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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    The trouble with RED

    I am posting here rather than a brand specific area as I think this is a more generalised problem.
    In my case - I have found photographing vivid red flowers really hard.
    With my A-200 I found that turning down the saturation a tad and fine tuning the WB in the direction of Blue helped - but only working hard in Photoshop
    straightened it out. Similarly with my older Oly C-740.
    Now I find the self same problem with the Nikon D80 - in fact - out of the box, and in Auto WB it's a maniak for reds!!!
    Still with patience and experimentation I am generally OK with playing with colourspace and White balance - that is until I try to photograph a lovely Red rose in my garden - it just saturates out and goes a bit on the orange side
    First shot was just after the rain - it looked wonderfull - but my photo did it no favours at all.
    A little PP helped - but that red is still not quite right
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Geoff Chandler. UK/England/Surrey
    NIKON D90 / D80. Nikon 16 - 85 VR, Tamron 28-200,
    Sigma 70-300APO, Tokina 100 AT-X Pro D.
    SB600 flash. Panasonic DMC-TZ25

    http://geof777.multiply.com

  2. #2
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    ~ I had another bash later and tried different settings - but that red should be deeper and not so washy!!
    Normally I have been able to tame the reds - with practice on the A-200 I nearly had it nailed - but with the D80 on 'Red steroids' I am really struggling
    With WB on Sunlight and +2blue and the saturation down and colourspace 2 Adobe RGB was the nearest - but still quite a long way off>...
    Any suggestions?/ I mean - I am not new to this !!
    - Is the Nikon a duffer, or is it me??
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Geoff Chandler. UK/England/Surrey
    NIKON D90 / D80. Nikon 16 - 85 VR, Tamron 28-200,
    Sigma 70-300APO, Tokina 100 AT-X Pro D.
    SB600 flash. Panasonic DMC-TZ25

    http://geof777.multiply.com

  3. #3
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    Jul 2005
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    If you think red is hard to photograph, try purple and purple-blue flowers.
    Anyway, avoid using auto white balance. How is a camera to know what a correct white balance should be, when there is no white in the scene? It can only guess, without having any actual information.

    Another thing, you used sun light WB, but I see no direct sun light. Why is that? Did you post process all sunny feel out of it, or was it in fact in the shade?

    Use either RAW, or the correct white balance (preferably custom white balance that you set using white or grey). If you shoot JPEG, set the colour and saturation as neutral as possible. And meter on something that has an actaul mid tone, the dark rose you are metering on will alwas get the rose overexposed, and therefore it will saturate the red channel (and that is what you are seeing).
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  4. #4
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    I tried Daylight/sunshine white as I found when I did tests that cloudy consitantly gives much more red, and shade is like a red filter across the whole scene - but daylight seems to look more natural - Auto, as you suggest, is a bit unpredictable.
    I have to admit that the custom White balance (IE colour temps) is a mystery to me and I couldn't guess which one to choose - and the manual WB requires I have a neatral grey or white card about my person. - If I am indoors I can sometimes find a peice of white paper...
    RAW - I don't do RAW. I hjaven't got a way to convert it and I haven't got the time.
    Sorry if I sound negative - but it's because I feel negative. This camera has turned out to be a real challenge, and it's getting me fed up with the whole photography thing
    Geoff Chandler. UK/England/Surrey
    NIKON D90 / D80. Nikon 16 - 85 VR, Tamron 28-200,
    Sigma 70-300APO, Tokina 100 AT-X Pro D.
    SB600 flash. Panasonic DMC-TZ25

    http://geof777.multiply.com

  5. #5
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    Feb 2005
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    Derbyshire, UK
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    Chear up Geoff

    Don't get too despondant I'm sure you'll get the hang of it soon. It just sounds like you've got more options to check out now. I still think that yellow rose bud you posted was stunning. Just stick at it.
    Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
    - the fun's in finding them

  6. #6
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    Jul 2005
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    Flowers in particular can pose a real problem or challenge to digital cameras. The ultraviolet range for instance can make flowers on the photos appear different from what our eyes register.

    Thing to keep in mind, when you are outside, you only have to meter ONCE in a lighting situation, there is only one "correct" exposure. So, you can meter on a mid tone in the vicinity of that rose for instance, since the rose is a bit too dark, and you are over-exposing the rose... making the red saturated and "flat".
    Same thing about the white balance... it can hardly be a problem to have a small white paper with you (wallet? camera bag? pocket?). And you wil only have to set the WB once for the light conditions (unless the sun decides to peek through the clouds of course).

    When you have both of these set correctly (I'd use the manual mode for the metering on a mid tone, set the aperture you want to use with the appropriate exposure time), you will get the best results.

    I think you would have been happier if you had gone the Canon XTi route, flower colour wise (and settings wise).
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldrain View Post
    I think you would have been happier if you had gone the Canon XTi route, flower colour wise (and settings wise).
    lol man that made me laugh so hard i almost spat my beautiful blue moutain blend all over the monitor.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  8. #8
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    Jul 2005
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    Why does it make you laugh? You really think the two cameras perform the same colour wise? A bit sad one can not give one's honest opinion, always being made out a "fan boy".

    Always by the same people I might add.

    I just happen to think that an 400D or 30D would be more towards what Geoff is looking for, for his photography. Why? Because I happen to be of the opinion that Canon DSLRs of late are more accurate colour wise, and also a lot more consistent from model to model.

    That is something you can not say about Nikon, where the D70 and D70s are blue-ish, the D200 to me a bit artificial at tiems, especially in nature greens, the D80 very in your face saturated, the D50 again different.

    I really am allowed to say this, and I may even be right.
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  9. #9
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    Jul 2005
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    Geoff, I hope that with the right exposure, right colour/saturation settings and right white balance you can get rid of the artificial quality of the colours.
    Do keep in mind though that some colours of flowers simpley can not be captured accurately on digital cameras (most anyway?). But yes, the reds should be able to be much better.

    Here a few examples of red flowers I shot in JPEG, different light conditions (light bulbs, direct sunlight, indirect daylight) with WB on sunlight, clouds/shade and custom white balance (the one where you set it on a grey card or white paper), where appropriate.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  10. #10
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    Jan 2005
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    I have set WB with white paper before - only once with the D80, but lots with the A-200 and C740. & It works well (in all cases - possibly best with the D80!!!)
    So how does it know if you stick a grey card in front? Surely it will go way out of adjustment!
    No I don't usually carry a piece of card or paper around - I'd just quickly grabbed the camera & rushed out with it for the one shot.
    As for Canon - they were my alternative option, and yes the colours seem good. However - the XTI was a bit small and an odd grip - coupled with a viefinder I couldn't get along with. The 30D was close though! I prefered the feel and the controls of the D80, also the D80 viewfinder is a bit better.
    Images I looked at on the net popped a bit more on the D80.
    I figured at the end of the day they can all be adjusted a bit in camera - so I would find a way round to get what I want.
    The problem so far seems that it's ONLY the red that is a bit over saturated.
    But I will; try manual WB & I will revert to daylight WB with +1 or 2 blue for general use, and Auto on cloudy days with +1 blue and see how it goes from there
    Last edited by Geoff Chandler; 05-18-2007 at 04:28 AM.
    Geoff Chandler. UK/England/Surrey
    NIKON D90 / D80. Nikon 16 - 85 VR, Tamron 28-200,
    Sigma 70-300APO, Tokina 100 AT-X Pro D.
    SB600 flash. Panasonic DMC-TZ25

    http://geof777.multiply.com

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