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I had a church gig Saturday night. The Easter Vigil service starts outside with a fire (for ecclesiastical reasons I won't bother to explain) and then moves inside the building. Because I only shoot this once a year I never remember what I did before and have to reinvent the processing routine. I decided to use a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens in shutter priority and shoot RAW with Auto white balance and ISO set at 800.

I was surprised at how well "auto WB" handled things...
Image

If I had thought properly ahead I would have jumped way past my first dozen or so images and processed one of the shots with people in "white vestments". The eyedropper would have made getting proper white balance pretty easy. Then I could have simply used "previous conversion" for all the rest of the images. Of course I didn't think of that so I stumbled along and finally got it right.

The fire puts out a very warm, orange light and, surprise, surprise, the tungsten setting seemed to be exactly what I needed. By the time I got to the first image containing "white vestments" the eyedropper confirmed that I had "doing it right" all along using "tungsten".

It's interesting to me that the change from "as shot auto" to "WB adjusted in ACR" was very, very subtle ... not much of a change at all. Now, when we moved inside the church and all the tungsten lights were turned on, Auto WB did not handle it well at all. All of those shots were pretty crappy before I applied the tungsten setting in ACR.

Here is what a few of my outside, firelight shots looked like after ACR and PSE processing.
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Of course, I could have used a speedlight but that isn't any fun. I was after the mood of the event.

One word of advice if you ever try this: watch out for people very close to the fire. The firelight produces blown highlights on the faces just as bad as what you get from an on-camera flash.

Rusty
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

www.prestophoto.com/photos/gallery/19932
Good stuff, Rusty! The nighttime firelight mood is so pleasant.

Courtney
Rusty: Very nice pictures for the situation.
Rusty,

Very nice, and I agree with you - using the flash would have produced "better" images, but these are in the moment, and as well, the presence of a flash would have spoiled the effect for the participants.
John
They look great, Rusty. Like them as they are!!
Rusty,

Another wonderful series of shots of your Easter Service. I always look forward to these. I love the warm firelight glow. Flash would have produced cold, sterile images. These are fantastic.
Joe

Joe's Place
My Zenfolio


Life is too short to drink cheap wine!
Rusty, they're beautiful! Thanks for all the processing info you shared.
Betty
Win 8.1, PS CC, Canon bridge P&S
Thank you all for kind comments. Yes, I think the fire does give a very pretty, warm light. Here are two more. One similar, one very different.

When the group moves inside the church all the lights are off. The only light is provided by candles including small votive lights carried by each person. I tried to maintain that same warm glow.
Easter1.jpg
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After about twenty more minutes all the lights are turned on and the service continues "as usual". Here is where auto white balance does a poor job but one click of the eyedropper in ACR brings everything into perfect balance.
Easter2.jpg
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About 90% of all processing was accomplished in ACR, I had to do very little in PSE, sometimes nothing at all.

Rusty
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

www.prestophoto.com/photos/gallery/19932
Very nice photos, Rusty. The firelight is definitely more flattering than flash. I, also, look forward to seeing your photos.

Anita
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