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Question about white balance

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by cleoent, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    I can't seem to ever understand how the pro's (you guys) go about setting your white balance or correcting it in PP.

    Is there some kind of histogram i can use in photoshop to adjust it, or do you guys just adjust it to what looks right for you?

    The most common feedback i get on my pics is that the WB looks a little off. It always looks fine to me, but i'm just using my eyes to judge it. Sometimes i click AUTO in ACR, but that seems to be hit or miss....

    Any help?
     
  2. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Just as a clarification, i'm not asking how to correct WB, i'm asking what tools are at my disposal to judge where WB should be.
     
  3. Bob Coutant

    Bob Coutant Moderator Moderator

    May 17, 2005
    Pleasantville Ohio
    I'm certainly no pro, but here's a starting point.

    Is your monitor calibrated? If not, it's possible for your images to be fine on your monitor and look off color to everyone else.

    If your monitor calibration is okay, try picking out image objects that you know to be neutral, e.g., a white shirt, a gray post, a white sign in deep shade, etc. [Objects that are subject to different lighting conditions (shadows vs. directly lit objects) can take on different color casts] Use your eye-dropper to measure the RGB values -- if the object is supposed to be neutral, R=G=B. With a little practice, you'll become more sensitive to color balance issues and learn when and where to expect them:wink:.
     
  4. jfrancis

    jfrancis

    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Several ways.

    In Camera Raw, using the WB eyedropper, click on an area you know to be neutral.

    Get yourself a grey card and include it in the shot. Click on that.

    Get a tool like the Expodisk and create a custom WB for each set of lighting conditions.
     
  5. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    great tips thank you!

    100 bucks for an expodisk is not in the budget for now. But will keep that in mind for sure! Thank you.

    A grey card should be easy enough to do though.
     
  6. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    You can get a white balance expodisc type thing off ebay for $10, it does the job

    Doubles as a lens cap.
     
  7. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
  8. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    yip, those are them !!
     
  9. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    they actually work? Why on earth would anyone spend money on the expo's then?
     
  10. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    well, not sure, I find they work just fine.

    Used to be that people used pringles lids and all sorts of things, just as long as the diffused light is neutral it should work OK.
     
  11. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Tom, capture NX would require me to have the camera tied to the computer right? Or is that a different program? The photo editing software that came with the camera i find very slow and clunky.

    BUT, if you're telling me that it has a very reliable auto WB adjustment tool, it might just be worth it!

    Yesterday i tried using the WB eye dropper in ACR, seems like it worked fairly well. Main problem is there is not always a neutral color in the shot.
     
  12. Good suggestion:
    Take a cover from an old fluorescent light bay. Cut off a couple of square pieces big enough to cover your largest lens opening. Glue two of them together at the corners: Voilà - instant expodisk at no cost :smile: (see image below, performance absolutely identical to expodisk).

    Better suggestion:
    Set WB to "cloudy 0" and glue it in place :smile:.
    It will give you great colors just about all the time (except in funky lighting conditions of course).
    Always shoot in RAW, so that you may make minor adjustments when required (very seldom).


    original.gif
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
  13. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Thank you Frits!
     
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