Monday, May 7, 2012

even more misadventures in color balance: sodium lamps!

Last Sunday at the Civic, I asked the other photographers if it seemed a bit brighter for the second bout of the double header.... a little later after that  Derek pointed out the sodium lamps.

"Sew-dee-um lampsss," I mouthed slowly looking up at the orange lamps on the ceiling.  The gears in my brain slowly turned to remember my past life, TAing for upper division physics lab.  Was it high pressure or low pressure sodium lamps that have a yellow doublet in the spectrum.  It doesn't matter. Sodium lamps are yellow yellow yellow yellow yellow yellow yellow yellow yellow.

How is it possible I've shot derby at the Santa Cruz Civic for a little over four years and not understood that sometimes the sodium lamps are turned on, and sometimes the sodium lamps are turned off? 

Suddenly some things make sense... like that one bout night where all the groms sitting on the edge of the stage looked like they all over-dosed on beta carotene pills.

Fucking sodium lamps!

hey! look at me! I'm the Andy Warhol of derby photographers!

UPPER LEFT:  Straight out of the camera! Ambient light!  Auto white balance!  (As it turns out, my camera doesn't have a sodium lamp white balance preset!)

UPPER RIGHT:  My attempt to correct the color in Capture One.  That bright part of the SCDG logo should be white, right?  Skin tones are mostly not too green.  Kosher Assault is 90% mammal and only 10% amphibian.  (It's not easy being green!)

LOWER LEFT:  Last December I lifted the color sensitivity and level curves of several classic black and white films from Silver Efex Pro to Capture One.  I've been playing around with them ever since.  This one is trusty Tri-X (acting on the mostly corrected color version).

LOWER RIGHT:  Just recently, I also lifted settings from True Grain for a few more black and white films.  This one's Konica IR 750 with a red filter (again, acting on the mostly corrected color version).

Oh, and take a look at the thumbnails of the right.  There's more orange where that came from!

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