Olympus UK E-System User Group
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Foto Fair Post your photos for friendly, non-critical feedback. This is the place to show pictures if you aren't yet ready for full-blooded critique, or simply want to share an interesting picture with other e-group visitors.

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  #16  
Old 26th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

Well, all I did to the image was to take the original, import this into Lightroom, select Auto White Balance and voila! Maybe Lightroom has it all wrong, I don't know...

Looks more natural to me.
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  #17  
Old 26th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

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Originally Posted by theMusicMan View Post
Well, all I did to the image was to take the original, import this into Lightroom, select Auto White Balance and voila! Maybe Lightroom has it all wrong, I don't know...

Looks more natural to me.
Well, I'm going to have to go back and look again. Of course, the light won't be the same unless I'm lucky. Luckily it's only a few miles away. Maybe I should try some shots of colour cards, I think I have some printers swatches somewhere.
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  #18  
Old 26th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

Good idea Pete.
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  #19  
Old 26th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

Can I guess?

White balance set to about 4,800 K?
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  #20  
Old 26th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
Can I guess?

White balance set to about 4,800 K?
Haven't a clue I'm afraid, I don't even know what that means!
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  #21  
Old 26th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

I hesitate to contribute further to this thread, but with hope that you may find it helpful, here goes:

There are probably better acounts of white balance on the web but this one is a starter:
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...te-balance.htm

I don't know about the E-1 but I just looked up a review of it and there's one from 2004 here:
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/olympus/e1-review/

The section on white balance gives a number of settings for the E-1 including 'Auto' white balance, which might help. Here's the section:
"Above the mode dial is the other command dial (used for changing manual settings), and the white balance button. There are tons of white balance settings available on the E-1, including:

* Auto
* 3000K (tungsten)
* 3300K
* 3600K (tungsten)
* 3900K
* 4000K (white fluorescent)
* 4300K
* 4500K (neutral white fluorescent)
* 4800K
* 5300K (sunlight)
* 6000K (cloudy)
* 6600K (daylight fluorescent)
* 7500K (shade)
* Four custom presets

You can fine-tune the each of those white balance settings via the menu system, where each step is equivalent to 20K. The custom option lets you shoot a white or gray card to get perfect white balance in any lighting."


The blue cast prompted me to wonder whether the WB was set manually to the lower end of the spectrum above.

Edit: there's also a succinct account in the Oly digital photography handbook (on pp34-36) that you can download as a 3.6MB pdf here:
http://www.olympus-europa.com/consum...ography_EN.pdf
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  #22  
Old 26th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

Wow, thanks, I'm sorry I reacted that way, I realise you were only trying to help. I shall follow this and learn. There is much to learn.
I'd set nothing manually as I have yet to feel confident enough, so far it's been as is, while realising that was only the starting point. I can't remember how long it took with film cameras to be tuned to the machine to the point where using it was all there in the head and hands, but there was less to it then despite having to factor in film variations. And we thought computers would make our lives easier.
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  #23  
Old 26th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

No worry.

It could be worth running through the WB controls on your E1 to make dead sure that it is actually on auto WB.

In fact I must add WB to my own checklist - I am always forgetting to reset the camera settings back to my preferred defaults after changing them for some specific task. I haven't yet had a problem with WB (I usually leave it on auto) as I shoot in RAW and can adjust WB during the software conversion .
Like you, my background was with early film SLRs. You pretty much had to set everything, each shot. With DSLRs there's so much flexibility, and the camera has so many calculations to make, that it is very easy to come back with a card full of ruined shots because (to quote three of my recent embarrassing mistakes) you forgot to check the ISO after setting it yesterday to 1600; you forgot to move from aperture priority to shutter priority when photographing runners; or -the worst LOL! - you forgot you had left the camera on manual focus this morning, then went out on the street and assumed it was on AF - I couldn't hear whether there was a beep or not because of background noise, and just didn't check - using wide angle fortunately but still lost a lot....

Well, that's my confessions out of the way for another day....
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  #24  
Old 27th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

That's both reassuring and scary! Reassuring that the experienced can lapse, scary as there seems even more things that can go wrong in the hands of a digital novice. Ah well, I guess it adds a certain extra thrill
I now doubt I saw it like that, so have to return to check, I might be reduced to peeling a bit off the building and bringing it home to scan, just to set my camera! But then if the WB of the scanner is dodgy, or my monitor isn't set up properly... we must just trust the technology.
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  #25  
Old 27th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

I always get confused by white balance too.

The wood does seem a strange colour and I first thought it might have something to do with the angle of the sun, because it looks as if you're looking slightly towards it.

Have you got a UV filter on the lens and were you using a lens hood?
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  #26  
Old 27th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

No to both questions. The sun was quite low and it shows peeking round the right side of the building, but very overcast/stormy and a strange light, the kind that makes mistletoe, a dullish green normally, shine. If you've even seen mistletoe you'll know what I mean, if not, come to Herefordshire, a lot of the trees have a ball or two of it.
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  #27  
Old 27th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

I'm sure others will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think "advice" is generally to use a lens hood to stop stray light reaching the lens and a UV filter too, which I'm sure does something or other useful to light.

I've got UV filters permanently on all my lenses.

I know what you mean about mistletoe, there's loads of it round here too.
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  #28  
Old 28th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

I have a hood, but will have to get a UV as no filters came with it. I thought UV was only used if dramatic skies were wanted, but I've not used filters a lot. I have still to find out how to set the camera to receive firmware downloads, I get so far - and the camera has beeped the PC so I know the connection is fine - but when I click on firmware upgrade it says it can't find a camera. So must be something I'm doing wrong with the camera menu. Back to the manual and read it all again
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  #29  
Old 28th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetePassword View Post
I have a hood, but will have to get a UV as no filters came with it. I thought UV was only used if dramatic skies were wanted, but I've not used filters a lot. I have still to find out how to set the camera to receive firmware downloads, I get so far - and the camera has beeped the PC so I know the connection is fine - but when I click on firmware upgrade it says it can't find a camera. So must be something I'm doing wrong with the camera menu. Back to the manual and read it all again
Hi Pete - you're getting UV and Polariser mixed up. UV filters are relatively cheap and are mainly used as front element protectors because of this. They don't have any detrimental effect on the image, and I'd rather get the UV (or skylight filter as they are sometimes known) scratched than the front element.

Polarisers are way more expensive and do exactly as you thought UV filters do. They make blue skies bluer, and allow you to remove reflections from windows, and to see through water etc...
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  #30  
Old 29th November 2008
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Re: When black and white is blue

Hmmm, I think I can see where the confusion is arising.

I agree with the comments that this looks like the WB is set too low. On the other hand, Pete says the tones in his picture are how he saw them at the time. And he states it was taken in dim light.

Now, if it was in the fading light at the end of a dull day the light would naturally have a bluish cast. To most people that cast would not be apparent because our brain in effect adjusts the white balance so that we "see" the scene as we know it should look in normal daylight. But film would have picked it up. In fact, in this type of situation with transparency film it would be standard practice to fit an 81C filter to correct the blue cast, unless you purposely wanted to use it to effect.

I said that to most people that cast would not have been apparent, so how come Pete saw it like that? Well, he might be a digital novice but he has many years experience as a film photographer, so it is highly likely that his eyes, or rather his brain, has become attuned to these subtle, natural shifts in colour balance. On this occasion, by coincidence or otherwise, it seems to me that the WB on his camera was set to reflect this - either to the "sunshine" preset or a custom value around 5600.

Incidentally, most of the gorgeous sunrise and sunset pictures you see taken on transparency film such as Velvia are showing false colours, far warmer than they actually were. The reason is that the film was balanced for about 5600K but the light around sunrise or sunset is typically only 3000K or even lower. For strict colour accuracy it would be more appropriate to use a tungsten balanced film in those situations, or a blue correction filter with daylight balanced film. So why don't landscape photographers make the neccessary corrections for sunrise/sunset pictures? Because the effect on daylight film looks more spectacular, that's why! Strictly speaking it's cheating, but it's accepted by convention.

Digital white balance control is a wonderful thing, but you still need an "eye" for what is happening with the natural light.

Great stuff Pete, getting a debate going on this subject!
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