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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Red colour cast with studio lighting. Why?
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Showing posts 1 - 13 of 13, (reverse)
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02/06/2009 04:49:33 PM · #1
I have just taken delivery of a Lastolite Lumen8 F400 studio flash kit and to be honest, am really dissapointed with the results I am getting. The lights got good reviews when I did research before I bought so I'm sure it's just me not having a clue how to use them properly. I am shooting in a light tent with one light on either side and one to light the background to try and achieve the bright white background effect. Every photo I take though, comes out with a red colour cast. The white balance on my camera is set to auto as the flash setting gives an even worse colour cast. I will be very relieved to know that it's my settings causing the colour cast and not the studio flash and even happier if someone can tell me how to remedy this.

As you can probably guess, I have never used studio flash before so please feel free to explain the basics if necessary! :-)
02/06/2009 04:53:18 PM · #2
Do you have a simple gray card? You could shoot that with your kit and then set a custom WB and see if it helps.

Can you post an example?
02/06/2009 04:56:33 PM · #3
You'll probably want to use a custom white balance setting with studio lights, as they are quite dependent on the reflections of everything in the setup and can cause auto WB settings to go crazy.

Also, shooting in RAW will give you far more control over WB in RAW conversion.

For the custom WB settings, you take a photo using your studio strobes while the camera's frame is filled with a white (or grey) background. People usually use special cards made for this purpose, but any neutral grey or white object you can fill your frame with will work. The camera then reads the WB given off by the lights in the setup and sets it to that setting.

RAW, of course, lets you tweak whatever custom WB setting you have without degrading anything. If you've been shooting RAW, you should be able to fix that red color cast you've already gotten as well, using even the most basic RAW conversion programs.
02/06/2009 04:58:37 PM · #4
I don't have a grey card so will have to get one. Give me a few minutes to convert the photos and I will post them. Thanks' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' K10DGuy
02/06/2009 05:01:43 PM · #5
If the lights have modeling lamps, and you're using auto WB, that's your problem; the camera is focusing and making WB choices based on the modeling lights, not the strobes. Just set your WB to strobe for now and see if it is any better. If necessary, you can do a custom WB as others are describing.

R.

Message edited by author 2009-02-06 17:02:14.
02/06/2009 05:02:39 PM · #6
Originally posted by Trinity_12_12:

I don't have a grey card so will have to get one. Give me a few minutes to convert the photos and I will post them. Thanks' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' K10DGuy


They aren't expensive. $5-10 or something. They are quite helpful with white balance.
02/06/2009 05:06:24 PM · #7
From this page //www.markcleghorn.com/photokit4u/lighting-accessories in the specifics at the bottom it says the white balance is between 5300-5600 K. Try using Daylight white balance or you should be able to set the white balance by Kelvin temp. Just assuming since I don't have Canon stuff.
02/06/2009 05:09:47 PM · #8
Ok, just tried to upload my photos and was told my membership has expired! What a night I'm having! :-) Lol... Will have to get out the old credit card then.

The lights do have modelling lamps. I'm going to try all the suggestions and will let you know if I have success. Lol, it looks like I have LOADS to learn about studio lighting! Thank goodness I have you guys here at DPC! Thank you ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' K10DGuy, ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' jdannels, ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' DrAchoo and ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Bear_Music
02/06/2009 05:34:02 PM · #9
Success! Sort of! :-) I set the custom WB as suggested and it got rid of the red colour cast. Now I need to concentrate on the right power settings to get my background whiter than white instead of grey! Sounds like a washing powder advert! Thank you everyone for your help. I had that awful sinking feeling that I had just spent good money on bad strobes! Now I know I just need to learn how to use them!
02/06/2009 05:40:26 PM · #10
Originally posted by jdannels:

From this page //www.markcleghorn.com/photokit4u/lighting-accessories in the specifics at the bottom it says the white balance is between 5300-5600 K. Try using Daylight white balance or you should be able to set the white balance by Kelvin temp. Just assuming since I don't have Canon stuff.


That's odd that the AWB can't read such a natural K. Normally when we're talking about a red cast we have hot lamps or something with a K of 2200. I wonder if it's a setting that's set wrong. I'm not familiar with the 30D's menus though. Is there a difference in WB setting between say shooting in Ap and the Green Zone?
02/06/2009 05:41:06 PM · #11
To get the BG white you need to have it's exposure 1 to 1.5 stops or so OVER your subject's exposure.
So if the subject is at 5.6 then the BG needs to be 8 or a bit more. If you have your camera set to show blown highligts as blinkies you can do it that way too.
02/06/2009 05:45:19 PM · #12
That would explain why my backgrounds are grey. The setting I'm using is the same as that used for the subjects. Thanks ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Prof_Fate.
02/06/2009 05:47:41 PM · #13
Not too sure about the WB setting in the different zones either ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' DrAchoo. I've actually dug out my camera manual and I'm going to go through and make sure all my settings are right.
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