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Thread started 22 Jul 2014 (Tuesday) 10:06
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Help with White Balance - Gray card doesn't seem to work

 
navydoc
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Jul 23, 2014 10:09 as a reply to  @ post 17050579 |  #16

For the fun of it and to add a comparison, I tried photoninja on the original image posted. Here is the result with a click of the eyedropper on the gray card under 'Color Correction' and lowering the 'illumination' value to -26 and Exposure offset to -0.40under 'Exposure and Detail'. Adjustments were done in the order written.


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Jul 23, 2014 13:12 |  #17

Strong directional lighting, or variation in lighting in the scene (golden hour direct light versus blue sky fill) will make the direction your neutral target is facing relative to the camera really sensitive.

One approach is to place a matte gray sphere in the scene to capture the directional color of the lighting. Then you can try click-WBing on different areas of the sphere to select from the various colors/directions of light falling on the scene.

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geparry
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Jul 23, 2014 22:04 |  #18

Thank you everyone for the input, I actually learned quite a lot about white balance in the process. For example, I had never paid attention to the RGB values that show up with the color picker tools in LR or CS. It was quite revealing for me as I looked up a tutorial on using color picker in CS. I also like the idea using all three colored cards as an potion and paying attention to the angle at which the cards are directed. I feel a lot more comfortable now with the whole process.


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Jul 23, 2014 23:08 as a reply to  @ geparry's post |  #19

If the cards the you bought were DGK Color Tools three card set for about $12.95, then you got what you paid for. The white balance card isn't white in all lighting conditions -- a condition known as metamerism and the gray card isn't neutral. The black card isn't really worth anything. The fact that the gray card isn't neutral isn't that important because it shouldn't be used for white balance anyway. However, it is about one stop too bright for setting exposure. As somebody mentioned, perfect white balance is often not the right thing to do.


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Jul 23, 2014 23:23 |  #20

I am confused, isn't the grey card in the image to get a meter read off of to determine exposure? If you put it in the photo for color balance in PP and the over/under expose it what is the point? Maybe I am just tired.


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Jul 24, 2014 00:17 |  #21

jimlp wrote in post #17052254 (external link)
I am confused, isn't the grey card in the image to get a meter read off of to determine exposure? If you put it in the photo for color balance in PP and the over/under expose it what is the point? Maybe I am just tired.

Well, as has been pointed out, there are some grey cards that are "color-neutral", and there are some that are better used for exposure, although you need to understand about the card you are using and how to work with it!

But, as has also been pointed out, White Balance is often a juggling act. In a studio it's good to have it accurately "nailed", but as we have seen, outdoors shots can be affected by lighting conditions, and sometimes I let those conditions "nudge" my white balance, rather than aiming for accuracy!

In fact, one of my old favorites was a shot of a Great Blue Heron flying by me as the sun was going down, and the warmth of the setting sun was quite apparent in my shots and, guess what, I preferred the "warm" shots to "White Balance Corrected" shots!

Here's an example of a shot that is a bit "warmer" (excuse me if it is a bit "soft", it was grabbed out of a car window with the 5D "Classic" toting a large, heavy 300mm f/2.8 lens and a 2xTC):

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Jul 24, 2014 08:16 |  #22

tonylong wrote in post #17052321 (external link)
Well, as has been pointed out, there are some grey cards that are "color-neutral", and there are some that are better used for exposure, although you need to understand about the card you are using and how to work with it!

But, as has also been pointed out, White Balance is often a juggling act. In a studio it's good to have it accurately "nailed", but as we have seen, outdoors shots can be affected by lighting conditions, and sometimes I let those conditions "nudge" my white balance, rather than aiming for accuracy!

In fact, one of my old favorites was a shot of a Great Blue Heron flying by me as the sun was going down, and the warmth of the setting sun was quite apparent in my shots and, guess what, I preferred the "warm" shots to "White Balance Corrected" shots!

Here's an example of a shot that is a bit "warmer" (excuse me if it is a bit "soft", it was grabbed out of a car window with the 5D "Classic" toting a large, heavy 300mm f/2.8 lens and a 2xTC):

The long shadow behind the GBH makes the time of day apparent and the color of the light completes the story told by the picture. Trying to change the color to high noon white would have negated much of that story.

Hardly anybody would notice that the focus might have been slightly off -- I certainly wouldn't have because it wasn't distracting. It is far better to get a shot that may not be technically perfect than to regret not trying.


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PhotosGuy
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Jul 24, 2014 08:58 |  #23

Lightroom White Balance Selector tool

Does that tool sample a point, or can you choose an area? Since images are made up of pixels, you don't want to sample just one. Maybe Gaussian blur it before sampling.

jimlp wrote in post #17052254 (external link)
I am confused, isn't the grey card in the image to get a meter read off of to determine exposure? If you put it in the photo for color balance in PP and the over/under expose it what is the point? Maybe I am just tired.

The point is that it can be used for both. For that matter, you can use an underexposed (not blown out) white, or a overexposed black, or anything in between.
And you really don't need one just for exposure. Take a look at: Need an exposure crutch?


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frugivore
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Jul 24, 2014 09:19 |  #24

I have never, ever had a problem when using a WhiBal card.

Have a read:
http://michaeltapesdes​ign.com/whibal.html (external link)




  
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Wilt
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Jul 24, 2014 10:30 |  #25

frugivore wrote in post #17052875 (external link)
I have never, ever had a problem when using a WhiBal card.

Have a read:
http://michaeltapesdes​ign.com/whibal.html (external link)

bad link!


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joeblack2022
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Jul 24, 2014 10:36 |  #26

frugivore wrote in post #17052875 (external link)
I have never, ever had a problem when using a WhiBal card.

Have a read:
http://michaeltapesdes​ign.com/whibal.html (external link)

Wilt wrote in post #17053026 (external link)
bad link!

That is the correct link... that's really weird.

But here is another one that might help.

http://www.mtdhelp.com …ation-tools-and-resources (external link)

EDIT: And another one, this I just stumbled on!

http://www.whibalhost.​com …ials/WhiBal/08/​index.html (external link)


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Wilt
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Jul 24, 2014 12:18 |  #27

joeblack2022 wrote in post #17053034 (external link)
That is the correct link... that's really weird.

I get 'Non-Existent Domain' from three different browsers!

joeblack2022 wrote in post #17053034 (external link)
But here is another one that might help.

http://www.mtdhelp.com …ation-tools-and-resources (external link)

EDIT: And another one, this I just stumbled on!

http://www.whibalhost.​com …ials/WhiBal/08/​index.html (external link)

The WhiBal card is fine for White Balance, but poor for Exposure reading with a spot meter...too bright.


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Jul 24, 2014 12:37 |  #28

The WhiBal card is fine for White Balance, but poor for Exposure reading with a spot meter...too bright.

Yep, the WhiBal is 70% grey intentionally because the brighter the exposure, the greater the amount of data captured (the basis of ETTR) and thus the better the platform for WB.


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tzalman
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Jul 24, 2014 12:42 |  #29

Lightroom White Balance Selector tool

Does that tool sample a point, or can you choose an area? Since images are made up of pixels, you don't want to sample just one. Maybe Gaussian blur it before sampling.

The area sampled can be varied from 5x5 to 16x16.


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Jul 24, 2014 22:31 |  #30

tzalman wrote in post #17053298 (external link)
The area sampled can be varied from 5x5 to 16x16.

In that case, I'd use 16x16. Thanks.


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Help with White Balance - Gray card doesn't seem to work
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