Setting White balance

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by UUilliam, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Okay what i need to know is:

    when setting white balance yourself, do you need to Fill the frame with the 18% grey / white or can it just be a small section of the frame?

    Can you shoot white or 18% grey to set white balance?

    Since i dont have an 18% grey card yet i just take a picture of something white then set it (not true white though but i maily shoot raw so i can always fix it if its off)
    just would be easier to set my WB there and then.
     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    5,507
    Likes Received:
    700
    Location:
    Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Fill the frame ... that way the camera has only one reference.

    You can use either white or grey.

    Find something really white.

    When using an app to white balance you will need a good reference. I you use something other than a grey card or a known pure white object ... then you could be slightly off.
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The only reason not to use white is because it could become blown out.

    A grey card is unlikely to get blown out.

    If your white/grey card did get blown out, your white balance reference would be worthless. All color values would be maxed out.


    If you use white, just make sure it's properly exposed.
     
  4. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    11,443
    Likes Received:
    2,100
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    If you are exposing properly you will not get a blown out white card as you are exposing for white. A proper exposure for white balance is just as important as the exposure for the photographs that follow.

    Also, keep in mind that white is not white. To our eyes it takes a significant amount of coloration, relatively speaking, to distinguish white from an off white color. The sensor sees white. Use a proper white target, not something like a white piece of paper, since it may not actually be white. There are many fine products out there for setting white balance.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,237
    Likes Received:
    5,008
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The human eye and brain make things appear white that the camera doesn't see as white.

    That's the advantage of using an 18% gray card. Using the back of your hand usually gives a better custom white balance than something your eye perceives is 'white' that is actually several shades off.

    IMO the best 18% gray cards are mage by RawWorkflow and are known as Whibal cards.
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    That's what I use.
     
  7. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    reason i asked about filling the frame was because i dont understand the key chain sized 18% grey cards ,as if they would work i would by that as its cheaper and im on low budget tbh
    but i guess that would mean i would have to be either: really close to it or use a zoom lens...
    so mkight get the studio size
    But is this too big for carrying around with me? (~i have a lowepro AW 300 if it helps thati could put it inside)
     
  8. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It depends on how you're setting it.

    If you're doing a custom white balance in the camera, you need to fill the frame.

    Those small grey cards are for setting WB in PP. You just select the WB dropper, then click on the grey card.
     
  9. Andrew Boyd

    Andrew Boyd TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Setting a custom white balance is a great idea when you have a tricky mixed-light situation. Maybe you're going to shoot in a particular stadium that's known to have some weird mix of incandescent and metal halide or sodium vapor lighting...the most important thing to remember, once you fill that frame, is to have the white/gray card at the proper incidence angle to the camera. This means you want the card to approximate the light that will be hitting your subject: not too steep and angle, nor too flat an angle, to camera. Just try to position it in an average position relative to the light that's falling on it. This sounds more complicated than it is, go out and try it and you'll understand quickly.
    If you DON'T have a tricky mixed light situation, I wouldn't waste time on setting a custom balance. Our modern cameras do a phenomenal job on white balance most of the time. Concentrate on shooting great pictures instead.:mrgreen:
    Andrew Boyd
    TheDiscerningPhotographer.com
     
  10. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    In an every day shooting I will let the camera White Balance, but I shoot in RAW so I can tweek it after if needed. If I am shooting with strobes I always set a custom White Balance and depending on the shoot I may Shoot several through the day.
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Personally, I leave my camera set to daylight all the time.

    If in doubt (sometimes, there is no doubt - I know it will be wrong), I shoot a WhiBal and fix it later.
     
  12. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I have the 2x3 one (or something close to that - credit card sized).

    Now, I wish I had a bigger one (5x7, or close to that, maybe bigger).

    Next time I order something from B&H, I'll throw one in the cart.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
d700 custom white balance do you need to fill the frame' grey card
,
do you have to fill the frame with the grey card for custom white balance?
,

gimp whibal

,
olympus does white card need to fill the frame?
,
set white balance
,

ufraw whibal

,

whibal gimp

,
whibal with gimp