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Colour balance settings for night street scenes?

For a night shoot, often full of mixed light sources, use the pre-set tungsten/indoor camera setting. This will cover you for the lighting nasties that can play in the scene and it will look the most natural. 

This should render each light source as it appears to your eye. If you’re setting up tungsten lights, then balance to them but don’t balance to anything wildly different in colour from that tungsten source.

If you shoot under fluorescents lights at night, do a manual balance only if you have to shoot a scene with fluorescents as the main illumination and be aware that doing this can send other (non-flouro) lights in the scene slightly off colour. In general, I prefer to make my own white balance under fouros.

© 2013 Pieter de Vries ACS

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