Discussions (52013)

On Topic: Help with weird lights! [v old thread - new discussion]

view profile

pontificatorexl says:

I'm trying to shoot in a parking lot at night. The lights are supposed to be sodium vapor. I know the trick to balancing my flash with florescent lights (green filter on the flash and magenta on the camera ) but does anyone have a good formula or way of working with these weird parking lot lights????
Originally posted at 11:17AM, 8 August 2008 PDT (permalink)
Nionyn_ edited this topic 71 months ago.

view photostream

Gregg Zivney says:

Police scanner. Shovel. Cable cutters.
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

pontificatorexl says:

And a ladder and 40 to 50 SB-800s and a lot of duct tape? But what if I want to use the existing (lights on the poles)???????
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

very1silent says:

If you're talking about the yellow sodium vapor lights, there is NO way you're going to balance your flash with them. They emit light on a single frequency, so accurate color rendition is impossible, no matter what your white balance.
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

mortonphotographic says:

@ ZIV

LMAOF!!! That's just genious.
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

CotswoldPhoto says:

I think, guys, you will find a decent air rifle and a tripod to balance it on will suffice.
ages ago (permalink)

fumbling ear [deleted] says:

you can gel your flashes yellow (try to find a shade as close to sodium vapor). Then use a white balance card like a whibal or expodisc and then color correct in Lightroom/PS.
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

John Leonard says:

Lots of frames, pick the one which looks best.
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

DanielKPhoto says:

^^^ What Ogalthorpe said.

On the other hand, I like mixing colors too. Why not use the different colors as an element of the photograph?


Daniel
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

DanielKPhoto says:

@ John Leonard: Spray and pray? Why not set up the shot and have some neighborhood kids do the button pushing?


Daniel
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
DanielKPhoto edited this topic ages ago.

view photostream

very1silent says:

Ogalthorpe: you're still going to end up with the lights being one weird color in the background.

The emissions spectrum of the low-pressure yellow sodium vapor lamps looks like this:


Even if you found a gel to match, you're not going to be able to turn that into accurate color rendition.

You MIGHT find a gel which gets you close, but has enough other colors in it to allow for accurate color rendition. If you manage that, you'll get your subject looking nice, but some other weird color on everything in the background. You may as well use ungelled flashes and take the yellow background in that situation.

Note that high-pressure sodium-vapor lamps (the less yellow ones) are another story entirely.
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

taylorjonesphoto | wedding and portraiture | www.t says:

shoot fast enough so that at least you dont have a lot of ambient creeping in, just minimize the awkward light color to only the fixture.
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

John Leonard says:

@DanielKPhoto- No, my point was test shots to see which filter/gel/WB combo works best. Are they low pressure or high pressure sodium vapor lights? IDK, probably neither does the OP. Taking test frames, will give you an idea. I just believe in being methodical when testing a new situation. Maybe change a gel by a 1/4 and see what it does. If that is spray and pray then oh well.
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

pontificatorexl says:

But that's the whole reason to shoot in this particular parking lot. Took get the ambiant feeling of the place. I just want to match it to the flash.....
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

Meester Steve says:

Go monochrome.
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

very1silent says:

pontificatorexl: so is it a low-pressure sodium vapor lamp, or a high-pressure one?

The low-pressure ones have a really intense yellow color to them.

You get scenes which look like this:
The industrial underbelly
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

Don Giannatti (aka wizwow) says:

So I shoot in a skating rink with the Mercury Vapor Lights... not the yellow ones, the 'turquoise" ones... I guess. I have shot in the parking lot and the light there is a bit more yellow... I think I would go to a yellow with a 1/4 CTO and then fix it in post
For the 'Optimizing' Group

Regular Sodium Vapor: shot as Jpeg
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Don Giannatti (aka wizwow) edited this topic ages ago.

view photostream

rudy__ says:

There is a big difference between low pressure sodium (top) and mercury vapor (bottom) lamps.





This page compares a lot of different light sources. ioannis.virtualcomposer2000.com/spectroscope/amici.html
Enough to make you head spin.

Gels only take away color. If the lamp doesn't put out light in the remainder of the spectrum it doesn't matter how much you take away in the part that it does.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
rudy__ edited this topic ages ago.

view photostream

jerrykids says:

gel the lamps instead?
ages ago (permalink)

view photostream

ispoke says:

Resuscitating this topic for my project. I'm planning to shoot some portraits of hot rod cars and their owners at an event that's being held in an outdoor mall parking lot. In late afternoon, I'll plan on setting WB TO DAYLIGHT and working with the warm sunlight as it recedes. Maybe use a polarizer to cut glare. Maybe use a 1/4 CTO if I feel the subject needs warming.

>>> But once evening arrives, I assume the parking lot lights (luckily somewhat widely spaced) will have some sort of sodium vapor source. I may not have the opportunity to scope out that scene ahead of time. My plan is to keep the camera WB ON DAYLIGHT, and either keep the flashes on 1/4 CTO or perhaps bare. I assume that if I underexpose the ambient by a couple stops (mainly by restricting the aperture to maybe f/16 or smaller), then pump the flashes up near full power, hopefully the effect of those parking lot lights will be minimized. My Sony a7 only RF syncs at 1/125s, so I can't cut down ambient any more than that with shutter speed. I'm just *guessing* that a pair of YN560III heads on a 60" umbrella for the people, and a pair of YN560III heads on a 6 foot strip light (cut out PVC pipe with foil) for the side of the car, will pump out enough light to make up for the dim ambient exposure.

Is this a reasonable starting point? Thanks so much for any other suggestions that get me started on the right foot...
71 months ago (permalink)

full harbor [deleted] says:

an alternative option is to mask the backround in photoshop and either colour correct or convert to B&W in post.
71 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

Alfredk says:

After dark, I would simply gel the strobes with a full CTO, you will need it, shoot a ColorChecker card and set the WB to Tungsten just for a rough reference, then I would do the final WB in post.
There will be no perfect way to WB this, you will have to embrace some color cast one way or the other, but I would make sure that the skin colors are correct in post processing.
71 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

Mr. Speedlight says:

Alfredk:

+1

---

For the sake of image sharpness I'd try to stay with f/8.0 for a crop camera and f/11 for a full frame camera. By f/16 you'd be cutting down ambient but pay a heavy price in prime focus image resolution.

Dave Hartman
71 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

ispoke says:

Alfredk:

Thanks very much for the suggestion. This eases my mind a little just having feedback on the starting point.
71 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

ispoke says:

Mr. Speedlight:

I used to be more concerned with diffraction when shooting cropped - and occasionally noticed something. But based on this article, I've embraced f/16 and even more with my full frame Sony and have not yet had any problems in a handful of trials:

www.onlandscape.co.uk/2012/08/the-diffraction-limit-how-s...
71 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

Anthony_Mann says:

Try a Cinegel #3152:

www.rosco.com/filters/cinegel.cfm?menuReturn=quickFilmTV&...
71 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

Jerry P. H. says:

ispoke:
"But based on this article, I've embraced f/16 and even more with my full frame Sony..."

Don't use it just because some internet article "says" you can... use whatever aperture gets you the shot. That may well be F/16, but it also just as easily may be F/4 or somewhere in between. If ambient is ISO 1600 at F/8, just going to ISO 400 pretty much kills all ambient and you may not even need full power on the flashes, 1/4 or 1/2 power may be enough for your needs.

A quick test is all you need to see and k ow what to do.
71 months ago (permalink)

Would you like to comment?

Sign up for a free account, or sign in (if you're already a member).