Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 09 Aug 2012 (Thursday) 23:39
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Custom white balance

 
Neslorm
Member
108 posts
Joined Mar 2011
Location: Southwest Michigan
     
Aug 09, 2012 23:39 |  #1

I own a Canon 7D and I'm going to be shooting some indoor activities with mixed lighting sources. I've never used the custom white balance feature on the camera. I read the book and have executed the instructions succesfully. I've talked to two friends who have used the custom feature before. One told me to use a white piece of paper and the other one told me to use grey. I asked them both why they chose the color they chose and each said "Because someone told me to" but neither could elaborate or explain why.

I'm sure this is a basic question but I'd like to get some feedback if possible!

Thanks


Gear list: Canon 7D + battery grip, EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, EF 50 f/1.4 USM, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
imjason
Goldmember
1,667 posts
Likes: 3
Joined Nov 2010
Location: Bay Area, CA
     
Aug 09, 2012 23:52 |  #2

if you want to do it "right" then i guess you need a 18% gray card to set your WB

http://en.wikipedia.or​g/wiki/Gray_card (external link)

but i see WB is a preference thing. i usually do not care for WB accuracy, i usually like my photos warmer, even if its actually cooler.


Canon gear: EOS M, Canonet QL17, SX230HS, S95, SD1200IS
Non-Canon gear: D600, D5000, D70, XG-2, U20
Flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Neslorm
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
108 posts
Joined Mar 2011
Location: Southwest Michigan
     
Aug 10, 2012 00:00 |  #3

Thank you. That was very helpful. I've used a 18% grey card in Lightroom to correct but never thought about setting the white balance in camera with one.


Gear list: Canon 7D + battery grip, EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, EF 50 f/1.4 USM, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
mike_d
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
5,380 posts
Gallery: 7 photos
Likes: 605
Joined Aug 2009
     
Aug 10, 2012 00:38 |  #4

White or grey doesn't really matter for white balance as long as the following two conditions are true:

1) The target is truly neutral without any color cast at all ("white" paper probably isn't really neutral but is probably close enough for most people)

and

2) None of the color channels are clipped when shooting the target

A grey card being 18% is important for metering since that's what your camera will expect the world to see.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tzalman
Fatal attraction.
Avatar
13,482 posts
Likes: 199
Joined Apr 2005
Location: Gesher Haziv, Israel
     
Aug 10, 2012 03:34 |  #5

mike_d wrote in post #14838791 (external link)
White or grey doesn't really matter for white balance as long as the following two conditions are true:

1) The target is truly neutral without any color cast at all ("white" paper probably isn't really neutral but is probably close enough for most people)

and

2) None of the color channels are clipped when shooting the target

A grey card being 18% is important for metering since that's what your camera will expect the world to see.

All true, with a couple nit-picking comments:
Point 2 - if you expose a white card and mostly fill the frame with it without any Exposure Compensation (needle zeroed), as far as the camera knows it is a grey card. Because of this none of the channels will be clipped.

A technical point which you can feel free to ignore: The more exposure the sensor receives, short of clipping, the more data it captures. This means that theoretically an exposure which is close to clipping would be the best (most accurate) platform for calculating WB. As I said, this is nit-picking and other than for scientific/forensic uses nobody need worry about this. However, it is worth noting that one of the most popular WB aids, the WhiBal, uses a 50% grey target (rather than the commonly advocated 18%) for this very reason.

Finally, always do your Custom WB creation in ISO 100 because noise will affect the calculation.


Elie / אלי

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
EmyB
Member
Avatar
128 posts
Joined Jul 2012
Location: Beautiful Brisbane, Australia
     
Aug 10, 2012 04:37 |  #6

Sorry for the hijack but I have a related question! Instead of pfaffing about with setting custom white balance in camera (which seems a bit cumbersome), could I not just include a grey card in my first photo in each location, and then just start shooting away. Then later on in Lightroom I can just adjust them all with the dropper there?


Emily. :)
Canon 60D | Canon 15-85mm | Sigma 30mm 1.4 | Canon 50mm 1.8 | 430EXII | Bits & Bobs

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tzalman
Fatal attraction.
Avatar
13,482 posts
Likes: 199
Joined Apr 2005
Location: Gesher Haziv, Israel
     
Aug 10, 2012 05:37 |  #7

EmyB wrote in post #14839195 (external link)
Sorry for the hijack but I have a related question! Instead of pfaffing about with setting custom white balance in camera (which seems a bit cumbersome), could I not just include a grey card in my first photo in each location, and then just start shooting away. Then later on in Lightroom I can just adjust them all with the dropper there?

Yup, absolutely. Just shoot the card again if the light changes. And this method gives the advantage that it's easy to tweak the WB according to your personal taste and/or the atmosphere you want to create.


Elie / אלי

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Dustin ­ Mustangs
Senior Member
Avatar
310 posts
Joined Dec 2008
Location: MI
     
Aug 10, 2012 07:46 |  #8

If you care about consistency, the in camera choice and always using the same neutral target is the best way to go. The LR wb eye dropper has a pretty wide variance, even when clicking different parts of the same neutral target in the same image. I made a thread about my testing on this if you do a search.

Many will claim they don't care about wb in camera because it can be adjusted so easily in post. I agree it is easy to change after the fact, but in my experience it is very hard to get consistency (skin tones in particular) across different lighting conditions without starting from the same point. This is also an issue under a single lighting condition when using Auto WB because the 'as shot' value will wander throughout the shoot. Maybe others have better luck or are less picky, but for me this can be a big time waster in post. Much more than say doing it the right way and shooting a neutral target and setting a custom white balance before I get started. My pp wb adjustments are now handled with presets (depending on subject type) and literally take 3 mouse clicks to balance an entire series of images.


60D | 15-85 3.5-5.6 IS | 70-200 4L | 50 1.8 | 100 2.8 macro | 1.4x II | 580EX | 430EX II


  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Neslorm
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
108 posts
Joined Mar 2011
Location: Southwest Michigan
     
Aug 10, 2012 09:06 |  #9

Thanks everyone! I'm going to shoot an indoor event. I will not be able to get up on the stage to photograph a card. It also won't be possible to have anyone hold the card in the light on the stage to photograph them. If you were me, how would you proceed?


Gear list: Canon 7D + battery grip, EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, EF 50 f/1.4 USM, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
PhotosGuy
Moderator
Avatar
75,915 posts
Gallery: 8 photos
Likes: 2560
Joined Feb 2004
Location: Middle of Michigan
     
Aug 10, 2012 10:03 |  #10

EmyB wrote in post #14839195 (external link)
Sorry for the hijack but I have a related question! Instead of pfaffing about with setting custom white balance in camera (which seems a bit cumbersome), could I not just include a grey card in my first photo in each location, and then just start shooting away. Then later on in Lightroom I can just adjust them all with the dropper there?

You could, but Curtis N found that a blown red channel is a problem: How NOT to expose to the right

How to fix it: Restore Those Clipped Channels (external link)

if you want to do it "right" then i guess you need a 18% gray card to set your WB

This is close enough for me: Gray Card…White Paper. What’s best?


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
nathancarter
Cream of the Crop
5,474 posts
Gallery: 32 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 601
Joined Dec 2010
     
Aug 10, 2012 11:50 |  #11

Dustin Mustangs wrote in post #14839527 (external link)
This is also an issue under a single lighting condition when using Auto WB because the 'as shot' value will wander throughout the shoot. Maybe others have better luck or are less picky, but for me this can be a big time waster in post. Much more than say doing it the right way and shooting a neutral target and setting a custom white balance before I get started. .

I agree entirely. Once you've done the in-camera custom white balance a few times, you'll realize that it only takes a very small amount of time. My exposure target/gray car is always in my camera bag (except when it was in my wife's video camera bag a couple of weeks ago, GGGRRRRRRRRRRRR)

AWB drives me nuts in challenging lighting situations. I'd rather have everything wrong in exactly the same way, than have everything almost-but-not-quite right in a slightly different way in every photo.

Neslorm wrote in post #14839777 (external link)
Thanks everyone! I'm going to shoot an indoor event. I will not be able to get up on the stage to photograph a card. It also won't be possible to have anyone hold the card in the light on the stage to photograph them. If you were me, how would you proceed?

Is the lighting changing during the show, or lots of different colors? You may have to adjust each one individually.

Look for something that's close to neutral on one of the people on stage (white or gray) and use the eyedropper in post to select it. If you used high ISO then the noise may make trouble for you, so you might have to try a few different selections to find one that works. As mentioned above, find a place to select where none of the channels are clipped (I think LR4 gives an error message if you click an area that's clipping). If the lighting didn't change over the course of the show, then apply that same WB to the rest of the set. (Lightroom makes this very easy)

Colored stage lighting can make a mess of things, especially colored spotlights. For instance, if your subject is lit with a green spotlight, you won't be able to get a clean, correct skin tone. In cases like this, I try to get it about halfway right - get as close as you can to "technically correct" then slide the sliders 1/3 to 1/2 way back to where they were. This lets you capture the feel of the colored lights that were part of the show.

Or, do a B&W conversion.
Or, just leave it colored like it was.


http://www.avidchick.c​om (external link) for business stuff
http://www.facebook.co​m/VictorVoyeur (external link) for fun stuff

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
watt100
Cream of the Crop
14,021 posts
Likes: 29
Joined Jun 2008
     
Aug 10, 2012 13:57 |  #12

Dustin Mustangs wrote in post #14839527 (external link)
Many will claim they don't care about wb in camera because it can be adjusted so easily in post. I agree it is easy to change after the fact, but in my experience it is very hard to get consistency (skin tones in particular) across different lighting conditions without starting from the same point. This is also an issue under a single lighting condition when using Auto WB because the 'as shot' value will wander throughout the shoot. Maybe others have better luck or are less picky, but for me this can be a big time waster in post. Much more than say doing it the right way and shooting a neutral target and setting a custom white balance before I get started. My pp wb adjustments are now handled with presets (depending on subject type) and literally take 3 mouse clicks to balance an entire series of images.

I'm one of those that shoots in RAW and adjusts WB in post processing. Seems easy enough to me




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Neslorm
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
108 posts
Joined Mar 2011
Location: Southwest Michigan
     
Aug 11, 2012 00:14 |  #13

nathancarter wrote in post #14840552 (external link)
Is the lighting changing during the show, or lots of different colors? You may have to adjust each one individually.

No, the lighting should remain the same during the entire show. It's a body building competition. I have Lightroom 3 and have used the eye dropper tool a few times. I'm just trying to get it right "in camera"


Gear list: Canon 7D + battery grip, EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, EF 50 f/1.4 USM, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tzalman
Fatal attraction.
Avatar
13,482 posts
Likes: 199
Joined Apr 2005
Location: Gesher Haziv, Israel
     
Aug 11, 2012 04:52 |  #14

All you need is a shot where an announcer or Master of Ceremonies is holding a white paper. Another trick I have used at concerts, if there is a microphone with a metallic mesh covering, it can give you a fairly good WB.


Elie / אלי

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tzalman
Fatal attraction.
Avatar
13,482 posts
Likes: 199
Joined Apr 2005
Location: Gesher Haziv, Israel
     
Aug 11, 2012 04:56 |  #15

I'm just trying to get it right "in camera"

Unless you shoot jpgs it isn't "in camera". What you are trying to do is to get a recommendation from the camera.


Elie / אלי

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

2,306 views & 0 likes for this thread
Custom white balance
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is PradoPhoto
980 guests, 270 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.