White Balance Question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Wilson1990, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. Wilson1990

    Wilson1990 TPF Noob!

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    I preset my white balance today for the first time.

    What confused me about this is when I do this will I need to do it every time I'm in different lighting set-ups?

    If so does that mean I need to carry a peice of white card everywhere?
     
  2. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    To be honest, most cameras to a fantastic job of getting the right white balance in the first place. I personally like to do a preset one when I have enough time to set one up.

    If I happen to have a white or gray shirt on, I, and you can just turn your camera around and use that as your "card."

    I did a preset white balance this Christmas when I was taking pictures of family because I wanted the whites to be white and so on. On auto, there was the lights from the tree, lights from camera flashes, lights from lamps and to top it all off the walls were red so that threw off the auto white balance. All my pictures were a little bit on the red side so the preset just took care of that.

    If you have the time, you can and very well should set you up a preset white balance, but if you don't have that extra time, then auto SHOULD get you though.

    Hope this helps

    ~Michael~
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No you don't have to....

    Just shoot RAW and make the final color balance correction after the fact.
     
  4. Wilson1990

    Wilson1990 TPF Noob!

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    How do i go about that usayit?
     
  5. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I always see this suggestion, "shoot RAW and adjust later.." Can you not adjust white balance in a JPEG? If not, why? I can only shoot JPEG with my camera.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are many many thread around here, about why RAW is better. A search should turn up some good info.

    To sum up...when you shoot in RAW, you are recording the 'uncooked' data from the camera. Thinks like saturation, sharpening and color balance are attached to the file but not locked in. So when you open a RAW image file, you have the option to change those settings before you convert the image into a regular image file (JPEG, TIFF etc).

    When you shoot JPEG, the camera processes the image and locks in those settings. Also, JPEG is a lossy format, which means that some information is not saved, in order to get smaller files sizes. Sure, you can still edit a JPEG file to change the colors etc....but when you do this, you are degrading the image. Changing the color balance of a RAW image is a non-destructive process.

    There are many other reasons to shoot RAW.... http://www.ronbigelow.com/articles/raw/raw.htm
     

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