Saturday, March 1, 2008

My fix for garish-color, high-ISO indoor shots

I love the high-ISO capability of my Canon DSLR, combined with my 50 f1.4 or 24 f2.8 lenses I can take some great indoor shots of the kids without flash (I don't like the 'snap-shot' look I get when I turn on the flash.) The problem is that for ISO 1600/3200 indoor photography I'm unhappy with the 'garish-color'. My 'easy fix' for this is to shoot in 'Sepia-tone'. To shoot in Sepia tone, set picture-style to 'monochrome' with the toning effect set to Sepia. The photos come out great and the digital noise that looks horrible in color, looks like ISO 400 black and white film-grain when shooting as a Sepia-tone. I also turn sharpening down to 0, so the camera is not sharpening all the noise. I personally use this technique for almost 100% of my indoor people photography. Here's an example:

Camera: Canon 5D, lens: Canon 24 f.28, Mode: Av, Aperture: f2.8, shutter-speed: 1/80th, ISO 1600, picture style: faithful, white balance: auto (AWB). Everything is Orange, Yuck.

Same photo but with my best attempt at a custom white balance. The correct white balance gets rid of the bad Orange cast from incorrect white balance. Much better, but still too cold and too flat.

Ahhh, there we go. I really like Sepia-tone style for these high-ISO indoor shots.

This obviously is not such a good technique if you really have your heart set on color :)

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