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06-16-2009, 07:37 AM   #1
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Warmer Sunrises and Sunsets

In Scott K's book The Digital Photography Book, he describes a tip for getting warmer sunrises and sunsets when using a Nikon camera. He is using Daylight as the white balance and fine tuning with a -3 setting.My question is if this is possible with a Pentax K200d, and how to go about it. Thanks

Jim

06-16-2009, 08:33 AM   #2
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I'm not sure about this on the K200D, but I know on the K10D and the K20D you can manually pick your color temperture in Kelvin so you can make it as warm or cold as you want. Take a test shot, then go through the different White balance settings to see what looks best to your eye. If you have any software that can process RAW photos, try shooting in RAW and that way you have the flexibility to choose whatever color temperture you want.
06-16-2009, 09:21 AM   #3
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It sounds like he is describing choosing a specific color temperature that's "3" "less than" "daylight", but who knows what any of those three terms mean on a Nikon camera. You could probably find out what coor temperature Nikon uses for daylight, but who knows if "3" means a different of 3 degrees Kelvin (unlikely - that would be too small to bother with) or 300, or anything else, really. It's also not clear if negative numbers are supposed to result in a warmer or cooler picture than simply setting it to daylight.

So most likely, unless he goes into more detail, there's no guaranteed way to do the *exact* thing he describes - the specifics would only make sense on that particular camera. But the K200D certainly has the ability to set your own WB; you'd just have to figure out on your own what you want to set it to. Personally, I am usually happy enough the the results I get using the Flash WB setting for sunris/sunset that I've never seen the need to alter it. Although actually, I shoot RAW, so I just leave WB on Auto and then set it to Flash in PP.

Looks like the in-camera setting for Flash is 5400K, Daylight 5200K, Neutral fluorescent is 5000K. I'm guesisng one of these would be close enough to whatever temperature Scott is trying to trick his Nikon into delivering that you wouldn't need to bother fne tuning from there.

But if you wish to tweak it further from one of these, and don't wish to simplify your life by shooting RAW, you *can* manually fine tune WB on the K200D. First, you need to have enabled the custom option that allows you to Adjust White Balance. Then, after selecting your desired WB preset, hit the right arrow and you get a screne that allows you to fine tune the WB along the Green-Magenta and/or Blue-Amber axes. Seems like a heck of a lot of work compared to shooting RAW and fine tuning WB afterwards, but it *is* possible to do it in camera. Still, I have no idea what Nikon's "Daylight" setting is, or what "-3" translates into, so you'd end up just having to experiment until you found something you liked. And like I said chances are that one of the three presets I mentioned would be close enough.
06-16-2009, 01:12 PM   #4
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I see what you mean you can't really get there from here!
I read about fine tuning the white balance and whereas it is possible on the K200D, it's like you said just not realistic and you wouldn't have a guiding number to go by. You would need to try trial and error until you find a setting that might give the impression of stronger warmer tones. It is neat that you can fine tune any of the White balance settings for any of the predetermined settings, Daylight, Flash, Cloudy, ETC or set a complete new one with the manual and even fine tune it after selecting.
If anyone ever hits on a value I.E. select Daylight then > Fine Tune A2 M1 for an example , please post it! Maybe a filter would be the best option, but that's another expense.

For some reason I'm not that fond of shooting in RAW, files are huge and most of the programs I use can't convert them anyway, I guess I'll never be able to go pro! I have downloaded Gimp but haven't taken the time to learn it. I think it needs a plug in to process RAW files anyway. So that just leaves me with the Silky Pic program and about all I do with it is to convert them to jpeg anyway.

Thanks

Jim

06-16-2009, 01:34 PM   #5
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Jim, another option is to spot meter just to the side of the rising sun, AE lock it and re-frame the shot and fire the shutter. I meant blown out around the sun (so it's no longer a sphere) and the remainder of the image is not underexposed so much in that it's simply a silhouette. Many of those are without a CPL filter.

I also do some sunrise image work, but usually in M mode and often will underexpose it by EV -1 or so. That's probably different than what you might want, but it's another one of my crazy methods. I can provide images to illustrate what I mean if needed (for either paragraph).

Regards,
Marc

Last edited by Marc Langille; 06-16-2009 at 02:05 PM. Reason: corrected explanation
06-16-2009, 01:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Langille Quote
It's to ensure the sun is not blown out, but not overexposed either.


Regards,
Marc
What's the difference between blown out and overexposed Marc?
06-16-2009, 02:01 PM   #7
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If you want it really warm, set your WB to the "Cloudy" preset.
06-16-2009, 02:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
What's the difference between blown out and overexposed Marc?
Sorry, I had my wires crossed while typing...

I meant blown out around the sun (so it's no longer a sphere) and the remainder of the image is not underexposed so much in that it's simply a silhouette.

I'll correct the original post so it's not mistaken again! Thank you Gary for asking.

Regards,
Marc

06-16-2009, 02:16 PM   #9
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Thanks for the clarification Marc.

I had my wires crossed at work the other day. We write out old fashioned receipts so use a calculator before ringing at the cash register. We have two calculators, I wrote someone up and when I rang it in, it didn't agree with the calculator. I tried the other one and it agreed. I thought someone had reset the tax percentage. Turns out I was entering $30 in the calculator on the left and $32 on the right and I couldn't figure it out.
06-16-2009, 02:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Thanks for the clarification Marc.
No worries Gary!

QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
I had my wires crossed at work the other day. We write out old fashioned receipts so use a calculator before ringing at the cash register. We have two calculators, I wrote someone up and when I rang it in, it didn't agree with the calculator. I tried the other one and it agreed. I thought someone had reset the tax percentage. Turns out I was entering $30 in the calculator on the left and $32 on the right and I couldn't figure it out.
Ooops...

OT, OT.... Jim, the thread is back in your hands...
06-17-2009, 12:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimdandy Quote
I read about fine tuning the white balance and whereas it is possible on the K200D, it's like you said just not realistic and you wouldn't have a guiding number to go by. You would need to try trial and error until you find a setting that might give the impression of stronger warmer tones.
Well, given that this stuff is all subjective, you'd be doing that with Nikon too. I mean, just because Scott happens to prefer Daylight -3, doesn't mean that would be your favorite, too.

QuoteQuote:
If anyone ever hits on a value I.E. select Daylight then > Fine Tune A2 M1 for an example , please post it! Maybe a filter would be the best option, but that's another expense.
Like I said, it's extremely doubtful that we're talking about anything much different from just choosing one of the three WB settings I mentioned. try all three, decide which you like best, and you're done.

QuoteQuote:
For some reason I'm not that fond of shooting in RAW, files are huge and most of the programs I use can't convert them anyway
Well, then you've got the wrong programs! Get something like Lightroom, Aperture, or ACDSee Pro and you'll find RAW so much simpler than whatever you're doing now with JPEG, you'll never go back. Here's a quick hint - if your software makes you convert at all, you want something better that doesn't force you to convert everything.

As for file sizes, on the K200D using PEF, I find file sizes "only" around twice as big as JPEG - not a *huge* deal compared to earlier cameras that didn't compress their PEF files, making them much larger.

QuoteQuote:
So that just leaves me with the Silky Pic program and about all I do with it is to convert them to jpeg anyway.
If you mean the Pentax software, yeah, that's enough to put anyone off RAW. But if you have the "real" silky pix, you might play around with some more - it's capable of far more than you are using it for.
06-17-2009, 02:03 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Well, then you've got the wrong programs! Get something like Lightroom, Aperture, or ACDSee Pro and you'll find RAW so much simpler than whatever you're doing now with JPEG, you'll never go back. Here's a quick hint - if your software makes you convert at all, you want something better that doesn't force you to convert everything.

If you mean the Pentax software, yeah, that's enough to put anyone off RAW. But if you have the "real" silky pix, you might play around with some more - it's capable of far more than you are using it for.
I'd like to second Marc's opinion. Once you've learned to work with (for instance) Lightroom, a whole new set of possibilities arise. No need to think about the right camera colour, sharpness, contrast etc settings! If it's not ok, if you don't like it, you change it. Without the original data lost. And it's all done adjusting 1, 2 or 3 sliders in Lightroom. Auto preset imports can do a lot and it will also help you organizing all this photo files.
Try the free download, shoot some sunsets in raw and use the guided product tour before trying.

- Bert
06-18-2009, 10:20 PM   #13
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spot metering the sun

I hope this isn't too off topic but how do you spot meter the sun? what I mean by this is, is it safe for your eyes to point your camera toward the sun, look through the view finder, and then pressing the AE-L?
06-18-2009, 10:38 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by weaponx525 Quote
I hope this isn't too off topic but how do you spot meter the sun? what I mean by this is, is it safe for your eyes to point your camera toward the sun, look through the view finder, and then pressing the AE-L?
Not only is it not safe for your eyes, but if you have the wrong lens on there (a fast telephoto, for example) you're apt to melt the plastic viewscreen...
06-19-2009, 10:00 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by weaponx525 Quote
I hope this isn't too off topic but how do you spot meter the sun? what I mean by this is, is it safe for your eyes to point your camera toward the sun, look through the view finder, and then pressing the AE-L?
Marc Langille actually said "spot meter just to the side of the rising sun, AE lock it and re-frame the shot and fire the shutter."

Caution is important when looking at the sun through the viewfinder. I try not to explore the absolute limits. The sun's path is predictable, so framing can often be done in advance. Sometimes you can meter from an extremely bright cloud without including the sun in the viewfinder. Exposure bracketing can fill in for times when metering is difficult. That's what I did here, with the camera on a tripod:



I will often take a pile of sunset shots in RAW, get them back to the computer, adjust white balance, tint, exposure and everything else, and not be very happy with any of it. I guess I need a Nikon and the magic setting numbers.
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