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In my work (lab research), I have need to take digital photos of thin transparent gels sitting on and being illuminated by a white light box. When I try to take a digital photo, weird orange bands appear in the image. These orange bands are not visible to the naked eye, but they appear in digital images taken using both Samsung and Apple smartphones. We know nothing about photography, so all our images have been made using the phones' default camera settings. To get rid of these orange bands, do I need to change some setting on the camera? Would some kind of filter get rid of these (even though, again, they aren't visible to the eye)? Any suggestions would be most welcome, because we are at a loss about what to do.orange artifacts on image of white light box

marked as duplicate by inkista, Olin Lathrop, xiota, Michael C, mattdm Aug 20 '18 at 15:43

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  • Camera settings (such as ISO, aperture, shutter speed) from photo Exif would be helpful. Many photo viewers have an option to display it. If yours doesn't, you can search for an app for your particular platform. – xiota Aug 18 '18 at 5:27
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Your problem may be caused by flickering of the light source. Many people have problems with fluorescent lights in particular. This is similar to attempting to photograph a television because the bands and flickering are limited to the light box.

Light and dark bands appear when the shutter speed is faster than the flickering of the light source. You can try a slower shutter speed, like 1/40s. If that fixes the problem, you can increase the shutter speed until just before the bands reappear.

See also:

  • I agree with xiota -- The bands are caused by a flicker of the light source. It is pulsing in rhythm with the alternating current frequency. This will be 60 Hz in North America or 50 Hz in Europe etc. The solution is to experiment with different types of lamps. Try ordinary tungsten lamp or switch to a low voltage lamp operating on battery or perhaps a DC power supply operating on your AC household electric outlet. – Alan Marcus Aug 18 '18 at 6:11

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