more than just reflected sunlight?   

The moon isn't a mirror, it's opaque and will absorb and reflect different frequencies based on surface conditions and mineral.  The moon, at least to my eyes, is a much cooler blue than the yellow of the sun (through our atmosphere).
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 11:38:53 AM by Skirball »

EOBeav

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 404
    • View Profile
    • My Landscape Photoblog
Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2013, 11:54:43 AM »
last summer, i shot some moonlit landscape, LR says 4381 for a pleasing slightly cold look. Tested 4100, rather frigid ;)

That WB setting greatly improved the moonlit shots that I was concerned about. What was your tint setting in LR?
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

Gear: Canon 5DmkII, 17-40mm f/4 L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-200mm f/4.

Rienzphotoz

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 3322
  • Peace unto all ye Canon, Nikon & Sony shooters
    • View Profile
Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2013, 05:17:03 AM »
I've made several moon images but never thought of white balance ... I usually do it during PP ... but this thread has been very interesting and informative.
Canon 5DMK3 70D | Nikon D610 | Sony a7 a6000 | RX100M3 | 16-35/2.8LII | 70-200/2.8LISII | 100/2.8LIS | 100-400LIS | 40/2.8 | 50/1.4 | 85/1.8 | 600EX-RTx2 | ST-E3-RT | 24/3.5 T-S | 10-18/4 OSS 16-50 | 24-70/4OSS | 55/1.8 | 55-210 OSS | 70-200/4 OSS | 28-300VR | HVL-F43M | GoPro Black 3+ & DJI Phantom

SwissBear

  • Rebel SL1
  • ***
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2013, 05:52:31 AM »
last summer, i shot some moonlit landscape, LR says 4381 for a pleasing slightly cold look. Tested 4100, rather frigid ;)

That WB setting greatly improved the moonlit shots that I was concerned about. What was your tint setting in LR?

i used -14 (was a compromise between the green grass and the grey mountains)
EOS 50D, 600D - 24-105L - 40f/2.8 - 85f/1.8 - 580ii - Lensbaby Muse, Composer with Plastic, Double Glass, Edge 80
Tokina 11-16f/2.8 - Sigma 150mm OS Macro
Flickr

chauncey

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2013, 07:38:55 AM »
Why not shoot a night scene using a "gray card" and let LR choose the colors?

canon rumors FORUM

Re: White balance for moonlight
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2013, 07:38:55 AM »