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Help with photos please


kkoene
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Can someone explain to me why my photos have a tan tinge to them? I am using reveal light bulbs and I can't find any kind of white balance type feature on my camera. I just don't get it. Is it an aperture setting? What should that be set at? MAN! this is frustrating. Thanks for any help.

 

 

Keith

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It sounds like a color balance issue. The reveal bulbs aren't true daylight, they use a blue filter to shift the spectrum away from the high red of normal incandescent bulbs.

 

Do you have photo editing software? That may give you an option to adjust the levels. In Photoshop LE (the old version I've been using for several years) you can tell the program to define a certain area a "white" and correct that way (may help for this, not sure). Otherwise you'll have to adjust the colors to make it look better.

 

This is a time where it is worth reading the camera manual (and if you don't still have it, most camera companies make them available as PDFs on their website).

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Another thing to remember is that even though you are hitting your minis with light from the reveal bulbs - the light from the reveal bulbs is also bouncing off the walls, carpet, furniture and hitting the white back-drop too. You can help reduce that by using a more complicated photo setup (diffussion panels on the sides and top for example) to help reduce the reflected colors.

 

Most cameras will allow you to set white/black as well. It varies by camera model and manufacturer - but it is generally in there. If you can't get that to work, you can adjust it after the fact using editing software (Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, The GIMP...free stuff that came with your camera). It helps if you have a small chit of photo white and photo black in the picture to set your levels off from. You can pick cards up cheap at photography stores...they are basically just a bit of card stock which is half black and half white. When you edit your photos later, you use those two as your absolute white/black values in the histogram.

 

As far as the exact settings to use...it varies. You can find a number of tutorials online, but unless you have the exact same setup they have - you will likely need to fudge with the numbers some to get it working right. Nice thing about digitial pictures is that they only take you time - so grab the owners manual and sit down to fiddle with it for a few hours till you figure out what settings you will want to use for doing what.

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What's yer camera: I can offer specific help on coolpix. I suffered through a few years of Sony Mavica heck before I did a bit o' research and ended up with a decent middle of the road camera with lot's of fiddly settings (coolpix 995 - already a year or two over the hill, but decent piccies can still be had).

 

The good news is that once you get the right lighting, background, white balance combo, you'll only need to do a single photoshop adjustment to fine-tune the colors... Another good thing to do is get a strip of matte-board and paint it Yellow, Blue, Red, Green, White, and Black. Put this strip next to or in front of (laying flat) the miniature and it will help photoshop adjust the image...

 

If I'm not making sense - holler!

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Off the top of my head, I'd say that it's probably reflected light. Using some diffusion techniques would work, or using indirect lighting.

 

Heck, to start, I'd say grab a few sheets of white paper (shiny photo paper works well) and hold it up on the sides of the mini. Try to block some light, take a few pictures... Point the lamps a little away and try to reflect light on it, then take some pics...

 

Once that's all done, I'm sure that a few people here can give advice on ow to fix them after they're already taken.

 

Post some samples.

Agreed... that'll help figure out what's going on, and then offer correction advice (pre or post).

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Try using a light box/tent. I found that after I used one my pictures from my Nikon D50 turned out WAY better then anythign I've tried before.

 

Here's a link to build your own light box if you don't want to pay for one:

http://www.pbase.com/wlhuber/light_box_light_tent

 

I think I spent like 8 bucks total on my light box so you don't need to shell out a ton of money for the effect a homemade one can give.

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A lot of the more automatic cameras adjust to their own white point based on what's in front of them, really a pain when shooting minis. If there is any way to turn off some of the auto features, you may have more success in a manual mode.

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