WB question...

Joined
Nov 10, 2005
Messages
3,403
Location
Merrick, NY
I have a simple... but yet not so simple question. What is the ideal WB in a scene? Clearly no easy answer to that one... :biggrin:

I will post a few examples at the end of the post for you look at. I just recently bought an Expodisc from a Cafe member (Thanks Doug) and I played with it last night. The auto WB shot clearly is very "yellow", and the Expodisc shot is WB'ed nicely. The actual scene looks more like the auto WB one... although not as much yellow. The Expodisc scene looks like I shot it with available light from a window in the daytime. So.... is the idea to capture the scene as it really looks... or to capture the scene with a good WB?? Here are the pics...What do you guys think??

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B

BigPixel

Guest
Looks like the ED did its job very well. Just remember that using an expodisk, or grey card for that matter, attempts to give you an absolutely neutral color balance. But there are times when you don't want color balanced to neutral like a sunset for example. And so like everything else, you selectively use an ED when and where wanted. It's most usefull for tricky mixed lighting situations like an indoors sports arena where there may be florescent, tungsten and/or mixed lighting.
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Messages
173
Location
Maryland
Just remember that using an expodisk, or grey card for that matter, attempts to give you an absolutely neutral color balance. But there are times when you don't want color balanced to neutral like a sunset for example. And so like everything else, you selectively use an ED when and where wanted.
This question of art or science puts me in dither mode.
 
Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
1,097
Location
State College, PA
Don,

I think that the question of white balance in a scene is determined by your vision with the shot. Like Mike said, mixed lighting is where the ED or some other custom WB setting is really relevent. In your examples the ED photo looks more true to the actual colors, but I think that you auto WB shot reflects the lighting color as it was. Which is better? Well that depends on your vision and planned use.

Mike
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
2,761
Location
nowhere
Auto WB can't go to very low, you can check your camera manual to see the exact figure, on D2X the lowest is 3500K. From math point of view even that is a bit risky, calculations are accurate up to 4000K. The first shot preserves atmosphere better (though I would correct it slightly in raw processing), second has the light killed, as it is usual with "perfect white balance".
 

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