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Flash Color Temp question

Contributor ,
Oct 19, 2022 Oct 19, 2022

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@J453: Since you work at Adobe would you please forward this to the person who makes Adobe Camera Raw? Thank you.

1. My Nikon camera has a color space setting it calls "Flash." It can be selected when using a flash to light a scene. Nikon owners manual states the color temperature for the flash setting is 5,400K.

2. Adobe Bridge data readings show that Adobe Bridge sees that the Nikon flash setting was utilized.

3. Adobe Camera Raw however opens any Nikon image made with the Nikon flash camera setting as 6,150K and +1 tint and Adobe labels that color temperature "As Shot."

4. Adobe customers have to manually change the Camera Raw color space setting from As Shot to Flash. Adobe Camera Raw flash setting is 5,500K.

5. Please make Adobe Camera Raw follow Adobe Bridge in recognizing that a photo was made with "Flash" color space and not the "As Shot" color space which is always 6,150K if a flash was used. Or at least give your customers the option to select As Shot or Flash as a default when opening photos in Adobe Camera Raw which were made with a flash.

6. Just out of curiosity, what flash unit has a color temperature rating of 6,150K and +1 tint?

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Employee , Oct 20, 2022 Oct 20, 2022

All in-camera WB adjustments (automatic or manual) come into Camera Raw as “As Shot” since they reflect how the camera was operated in the field when the exposure was made.  This is by design.

The
 Flash and other settings inside the White Balance popup menu in ACR/Lr are Adobe presets and, while they may have the same name as the in-camera option (e.g., Flash, Daylight, etc.) they are intentionally not the same.

 

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Community Expert , Oct 28, 2022 Oct 28, 2022

Hang on, I misunderstood a bit. I left camera white balance on auto, since it will compensate for the flash as long as camera/flash communication works as it should.

 

But if you set camera white balance to fixed "flash", then yes, it should come in with fixed temp/tint numbers. But that won't be the same numbers as in the camera! That's normal and expected, for the reasons I wrote above. It's a different processor, so to achieve the same result it may use other numbers.

 

 

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 20, 2022 Oct 20, 2022

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All in-camera WB adjustments (automatic or manual) come into Camera Raw as “As Shot” since they reflect how the camera was operated in the field when the exposure was made.  This is by design.

The
 Flash and other settings inside the White Balance popup menu in ACR/Lr are Adobe presets and, while they may have the same name as the in-camera option (e.g., Flash, Daylight, etc.) they are intentionally not the same.

 

Rikk Flohr - Customer Advocacy: Adobe Photography Products

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Contributor ,
Oct 20, 2022 Oct 20, 2022

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Thank you, I was just looking to simplify the editing process and save a lot of time. Manual and time consuming it will have to be.

Just out of curiosity, when I set the camera to auto white balance and the image is openned in ACR, the ACR White Balance window reads As Shot and the Temperature and Tint numbers below that are different for every single digital frame. I am greatful that Adobe was able to engineer that. But, if the camera was set to flash and the image is openned in ACR, the ACR White Balance window is supposed to read As Shot, as you explain, but, the Temperature and Tint numbers are always 6,150K +1 Tint. Is there a reason for Adobe choosing 6,150K +1 Tint for every image made on a Nikon camera that was set on Flash?

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Contributor ,
Oct 20, 2022 Oct 20, 2022

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And would you please forward my request to whomever makes Adobe Camera Raw.

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Contributor ,
Oct 21, 2022 Oct 21, 2022

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Can you answer this very simple question? Is there a reason for Adobe choosing 6,150K +1 Tint for every image made on a Nikon camera that was set on Flash?

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Contributor ,
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 22, 2022

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I'd like to thank an Adobe employee named Sundbar for his genuine interest during a remote session in exploring this issue. Sundbar has a great attitude and is willing to look at things from the customer's viewpoint. The technical issue sparked his interest. He never gave the impression it's unsolveable. As far as I know he's still thinking about it. Nikon, Inc was also very helpful and their explanation was so transparent and easy to follow. While the issue will always be unresolved in the eyes of some customers (I've read other photographer's comments on several websites) today's technical limitations of camera, camera to software, and software itself are what they are. And I did receive one unsigned email from an Adobe employee that was a bit condescending.

 

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LEGEND ,
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 22, 2022

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https://community.usa.canon.com/t5/Camera-Software/How-to-determine-what-color-temperature-was-used-...

 

From some research I've done on White Balance I think it is accurate to say that "Color Temperature" is NOT a property of the raw data. 

 

He's right. As explained earlier.

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Contributor ,
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 22, 2022

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It is Adobe which assigns a number in the Adobe Camera Raw Basic Panel under what Adobe calls Color Balance. The phographer has little or no influence what that number will be. If Adobe Bridge metadata states the image was made with a flash, due to a photographer's setting on the camera, then Adobe assigns 6150K as the color balance number. Some photographers, myself included, would like to have the option to change the default 6150K number to a default number of our chosing. It would be a little easier and quicker in the editing process for some of us if we could choose that starting number. It seems the 6150K number is not the result of any measurement which is taking place but that rather it is a default number that was chosen.

 

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LEGEND ,
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 22, 2022

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As you were told, the numbers are meaninless because they define a huge number of possible colors and the camera doesn't measure the illuminant anyway. As you were told, you can alter the numbers (which if you look, work backwards as this IS a compensation of values for CCT), to anything you visually prefer. Or just do what is recommended, white balance on a neutral object that was captured since (again), what comes off your flash isn't in many, many cases, what falls on the subject (try bouncing your assumed CCT 6500K flash off a blue wall).

Nothing here is broken, so nothing needs to be fixed. If you see 6150K and again assume the value should be 6500K, alter the value and tell us, does the image get more blue or more yellow? When you get that answer, you'll see hopefully, that new value was again, useless! 

This is raw data from flash; how's the color temp?

This is raw dataThis is raw data

http://www.digitaldog.net/files/raw.jpg

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Contributor ,
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 22, 2022

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That's what I said, nothing is being measured by anything. It's a number that Adobe came up with. There's no harm in allowing someone else the choice of the starting number that they want especially when the provided number is slightly arbitrary to begin with. We're offered many choices for presets, batch operations, preferences and more. One more choice is a good thing. One less step to have to do in editing is a good thing. If anyone wants to do an extra step, that's great.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 22, 2022

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@pixelfor wrote:

That's what I said; nothing is being measured by anything. It's a number that Adobe came up with.


Actually, not so even when you make your own posts here as correct: there are underlying assumptions about the raw color space, the known processing color space and some metadata that provide a number you don't need to pay attention to as you were told. And as outlined, the numbers don't move in the product as one would assume (adding more value doesn't make the color more blue; this is a compensation of the original values). 

You're making way too much out of numbers that are not useful other than to get some idea where to move from (what you got), to what you might get in any number of ways. The unmeasured value of your strobe, what you think they should be, what they bounce off has no direct bearing on how you edit the raw data to a rendered data in this or any other raw converter. Just move the sliders or WB and then move the sliders and produce the color apparence you WANT. The numbers are meaningless in this regard. That's what I'm struggling to expalin to you and why the product works as it does. 

But if YOU insist in having a value of 6500K or any value from 6150K, I provided an easy way to do so (that you can't accept as correct which is fine) and again await your anwer about the values in my raw provided today.

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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LEGEND ,
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 22, 2022

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@pixelfor wrote:

Some photographers, myself included, would like to have the option to change the default 6150K number to a default number of our chosing. It would be a little easier and quicker in the editing process for some of us if we could choose that starting number. It seems the 6150K number is not the result of any measurement which is taking place but that rather it is a default number that was chosen.

 


Easy: Make a preset to add or subtract the temp number values until you get your 'magic' number of CCT 6500K or any value you wish. Happy now with the color apparence of all images shot under strobe? 

Let me know when you're ready to tell me if the raw image provided has the ideal or correct CCT value presented. Thanks.

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Contributor ,
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 22, 2022

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In a folder in Bridge there are images which have been captured with available light and on-camera flash. The available light images were captured with the camera "color" set to Auto and the camera was set to Flash for the flash pictures. Bridge metadata already knows which images are "Flash." From Bridge, I want to open those up in Adobe Camera Raw with ACR and it's As Shot giving all the various numbers for those made with Auto setting and the ACR number of 5,500 (not 6500 no clue where you came up with that - mistake?) for all of those made with Flash setting. Can you please provide the step-by-step procedure to make that happen when I highlight those mixed images in Bridge and hit CtrlR? When I'm done all I want to do is highlight those mix of images in Bridge and hit CtrlR. Please provide the step-by-step to make this preset you posted about and I'l definitely try it and I will definitely get back.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 22, 2022

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You were provided correct answers here; asking and then marking your incorrect replies as correct is pointless. 

Rikk told you the facts about the design of the product. 

I have tried too. 

But to continue with facts you will ignore is pointless. 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Contributor ,
Oct 17, 2022 Oct 17, 2022

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If the camera is set to Auto for a color setting the Adobe Camera Raw dialog recognizes that and the color temperature numbers are different for each frame that was made with Auto color set by the camera. If the camera is set to Flash for color setting the Adobe Camera Raw dialog always shows it "As Shot" instead of "Flash" and the color temperature is always 6,150* +1. It doesn't matter if the flash was only 10% of the exposure or 100% of the exposure or if a flash was not used. ACR always opens with "As Shot" instead of "Flash" and always 6,150* +1. I was just wondering if there is a way to make ACR open an image with "Flash" as the chosen color since Bridge has already recognized "Flash" as the color space of that image. Just looking to save some time in the editing process without having to do a batch operation to change all flash images from "As Shot" to "Flash." If that can be done and anyone knows how, that'd be great!

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Contributor ,
Oct 18, 2022 Oct 18, 2022

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1. JPG is how the image data appears in Bridge.

2. JPG is how the same image appears in Camera Raw and skin color looks bad.

3. JPG is after "As Shot" is changed to "Flash" and skin color look normal.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 27, 2022 Oct 27, 2022

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Moving to the ACR forum. You had posted in a forum for users who create scripts and plugins for Photoshop.

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Contributor ,
Oct 27, 2022 Oct 27, 2022

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Thank you. The post was made about nine days ago. I did not know that I am not supposed to post an idea for a script or plugin for Adobe Camera Raw in a forum for users who create scripts and plugins for Photoshop. After making some guy (who uses Adobe Support Community for publicizing his books for personal profit on every post he makes) got mad Adobe locked the post to prevent further outbursts.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 28, 2022 Oct 28, 2022

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It almost sounds like you have an active preset with fixed temp and tint numbers? Check that first of all. You shouldn't get the same numbers consistently, that's not normal.

 

But if that's not it, my advice would be to not pay any attention to these numbers. They don't mean much, except maybe as internal reference for a series of shots under identical conditions.

 

You already know that the numbers aren't based on any measurement of the actual light, so we don't need to discuss that. The temp and tint numbers just show the amount of correction needed to produce a neutral-looking result. In other words, appearance has priority over numbers. That's how it should be.

 

Here's the critical point: Sony/Nikon and ACR are very different processing engines! Stop and think about the significance of that for a second. It means that the same numbers won't produce the same visual result. That's the key to the whole thing. 5500K in camera is not at all the same thing as 5500K in ACR, often not even close.

 

FWIW, on my Sony a7r3 (with Sony flash unit), I get different and pretty random values when it opens "as shot". But they all look roughly right! That's the main thing, and that's the behavior I expect. If I change to "custom" and change temperature to 5500K, it doesn't look right at all - even though that's the nominal temperature for that flash unit.

 

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Contributor ,
Oct 28, 2022 Oct 28, 2022

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Thank you for a reasonable reply. I have no active preset in ACR. I never used Sony. Your Sony is set to Flash mode and you get different values in ACR As Shot, correct? I'd like to confirm before having Adobe do a remote to see what's wrong.

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 28, 2022 Oct 28, 2022

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That's right. Different temp and tint values on different files shot with camera mounted flash.

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Contributor ,
Oct 28, 2022 Oct 28, 2022

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Could Sony be passing those values to Adobe and Nikon is not? Nikon camera + Flash mode + Nikon flash = about 6,000K in both ACR and Nikon company raw converter. Any brand flash with the Nikon comes out about 6,000K in both converters. When the camera mode is set to a specific temperature, in the camera, Bridge metadata states a return flash happened and the ACR As Shot value is extremely close to the camera Kelvin setting. When the camera is set to Auto color mode and a flash is used ACR also displays various temp/tint values. It seems Bridge/ACR is engineered to do whatever the camera file data tells it to do. I can see now why I can't over ride that with my own starting point temp as an chosen option. That'd be a huge engineering feat. Do you think Bridge/ACR is just doing what the camera file data is telling it to do and the 6,000K for every image is Nikon's doing?

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Community Expert ,
Oct 28, 2022 Oct 28, 2022

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Hang on, I misunderstood a bit. I left camera white balance on auto, since it will compensate for the flash as long as camera/flash communication works as it should.

 

But if you set camera white balance to fixed "flash", then yes, it should come in with fixed temp/tint numbers. But that won't be the same numbers as in the camera! That's normal and expected, for the reasons I wrote above. It's a different processor, so to achieve the same result it may use other numbers.

 

 

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Contributor ,
Oct 28, 2022 Oct 28, 2022

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We were writing at the same time. No problem.

 

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Contributor ,
Oct 28, 2022 Oct 28, 2022

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I tend to think it's a camera file data thing. When the camera is set on Auto mode ACR opens image files at different values. It doesn't seem that ACR is measuring anythng before it opens an image. It seams it is just translating numbers provided by the image file. Also, with Nikon in Auto mode with a flash, Auto will read the scene before the flash is fired. I don't know how Auto mode/flash works in a Sony.

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