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Snow in artificial light

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Yesterday I tried to shoot some skiing and surrounding area around 8PM, what means completely dark in this area. It supposed to be landscapes shooting in artificial lighting of lamps. Those lamps unfortunately vary a lot in colour temperature giving different tints of snow: from pink, blue to green depending on which area (which lamp's light) you point when setting the white balance. I tried to correct it but am not quite satisfied with the results.

How do you handle this in postprocessing? Below I attach some shots to give you better understanding of the problem.
Please advise best methods. Should I simply select all the snow area and make it monochrome? :)

Shot with 5D2, 24-105 L, ISO 1600/3200, F4,5-7,1, 1/5-1/30s.

This is a very interesting idea you're working on. I have a question though: why try to white-balance-correct the artificial light of a fluorescent-lit landscape photo that is devoid of people? This is not natural light, and I think the images would be more powerful if you emphasized the otherworldliness and unease created by the artificial lighting of vast landscapes. As you stated, each light seems to have its own color temperature. This cannot be easily corrected, but I also do not feel its appropriate in this situation.

Color-corrected the photo is ideal in situations where you want skin tones to look like skin, but these photos are devoid of humanity, so I do not feel that a "correct" white balance has much to offer here.

Additionally, while the bottom two photos are fine, the first two photos could use another stop or two of exposure. I'm guessing that the camera's exposure meter was metering off of the bright pinpoint lights, but to me this does not feel correct for the images.

Anyway, to answer your original question, about how to color balance when the lights are multiple color temperatures, it is easiest in a tool such as Lightroom, but can be done in Photoshop as well.

In Lightroom, balance the photo for the predominate color temperature, so that at least one light source is making white light. Then use the exposure brush (it looks like a magic wand or something) to paint over the areas that are cast in different hues. Then turn off all the exposure changes, and use the filter palette to select the complementary color that will result in a white light.

In Photoshop, you need to do basically the same thing, but because there is no magic exposure wand, you have to recreate the tool using the spraycan and multiple layers and blending modes.

Hopefully this information is helpful. Please let me know, thanks

Branden, thanks for your tips, I'll try in Lightroom following your instructions. In fact those were developed in Apperture (I was using DPP but currently testing Apperture).

The two first photos were a bit lighter - I cut them off a little bit. Attached first picture is corrected, the second one - original.

You are right - I also think, when there's no skin tone on picture or things don't look too warm when shot with AWB at the bulb light, it's not absolutely neccessary to be so puristic regarding the white balance. But since the lamps  cover the much smaller piece of picture themselve, than the area they really affect, it creates some strange "artificial" and unreal effect I wish to avoid.

On this picture lamps on the left and right sides are about 2000K, in the middle 2100K. So the third attached photo is white balanced with 2050K. Too cold... None of the pictures'  balances I like. It seems really uneasy task to correct it properly, as you say.

Thanks, +1

Minnesota Nice:
You could take the easy way out!

Black and white!


--- Quote from: marekjoz on December 15, 2011, 08:50:54 PM ---On this picture lamps on the left and right sides are about 2000K, in the middle 2100K. So the third attached photo is white balanced with 2050K. Too cold...
--- End quote ---

I disagree--in my eyes the 3rd photo is head and shoulders above the previous 2.


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