I have simple setup with two softboxes on sides and sheet of white paper on which object is placed, in my case it's a shoe. Camera Nikon d3100 (21mm, f/8.0, 1/25s, ISO 100).

Shoe is brown under normal daylight (or indoor light), almost ideal picture (not mine) looks like this:

enter image description here

The problem is when I place it under my white softboxes it gets blue/green shade (both in reality and on a photo):

enter image description here

After my edits in Lightroom it looks quite close (changed hue/saturation of green and yellow):

enter image description here

enter image description here

My questions:

  • Can I do something to avoid such post-processing?
  • Am I doing post-processing right? (I tried editing wb temperature, but it doesn't work as good as changing hue/saturation)

Thank you.

  • youtube.com/watch?v=A_qkDv0p7k8 – Count Iblis Sep 19 '15 at 19:19
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    What is the type of light sources that you have in your softboxes? Halogen, LEDs, fluorescent? – Iliah Borg Sep 19 '15 at 19:27
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    This answer to a similar question addresses your problem well. Adjust your saturation after fixing the white balance. – Jasen Sep 19 '15 at 20:36
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    I guess you have a problem here because of the light bulbs. Are they like interlight.biz/light-bulb/FALCON-EYES-FE3005-10 ? – Iliah Borg Sep 20 '15 at 14:00
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    The stated CRI is 80, that is not very good and you are getting into metameric failure issues here because of the spiky spectrum (SPD). Try something with CRI 90+, or, better, if the softboxes can handle those (watch the temperature!) use incandescent bulbs or halogen lights. It may help (not guaranteed) to create a DCP using X-Rite ColorChecker Passport and their software (software is free). But first, it is worth the try, second, it is a rather useful gadget to have. Google the terms, or ask here if necessary ;) Nothing wrong with editing colour in Lr/Ps, too, btw. – Iliah Borg Sep 20 '15 at 15:21

Basic answer

The basic answer is you need to define a white balance for your lights. Either buy a gray card or target your lights.

Take a look at this post: Color issue: studio images have a pink hue

In adition to that the other photo has more contrast, that can be done putting the light a little further away, or using some black cards.

You can also adjust the contrast in lightroom.

Also you can make a profile in lightroom. Remember that the adjustments you make on camera only afects the JPG output, and just prepare a recipy for you to adust in the RAW images. At the end that is what lightroom is, do adjust color, contrast, etc. for a specific situation.

Make a color profile

The ideal workflow is that you use a color profile using this: http://xritephoto.com/colorchecker-passport-photo

That profile is imported into lightroom for that particular light setup.

The diference of using a white balance, and making a color profile is explained here: Do I always get the same colours when I set the white balance correctly?

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    This does not look like white balance issue, as the white stripes are reasonably neutral. Profiling does not handle metameric failures due to spiky spectrum well. One may need to edit the profile by hand (Adobe are offering a free DCP editor), and the result may be limited to the particular set of materials on the subject under particular light. – Iliah Borg Sep 20 '15 at 22:20
  • @IliahBorg there are no cameras with human metamerism at all (correct me if I am wrong) so metamerism failure is not important. ANY profile is only valid for specific materials. Profiles can be based on LUT or matrix, LUT is better than matrix in handling specific spectral distributions. – Euri Pinhollow Mar 4 '17 at 15:10
  • "there are no cameras with human metamerism at all (correct me if I am wrong) so metamerism failure is not important". Not sure I understand your reasoning. More on the matter here: rawdigger.com/howtouse/color-is-a-slippery-trickster – Iliah Borg Mar 5 '17 at 15:59

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