HEEELP: WHITE BALANCE PROBLEM

Nicholas1

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Hi, glad to join this forum!

I have a Canon EOS 350D and I am doing some product photography, without using any flash. I have a Cubelite 6x6x4 ft (you know, this "box" made of nylon that diffuses light evenly) and I am taking my shots with white paper roll as background.

My PROBLEM: I can't get the white balance right! I set up the lights (4x500W Tungsten) outside the box, 2 left and 2 right, then I take a shot of the white background and it does turn pretty dark on the screen of the camera. I set this as a reference image for the white balance, place the dummy with the clothes in front of the background, take the shots and they all look as the dummy is in front of a medium grey background!!! But I have shown the camera what the white/reference should look like!!! Am I doing sth wrong? I am not a pro, perhaps not even an advanced amateur but I think I am following the instructions of the manuals.

Any advice please??? Thxs in advance!
 

dbrandon

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Hi, and welcome to the forum !

It sounds asif the problem is with the exposure of your background, rather than whitebalance. If the whitebalance was off, the white would appear tinted another colour.

Assuming the exposure on the subject is correct, you're going to need more light on your white backdrop to make it appear white (if you're wanting it to blow out ?).

With 4 lights you should be able to position them in such a way that the background overexposes. Can you adjust the power on the lights ?
 
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Nicholas1

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Thxs for the quick reply!

I can't adjust the power of the lights I am afraid. At some point I took an extra spotlight, activated the timer on the camera and held myself the spotlight behind the back of the dummy, throwing extra light on the background. It turned brighter but the cloth on the dummy was far far too dark...
 

dbrandon

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Sounds like you might be leaving it up to your camera to meter ? Are you in full manual mode ?

If you have a lightmeter your should meter for your subject and expose correctly for that. If not, set your camera to manual, guess at a correct exposure, take the pic, adjust, and so on, until you reach the correct exposure.

What you did (moving the light behind) sounds like a step in the right direction though. Just try and set your exposure manually (if you weren't originally ?)
 
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Nicholas1

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Thxs a lot, I am going back for some experimenting...
 

Big Mike

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Yes, White Balance has to do with the color that white (and everything else) shows up as. Your problem is with lighting and exposure.

If you want your background to appear white, you need it to have as much or more light that your subject. Also, if you let the camera meter a scene that is mostly white, it will underexpose.

Increase your exposure and see if that doesn't work.

Also, if the exposure is close, once you get the shot onto the computer, it should be fairly easy to tweak.
 

nicfargo

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If you're having problems with the background being white, but the subject being too dark, try moving the subject closer to the background...as close as you can without light spilling onto the subject. This will allow you to use a lower exposure and keep the background really white while letting your camera record more light from your subject. Play around with it until you find something you like (ah, the wonder of digital).
 

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