I’m happy to report that I don’t often record colour casts, more thanks to the cameras than my judgement probably, but recently I have been experimenting with flash and gels, and setting custom temperatures on the camera and that has produced quite interesting effects that appear as colour casts before post-processing.
My first example is a straightforward mistake, where I set the white balance to “flash” in a room lit by tungsten and the flash didn’t fire. Ignore the quality of the image, this is for illustration of colour casts not fine examples of my photography :-). I was able to restore better colour by clicking on “auto” in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).
The next example is more subtly wrong and produced by a combination of tungsten, halogen, daylight and flash. The mistake was produced by the flash not firing, and I’ll discuss my growing disgust with Nissin strobes in another blog. This time I had to go into ACR’s “custom”white balance and manually adjust the colour temperature, from 2950 to 2650. I also adjusted the “levels” histogram to boost the highlights and mid-ones.
The third photo was at the V&A ice rink where the lighting was disco-style and may even have been correct, but I didn’t like it so it was considered a colour cast and adjusted in Lightroom, using several sliders to selectively adjust all the colours, exposure, tint and colour temperature. This wasn’t a case of finding accuracy but of personal preference.
Finally a real oddity where I had chance of finding the right balance because the environment was bathed in red, making difficult to see and giving me a headache. I didn’t want to use flash in there because it might have interfered with the other visitors experience. I took one photo but was subsequently unable to “recover” any colours because the red light overpowered my camera. Instead I merged several post-processed versions in Photoshop until I was happy with a monochrome image.
All files were shot in RAW although on different cameras. I recently bought a Canon 60D as a back-up to my old 5D, and then found that Adobe do not provide ACR for new cameras unless you buy their software again, so I settled for Lightroom instead of the Photoshop upgrade, and I am very impressed with its correction facilities which I find to be much improved from my Photoshop CS4.