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Thread: Struggling with High ISO and horrible light...

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    Struggling with High ISO and horrible light...

    I have been shooting some basketball shots of my sons games, mainly as a method of improving my skills. I shoot in raw, and post process in lightroom (although I do have CS5 as well)

    The light in the stadium is quite yellow, compounded by cream brick walls and the typical yellowish wooden sprung floor... plus the team wears orange...

    Unfortunately I do not have an f/2.8 70-200, so I have used either my f/4 24-105, or my f/1.8 50mm. I have had to shoot at quite a high ISO - either 1600, 3200 or 6400 to be able to get a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action.

    The images are VERY noisy though, as this 100% crop shows (this is a straight raw to jpeg conversion at 100%);
    1/250 at f/4, 6400 ISO



    Here is the unedited uncropped - showing the yellowish wb



    I have attempted to pp the image to correct the white balance and noise... here is the 100% crop



    And the edited full;


    The changes I made in Lightroom included;

    - WB to 3400, +30 tint (Auto took too much of the yellow out, leaving a blue tinge)
    - Increased exposure and contrast, reduced blacks
    - increased clarity and a tiny bit of vibrance
    - increased saturation of Blue, with a smaller increase in Aqua
    - increased luminance and detail under Noise Reduction
    - Applied lens correction

    To me though it still doesn't look right, but I can't seem to pinpoint where or what I can do to improve it. The orange of the shirts isn't quite right, nor is the skin tones, particularly when viewed at 100%

    Would love some help and advice with this, either with the shooting or the pp

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Epicaricacy; 23-03-2012 at 3:23pm.
    Epicaricacy
    Canon 5Dmkiii and a variety of lenses and other bits and pieces




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    I have no idea as a Landscaper , But thinking about it maybe a touch of fill flash would kill the colour cast of the lights which is causing the problem, Or Simply use in PS Image>Adjustments>Match colour and tick the Neutralize box , Then play with the fade slider
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    It's a hardy , I had a play using match colour and Hue/Saturation, Dunno wether this is any better , But my take on it
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Thanks William - flash is not an option though. Had a bit of a play with the other bit - couldn't seem to do much though different though - initially made it very blue.

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    Quite like the colouring of the floor with that one, more natural, and doesn't seem to have changed the orange shirts as much, which I think my playing did.

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    Shooting in RAW is a good start. You could go out onto the court before the game and shoot a grey card, but if that is not possible you're going to have to play with the WB in ACR. It's pretty simple to do if you have something in the photo that is white in colour. There is a white point selector up the top of the preview panel in ACR. You click on that and then click on the white area in the photo. Hey presto...a custom WB! Now when you do this, you may still get cooler colours than you wanted. Just slide the temp slider a little to the right to warm it up and you have finished.

    As for noise, when I shoot very high ISO in low light indoors without a flash, I actually have noise reduction on in-camera AND I use ACR to reduce noise as well. Use the sliders under that tab in ACR. I set them all to 50, but I also apply a sharpen. Once converted and loaded into Photoshop, I also run Noise Ninja.

    You'll still get noise, but hopefully it will be tolerable. I'm sure other folks have little secrets for processing that they might be willing to share.

    Use the synchronization options to give all your photos the same look.

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    Thanks Snoopy


    Looking at this, do other people think I have the wb about right? Too warm, too cool?

    I had the high ISO noise reduction on, and upped it from normal to strong. Still seems very noisy though - perhaps just the camera..?? (550D)

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    WB and colour temperature are often a personal taste within a range. Wedding reception shots are more likely to be warmed beyond an empirical WB value. It depends on what you like.

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    I get similar results. My son plays in the afternoon and the stadium has those clear sheets in the roof, so you get a mixture of daylight and tungsten which makes it difficult to get accurate colour. I haven't put much effort into processing shots yet as I know it's going to be difficult to get good results. (Although I did put one in the high-ISO comp last week but converted to mono as I couldn't get colour I was satisfied with). Does your camera have the ability to set specific wb (Kelvin) values? You could maybe try a few shots on different values and see what gives the best results, although might still be a compromise.

    The shirt colour might be a different issue. Digital cameras seem to struggle sometimes with that shiny fabric. For example my son's baseball shirt is purple but they always photograph as blue. (This seems to be a common problem as I've seen plenty of Lakers images on the web where the uniform looks blue). I increase the blue hue value in LR3 (typically +30) which generally gets it close enough. Fortunately there usually isn't any other blue in the shot so a global adjustment is ok. Something similar may be happening to the orange shirts in your shots. However it might be a harder fix in your case as a change in orange hue might affect the skin tones - you might need to do this in PS so you can mask the shirt area (assuming this fixes it of course).

    (Not sure I've helped much )



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    Phil.

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    I think the first photo is a tade warm (could be my monitor as I think there's a tad to much red in mine lol), anyway with that I'd be setting my cam to WB fluorescent and then ajusting accrodingly in ACR

    Those lights are pretty much the same kelvin temp once at peak that are used outside at night, thus setting your cam to the this WB will give the correct colour & WB exposer your after.. 98% sure thats the prob without testing this myself

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    On the raw file, you would set WB to grey using the dropper tool somewhere along the line at the top of the back wall on parts of the exposed foil insulation.

    The idea of using a grey card is good, but when impractical, you use what you can. So what you should be doing is looking for something close to grey.
    Close to grey is good enough as the dropper tool allows you to then fine tune the actual WB you think looks best.
    If there is no part of the scene that is close to grey, you can use white as your grey point of reference.
    Software(most software!) is smart enough to know that you're pointing to a white source and will still produce a WB that's fairly close to what you may want.

    Be aware tho, that if you shot under these yellow lights, there's probably not much you can do to remove all the 'yellow cast' without doing more harm to the image overall(considering the high ISO used).

    Afterall, the idea of WB is that you're trying to balance the different primary colours to produce the effect that white is in fact white(and not yellow or red .. etc.
    So in the image(s) you've presented you can easily point the WB dropper tool at the white T-shirts of some of the people present in the background.
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    could you brighten exposure with exp comp in your camera menu ??
    then use less iso ?? or quicker shutter ???

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rowdy23 View Post
    could you brighten exposure with exp comp in your camera menu ??
    then use less iso ?? or quicker shutter ???
    This isn't possible.

    When you use exposure compensation(eg +ve) to brighten up the exposure at the time of capture, the only three ways to achieve this brighter exposure is to either increase the ISO level(more noise) or decrease shutter speed(more subject movement) .. or open up the aperture(but we're assuming that the aperture is already set to wide open in these images).

    One trick many folks tend not to use is to increase ISO even more than is necessary when shooting at high ISO values and slightly over expose the scene a little bit(without blowing the highlights too far).
    Then in PP you scale back the brightness levels to suit as you tweak here and there, because the resultant SNR is slightly lower as there is naturally more signal to noise in the exposed image.

    eg. if the scene requires f/2.8 1/200s and ISO1600 to achieve a specific exposure level, you would set ISO 1/3 to 1/2 Ev higher(2000-2500) to expose the scene slightly more brightly.
    This give the appearance of slightly less noise in the image.
    In your image editor, you then use less aggressive noise reduction and then lower brightness levels where required to get the look you're after, with subsequent tweaks to saturation and contrast to taste.

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    The other tricky think with this sort of crappy light is cycling where the colour temp Nantes even between shots

    I'd be happy to get 1/500s, iso6400 and 2.8 in most similar looking places....you need fast lenses and top bodies I'm afraid to do a really good job unless you are going to strobe it


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    I've just been out shooting some night time BMX and have the same issues but the noise is what I'm most unsure how to deal with. Is something like Noise Ninja worth the money and effort or is the noise reduction adjustment in Lightroom 3 just or nearly as effective? For Info I was shooting with a Canon 7D at ISO1600 and 2000. Cheers

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Someone somewhere on AP suggest this free noise reduction program http://damiensymonds.blogspot.com.au...y-edition.html
    Haven't had a chance to play with it yet.

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