Help with red reception pics!!

So my indoor reception pics have been fairly red at both weddings I have shot now.  I am shooting AWB with my flash pointing in the direction of my subjects' noses.  These have been fixable in post, but a lot of work :/  Does the color of the wall you are bouncing against matter?  At the first wedding the walls were red, at this 2nd one the walls were wood logs (so orangish).  I had my flash on manual and almost never had it on full power, usually 1/8 or 1/4, could the redness mean not enough flash is reaching my subjects?  My pics at the 2nd wedding were far superior, but it's still an issue.  Thanks...

Posted on July 11, 2011 at 7:30 am
plumcrush01
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plumcrush01
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plumcrush01

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Also, could shooting in jpeg be part of the problem? 


I know I need to switch but I have no way to convert the files at the moment.  I am going to buy LR anytime now!!  I looked into it and since I have an old version of PS/bridge, the camera RAW plug-in is not compatible with my new camera.

Posted on July 11, 2011 at 8:23 am
doolittlebride
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doolittlebride

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YES, on both counts.  Yes, it matters that the flash is pointed at a colored surface and YES, shooting in Jpeg is going to hurt you when it comes to post.  When people say, oh, shoot in Jpeg and get your exposures correct and you won't have to work on them do not understand that in Jpeg, your information is LIMITED and somewhat finite. 


Shoot in RAW from now on so your color correcting in post will be a snap.


LR will NOT solve the problem of shooting in Jpeg. Jpeg simply is a compressed file of limited information.  About 1/10 of the information that RAW has so your ability to edit the file is much more limited.


For now, send me some jpegs and I'll try to help you:


szphotography at mindspring.com


I had an Indian wedding where they used red saris to drape the ceiling and had some fun color correcting those images but I was shooting in RAW.


You can also download a free LR trial.

Posted on July 11, 2011 at 8:56 am
plumcrush01
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Thanks.  I didn't mean LR would solve my jpeg problems, I just meant LR would allow me to shoot RAW finally :)  I was 2nd shooting, so the primary shooter did the editing & will probably just toss out a lot of my reception ones.  I am going to edit some of my own for my own portfolio-building, so I will let you know if there are any that are really red but I like well enough to use for my portfolio.


Also, I already did the LR trial when I first got my cam...so can't use that again.


In situations like this, do you still recommend bouncing & then just fixing in post?  Or do you do a custom WB?  Or do you just refrain from bouncing...which certainly looks "flashier"?  The latter is what the primary shooter did, but she is not a pro & I personally don't like the pics that *obviously* use flash.  Isn't it more difficult to reduce the "flashy" look over the redness in post anyway?

Posted on July 11, 2011 at 9:20 am
doolittlebride
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First of all, what camera are you shooting with? Canon comes with a program called DPP which will edit your RAW files.


Next, I don't let ceiling color dictate whether I bounce flash - I always bounce unless I'm outdoors with available light and then direct, reduced flash if necessary.  Bounce flash looks effortless and natural if done correctly.  It will look as if a large window was giving directional light if bounced correctly.  It won't look like flash so I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "flashy".  Perhaps you mean off camera flash?  I'm not sure...


No, I don't do custom WB because I shoot RAW. In RAW, it doesn't really matter what your WB is set to because RAW doesn't rely on that - you can change it in post. So I just do auto WB 100% of the time.  Since I can open the files in DPP or LR and apply a general correction to that whole series of red photos, there is no point in doing a custom WB on the fly.  Besides, if I were to move the camera towards another place, that WB will be different immediately and need to be fixed in post.


I hope that makes sense.


If you are shooting Canon, go load your DPP program! ;o)

Posted on July 11, 2011 at 10:29 am
plumcrush01
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Ok, yes I had loaded DPP when I first got my cam, but I was having trouble figuring out how to use it!  I will look into that more tonight.  I have a 60D. 


By flashy I just mean it looks like you used a flash.  I know the point is to make it look natural & effortless, but the other photographer didn't bounce much & she has harsher shadows then me.  You can just tell she used a flash.  Whereas my pics, you cannot tell I used a flash but they are much redder.

Posted on July 11, 2011 at 10:41 am
MountainBride
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Next, I don't let ceiling color dictate whether I bounce flash - I always bounce unless I'm outdoors with available light and then direct, reduced flash if necessary.


Ditto!  Harsh shadows and too much flash are bad bad bad in my opinion, and an amateur mistake when doing indoor shots.  Nice work bouncing!  It takes a LOT of practice to learn how to properly use flash, and the indoor reception/wedding setting is imo one of the most difficult to master.  I would actually try increasing the power of your flash a bit if it's dark tones indoors - turning it down may have been part of the problem since dark sucks up light like that.  


I think Shari has already given you some great pointers - if you are shooting weddings, my opinion is that you need to invest in LR ($299) or figure out DPP so that you can process RAW files and give your clients professional images. . .it makes such a difference in the quality of your work when you do all of your exposure and color corrections/etc. in RAW and you may find that you are able to remove those red tones much easier.  I would get this going before spending any more $$ on lenses or equipment, no question!   :)


Color casting from walls/objects is obnoxious, but it can be dealt with - I do some boudoir against a red wall (LOVE the sexy backdrop) and it's a pretty touchy mix of auto WB, RAW, correct exposure, and indirect flash that allows me to do it with little if any color casting on their skin.  Sometimes I'll even use two flashes bounced off of white, or one off the ceiling and the second off of a silver reflector to brighten up their skin tone while maintaining the color of the red wall.  Or I'll use a bright white bulb as part of the setup to eliminate shadows and brighten the scene, paired with at least one flash.  


You might experiment at home with some things like this - get yourself a red or dark backdrop (red or black sheet, or wall) and have somebody stand in front of it and snap a bunch until you figure out the correct combination of flash and ambient lighting to get it as natural as possible, then work out any other goofy tones in PP.  I do find that if I'm flashing and exposing correctly, my images need very little color correction - if I have to spend more than 2 minutes PP an image I usually toss it unless it's spot on phenomenal otherwise :)


I also find that sometimes I get better colors and more natural exposures when I pull the flash off camera and set it somewhere say, on top of a bookshelf where it's closer to the white ceiling (this works for things like the getting ready photos, etc.) because then you really can fill the whole room with bright white light.   


Have fun! :)


 


 

Posted on July 12, 2011 at 5:28 am
plumcrush01
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So, I am doing another wedding tomorrow & it's another log cabin type venue :/  I am worried about the SD card situation.  Right now I have 2-8GB cards & 4-4GB cards (I think!), if I switch to RAW how many more do I need to get tonight?  I am third shooting so I know I won't take as many pics as the past 2 weddings.  I will be shooting from 11 am-9:30 pm with several breaks because I am a guest too (my role is pretty informal, the MOB asked me to shoot whatever I wanted & however much I wanted.  The hired photogs said it was ok that I tag along & shoot too, I was quite surprised by that!  I am the only photog for the 2 hours of getting ready shots though because the groomzilla didn't want the male photogs to see his bride).

Posted on July 21, 2011 at 10:49 am
doolittlebride
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I don't know your camera's resolution.


I have a 12.8 mp camera so shooting RAW I get 300 files on a 4gb card.  For my camera (5D), with 20 gb worth of cards (what I think you wrote up there) you should get plenty. Right now, I shoot most wedding days on 24 gb of cards (6 - 4GB cards. I shoot 7 or 8 at really big weddings.

Posted on July 21, 2011 at 12:22 pm
plumcrush01
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I have an 18 mp camera

Posted on July 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm
doolittlebride
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Sounds like you'd get less than I do then so depending on how many you want to shoot, you may need more cards. Or just shoot conservatively and chimp a lot. ;o)

Posted on July 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm

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