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Illuminations
#1
I am going to Blackpool Illuminations and as it will be night when the lights go on, I am wondering about settings.
You normally set the WB to give you the colour temperature of the subject lit by the light.
But with illuminations the light is the subject, not what it is illuminating.
Any suggestions or is it trial and error? :/
Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
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#2
Shoot in RAW and set your white balance to auto. Then you can adjust to the WB on your computer afterwards.
Canon stuff.
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#3
Raw is an excellent choice if you're shooting at night, as it will give you the best way to preserve highlights and capture a large dynamic range.

If you only have room for jpeg images, I'd set the WB to "daylight". To my mind, it messes with the colours the least -- doesn't try to compensate for an incomplete spectrum, and it's a nice mid-range kelvin value. But, you may want to decide based on the other lights that might intrude into the frame. Moonlight is just reflected daylight, so daylight WB is suitable if you're including it. If there are other lights, such as streetlights or landscaping that you can't avoid, you might want to try balancing for that so that it doesn't introduce an additional colour. (or you may want to keep the colour of the lights... artist's choice.)

Try lots of different ways...? The nice thing about digital is how cheap the film is.

I would suggest that if you can shoot raw+jpeg to do it with your camera NOT on Auto WB. Forcing it to pick one (I'd suggest daylight again) will give you a consistent colour reference. "Auto" will be trying to make the light look white, which is exactly the effect you're not looking for. (Yes, you can adjust the raw image to whatever constant value you like, but I still find it easier to see a large number of images pre-cooked with the in-camera saturation and contrast settings also applied.) If you're only capturing RAW, then shooting in Auto WB will let you see the numeric value of the colour temperature, which might be used for reference, but I'm not sure how I'd use it.
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#4
Another thing about RAW is that you can do HDR from a single exposure (sometimes) - another way to recapture dynamic range..
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#5
Thanks all, Unfortunately I couldn't log on this morning. Trip began at 11.00 am GMT.

Ok, its done. Shot in Raw+jpeg.. WB set to auto.. Full manual to get eventually 1/80 at widest aperture depending on F/L. 5.6/5.0 average.
On Av everything was too bright which I expected really, and the same for Tv.

It was really windy and the sea whipping up onto the town front.
Only just got home so will post a couple, possibly tomorrow if they are any good.
Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
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