Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Kevin Devine, Into It. Over It., Laura Stevenson at Center Church, New Haven, CT 02.05.15

Welcome to the first concert I covered in 2015! One of my goals this year is to post photos in a much more timely manner. I wrote up this review and processed the photos the day after this show. Not too shabby! There is a full write up over on Surviving the Golden Age if you'd like to read about that. Otherwise, this post is going to talk about an issue I discovered with Adobe Lightroom.

I'm going to talk a little bit about how I achieved the color in my photos: custom white balance. The photo below shows you how the camera wanted to shoot on auto white balance. While I don't mind a bit of stage lighting color, when it's this obnoxious, I want to try to correct for it. The acoustics here are amazing, but hey, it's a church and it isn't set up for great lighting. Two sets of LED floods are set up, spilling the magenta/bluish tones you see over everything. I would've turned the majority of these shots into black and whites, but I wanted to salvage some color.

Preview straight out of camera, no processing at all.

The good thing about Center Church is that there is a big ol stage set in the same light that I know is white. To set a custom white balance, you take a photo with what is supposed to be white in the center of your frame. You tell the camera that this should be white and change your settings to custom white balance. The results I was seeing in camera gave me nearly perfect skin tones to the left, and a pretty strong green tone on the right. I was all right with that. When I got home and loaded the photos into Lightroom for processing (I'm still using version 4) the fun really started. While Lightroom is normally a great tool for photographers, it has limitations.

Left: what I saw in camera after setting the custom white balance. Right: the maxed out temperature and tint version Lightroom produced

The shot on the left is what I was seeing in camera after my custom white balance. The image on the right is what Lightroom defaulted it as. It tried to hold my settings, but Lightroom actually errors out. The temperature and tint settings can only go so far, even if you set it in camera. After some research online, I was able to find another photographer with this issue. I don't know why Lightroom hasn't been updated to fix this problem, but luckily Canon's software can handle it. I installed their Digital Photo Professional software, which is clunky and does not allow you to batch process the images, however, it held my custom white balance settings. It took a lot longer to sort through my photos this way, but I grabbed my color shots then returned to Lightroom to process the black and white. It just goes to show you, you learn something new every shoot.

Ok, enough technical talk, enjoy the photos.

Laura Stevenson

Kevin Devine

Into It. Over It.

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