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11-26-2007, 11:37 PM   #1
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White balance at night?

Anyone have ideas on what white balance settings works best for night shots of cityscape?

I'm doing a lot of walking around the downtown area with my tripod (I'm LOVING tripod and night shooting!), but I haven't found a white balance that really seemed to work quite yet... except for "Auto"...

Oh, I'm shooting with a K10d, doing mostly 20-30 second exposures, ISO 100, Apertures mostly around 19+ with the Kit lens

Thanks!

-Tim

11-27-2007, 12:20 AM   #2
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If auto works then stick with it.

If your planning on staying in one spot for a while (like at a coffee shop) where your light remains constant then you can program it in manually, but when your constantly changing light it would be a bit of a pain to constantly change the settings yourself.

If your shooting in RAW you can easily change them in Pentax Photo Laboratory.
Click on View.
check the White Balance box
Override
and it'll give you a drop down screen with the same settings you see in your camera

If your shooting in JPG there are a few programs that make it easy to adjust as well.
11-27-2007, 12:51 AM   #3
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I've been trying many settings too, but found out that for night coulour of London the auto mode is the most suitable... If I don't like something, I can always easily change it in PPL....
11-27-2007, 08:07 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
If auto works then stick with it.

If your shooting in RAW you can easily change them in Pentax Photo Laboratory.

This is also my suggestion. You can shoot in RAW (example .DNG) and choose the best white balance in Photoshop or Pentax Photo Laboratory..

11-27-2007, 08:47 AM   #5
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Original Poster
Thanks guys!

I'm using Photoshop for post-processing, but still figuring things out in there... I don't have much experience with it.

I think you're right though- auto is working the best (as far as I can tell), so I'll just stick with i

Thank you!!

-Tim
11-27-2007, 09:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hannican Quote
Anyone have ideas on what white balance settings works best for night shots of cityscape?

I'm doing a lot of walking around the downtown area with my tripod (I'm LOVING tripod and night shooting!), but I haven't found a white balance that really seemed to work quite yet... except for "Auto"...

Oh, I'm shooting with a K10d, doing mostly 20-30 second exposures, ISO 100, Apertures mostly around 19+ with the Kit lens

Thanks!

-Tim

Tim

I will offer my standard White Balance response. I use this every time I see a question on WB and the shooter is using a K10D.

On the K10D there is an interactive feature for adjustment of white balance., the process is as follows:

- take a picture
- press Fn
- use the 4 way controller to select WB
- what you now see is the image you just took, with the WB settings you used.
- change the WB settings and watch the result on the image you just took. Use this to set the WB as you like.

This will allow you to get very close to what you want in tone, and to shoot in JPEG, avoiding all the post processing.

Note that night shots are highly monochromatic, due to the use for street lighting of Sodium, and mercury lamps. as well as neon signs. I don't think there is really any way to get "automatic" WB to work in this environment, and since you are using a tripod and taking long exposures, I see no issue with taking the time to get it dialed in perfectly.
11-27-2007, 09:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Tim

I will offer my standard White Balance response. I use this every time I see a question on WB and the shooter is using a K10D.

On the K10D there is an interactive feature for adjustment of white balance., the process is as follows:

- take a picture
- press Fn
- use the 4 way controller to select WB
- what you now see is the image you just took, with the WB settings you used.
- change the WB settings and watch the result on the image you just took. Use this to set the WB as you like.

This will allow you to get very close to what you want in tone, and to shoot in JPEG, avoiding all the post processing.

Note that night shots are highly monochromatic, due to the use for street lighting of Sodium, and mercury lamps. as well as neon signs. I don't think there is really any way to get "automatic" WB to work in this environment, and since you are using a tripod and taking long exposures, I see no issue with taking the time to get it dialed in perfectly.
When changing the WB using the Fn button as in above, does this change the WB for the shot only or does it save as a CWB and apply for the next shot.

I'v always been a bit unsure of this feature. I don't really use it, but should.

Dave
11-27-2007, 10:13 AM   #8
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I think it depends on what's the kind of light in your picture at night

11-27-2007, 10:48 AM   #9
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On the same subject I am hopeing to do some Christmas light shots at night. Anyone have thoughts in that?
11-27-2007, 10:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentkon52 Quote
When changing the WB using the Fn button as in above, does this change the WB for the shot only or does it save as a CWB and apply for the next shot.

I'v always been a bit unsure of this feature. I don't really use it, but should.

Dave
Dave

It does nothing for the shot you just took, because that is already saved in JPEG, what it does is saves the settings so that all future shots have that setting.
11-27-2007, 10:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by vievetrick Quote
On the same subject I am hopeing to do some Christmas light shots at night. Anyone have thoughts in that?
Good question, I'm planning on the same thing soon.
Although a lot of what I'll be photographing will be done on the medium format film camera.
11-27-2007, 03:26 PM   #12
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most of those little Christmas light bulbs are tungsten, I believe, though there are some LED now, and I have no clue about them. But I've gotten many pleasing pictures of christmas lights (in particular our christmas tree) using normal daylight WB. I suppose it depends on your preference - wouldn't hurt to try a few different WB's and see what works.

May depend a lot on the streetlights around too - it may be best to go with what makes the house (or whatever you're photographing) look best, and let the christmas lights fall where they may.
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