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Old May 2nd, 2009, 05:34 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2009
Location: South Park, PA
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Novice Needs Advice On Filters

I have a Nikon D70 camera that I use mostly for taking action shots of my kids sports. I do fairly well but always have a problem in bright light. My photos seem to have a yellow/green cast and faces are usually very dark. I can adjust the photos in photshop but would prefer not to have to edit them. Someone recommended using a filter but since I really am not savvy on technical photography issues I'm not sure what kind of filter would eliminate this problem. Any suggestions for the novice?
Lisa Judkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2009, 10:25 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Angelo Texas
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I don't think any kind of filter would really help here. You have 2 issues to work with.

One is likely white balance. You are probably using the camera in "auto white balance" mode and that can often fail to operate correctly and accurately in specific cameras (last position I held we had 5 Kodak digital cameras based on a Nikon SLR and each one of the 5 had a different color "personality". One was so yellow the results could not be corrected in Photoshop and we just didn't use it (warranty was up by the time the camera came to us through air force equipment channels).

First thing I would try is in outdoor bright light setting the white balance to the outdoor daylight setting. You'll find this in one of the menus on the camera. If that doesn't correct the yellow/green cast read up on custom white balance and try that in an outdoor setting just to see if that corrects the cast.

But if setting the WB manually by simply selecting the outdoor daylight setting does not correct it you may have a camera that is "off" a bit as far as WB goes.

One solution may be to shoot RAW where you have a wide range of color balance adjustment.

Dark faces: You describe this as happening in bright settings. What is happening is that the exposure metering system in the cam is doing what all meters typically do and that is being affected most by the bright areas in the scene and adjusting for those. Sky and bright areas turn out pretty much correct but faces and people generally are a bit dark.

Solutions: Do a close up measurement of face(s) and "lock" exposure by using manual settings, or note what settings you get from where you take the pics and then do a close up measurement noting those settings. See the difference in f stops and then go back to photography position and dial in the extra exposure with the exposure bias control. Most digital SLR's now have an indicator scale in the viewfinder with a moving arrowhead or something like that (I have Canon so don't know exactly what Nikon viewfinder stuff looks like anymore).

...Or use the "backlight" button while taking the shot and check the LCD on the back of the camera to see if this "opens up" shadow detail in the faces to the degree you want. Typically the backlight button adds 1.5 to 2 f stops of exposure and is really meant for situations where the sun is behind the person you are photographing and you are almost shooting into the sun.

As I noted above with the 5 camera situation, color cast in cameras used to be much more of a problem. With the introduction of Canon's Digital Rebel and a number of simpler cameras by Kodak, HP, Vivitar, Pentax and others I have not seen a situation where I had to "monkey" with color much if at all. Color on most has been acceptable or better with occasional times where the auto white balance did not work as well as it could have, but it's been generally easily corrected.

If the yellow/green problem persists and you cannot find a solution you are happy with, you have two options: Send it in for evaluation and repair, or replace it. The D90 does some HD video and seems somewhat reasonably priced. The new Canon digital Rebel (D500) also does video and the Canon color chip seems to be the one all others are compared to.
Bruce Foreman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2009, 07:54 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2009
Location: South Park, PA
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Thanks. The next day we have full sun I'll give your tips a go. It may be some time as we are expected to have rain for the next 10 days....

Last edited by Lisa Judkins; May 3rd, 2009 at 07:55 AM. Reason: misspelled words
Lisa Judkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2009, 05:54 PM   #4
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Location: Monroe, NY
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Bruce had some great suggestions, but try a few things first.

First set the camera back to factory defaults.

Then try the presets in bright sunlight. Try "auto" first, then "sunlight". Then try setting the White Balance to +1, and +2 to correct yellow (which is the same as green).

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