Whitebalance from Hell
Colourful LED Light and Wedding Photography
Evening time at a random wedding. There's a lot of light set up for the party mood. Everything looks beautifully colourful. But then...
That nice colourful light confronts wedding photographers with some challenges when it comes to postproduction. Wheras conventional spotlights get their colours from coloured filters, LED lights work differently. Filters are designed to allow light with a certain colour to pass through. But other parts of the colour spectrum are not completely blocked. They are not as prominent, but they are still there, making the pictures still usable for correction.
If your sliders for temperature and tint in Lightroom have reached their limits at 50.000 and -150 it's clear:
The DJ gave everything with his LED lights.
Colourful LEDs just don't have a full colour spectrum. Already white LEDs (which are in fact either a mix of green, red and blue ones or a blue one bent to yellowish) don't deliver consistent colours. With LED light in certain colours it's even worse. Their spectrum is usually extremly narrow and other colours do simply not exist in that light. That often leads to horrible colours, to banding and to loss of definition while trying to correct that in postproduction.
The example below is still quite comfortable, as it can be corrected quite well, just using the temperature and tint sliders. They are at their limits though. If I had wanted more I'd would have needed to take more extreme measures and work with the RGB tone curves from there on - a lot of effortless work for a party pic. Luckily there was no banding in that picture - with single red or blue LEDs that would have been worse.
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