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ACR, eyedropper error message: "the clicked area is too bright to set the white balance"

Participant ,
Jun 16, 2024 Jun 16, 2024

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Hello and hoping for some help.

Shot a concert that had very dark light, and very skewed color.   Images were Nikon  NEFs, which I then converted to DNGs via Adobe ACR/enhance (noise reduction);  which produces beautiful results BTW.

I now have a collection of DNGS, and want to set the WB via ACR/eyedropper tool, using a closeup of a keyboard's white keys.

Unfortunately, even with this dark shot,  I can't set the WB, and instead the error message "The clicked area is too bright to set the white balance.  Please click on a less bright neutral area).

The image is NOT overexposed.  (screenshot with image attached).

Hoping someone can offer a working solution for this.

Thank you!!!!

Jerry

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Community Expert ,
Jun 16, 2024 Jun 16, 2024

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Hi Mark.  Where were you sampling to get the WB?  I tried using a piano key and it worked OK.  I also tried the pianist's black shirt, and that worked for me as well.
image.png

 

What model is your Nikon?  

https://helpx.adobe.com/nz/camera-raw/kb/camera-raw-plug-supported-cameras.html

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 16, 2024 Jun 16, 2024

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I have just remembered that a long long time ago (bugger — that's Don McLean in my head for the rest of today) ACR could have problems with Nikon NEF files if they were first opened in Nikon's RAW image processing app (NX-D ?) but I have not come across this in a good few years now.

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Participant ,
Jun 16, 2024 Jun 16, 2024

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Hi Trevor -
I sampled the exact same area you did for the white point (circled in green).

Additional info:
1. Shot with a Nikon Z9, neutral profile.
2. I'm editing with the most current version of PS, 25.9.1 (updated 4 days ago, roughly). 
3. Not sure what version of ACR I have (not sure how to find out).
4. Will also see if there's a way to determine what my current Nikon Z9 camera profile is, in my system.  I'm not sure how to update this, if that step's required.  If you happen to have a link handy, that would be greatly appreciated.
5. The NEFs were not touched by any Nikon editing apps, pristine going into ACR (and no matching JPGs in the NEFs folder).

6. If I open the resulting TIF in PS, and use the white eyedropper in a curves layer - that works, so at least I have a workaround...
Many thanks!

PS - good luck getting "American Pie" outta your head.  Now I've got that wonderful song in mine as well  LOL!

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 16, 2024 Jun 16, 2024

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Generally speaking, a white object isn't the best for setting white balance. You'll get more consistent results sampling a neutral grey. The keyboard case would be a good bet. You might also have more success in this case if you use the front face of the key, which is in shadow, rather than the top.

 

Try setting WB in the NEF and see if that works. If it does, that would point to a problem with the ACR enhance processing that you could report as a bug.

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Participant ,
Jun 16, 2024 Jun 16, 2024

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Thank you Alan.  In the Nikon world, I've always used an 18% grey card to bet the WB, and typically set that in the Nikon NX Studio app, if I couldn't embed that in the files in the camera during the shoot.

However, this was a live show in a small, extremely crowded restaurant, couldn't get up to the stage, and wasn't sure what a reliable grey even looked like.  The lighting was quite wonky, and heavy heavy blue (fortunately didn't vary much), so the keyboard seemed like my best approach.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 16, 2024 Jun 16, 2024

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LATEST

My technique with event/club/stage shoots (since a grey card isn't much help when the lighting keeps changing) has been to ID a few neutral objects and use those for my WB corrections when I'm back at the computer. Like I said, I've found white things tend to be less useful, and I've seen that exact error message more than once with Nikon, Canon, and Fuji raw files. One of the reasons I stick with grey is that any channel can max out and make WB fail.


It occurs to me, on that basis, that your problem is most likely in the blue channel. That error doesn't mean all channels are saturated; one is enough. If ACR sees any of the channels at saturation, it will error. If you bring down the blue saturation and/or luminosity in the color mixer, you will probably make the error go away, but then you've also compromised the white balance.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 16, 2024 Jun 16, 2024

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Moved to the Camera Raw forum, from the Photoshop forum.

 

@Trevor.Dennis You might need the RAW/DNG file to get the same results and not web photo.

BTY, my Chevy is in the garage, but I could drive it to the levee just outside our neighborhood - although it may not be a levee, as its next to a lake and not a river, but the lake used to be a river, so may it still counts. So now I have it running through my head.

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Participant ,
Jun 16, 2024 Jun 16, 2024

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Chuck - LOVE it (and how many good ol' boys were there anyhow?).

Thanks also for moving the thread to the more appropriate part of the forum.

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