I'm stumped. Custom WB problems.

Syndac

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I've read everything I can online, read my manual, etc... but still can't seem to figure it out. A lot of my pictures indoors tend to be quite yellow when I don't use a flash due to the yellow lights. I attempted to set a custom white balance and it tends to just make things worse. The first picture below shows a little too much yellow (not too bad due to the natural light), the second shows an example of my custom WB reading (I used the "measure" method on my D50 with a white sheet of paper), and the third is the result of using the new custom WB. It's now extremely blue when all I wanted was to strip a tiny bit of yellow. The other presets don't help much in this case as I'm not happy with the results from any of them in this lighting.

Please help...

wb1.jpg

wb2.jpg

wb3.jpg
 

jstuedle

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Most white printing paper has a bluing added to make it look brighter white to human eyes. A custom W.B. using a digital target will yield a better reading. I use a target from Ed Pierce and his company Photovision. It has a white, gray, and black panel that are balanced neutral for digital. It also helps set exposure by centering the spikes on the histogram at center left and right. Perfect W.B. and perfect exposure in those difficult scenes like snow or heavy dark scenes.
 
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Syndac

Syndac

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Should the white sample fill the entire image or does it just have to be in the image? I've seen suggestions for things like a pringles lid, etc.. but they seem too small.
 

Mike_E

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If you use photoshop or something that is close, make 2 copies and select one and go to filter then blur and click average. Get your eyedropper tool and sample the result.

Highlight and make active the second copy and choose levels and the middle eyedropper tool in it's box and then sample the color you got with the blur/average that you will find in your tool bar. This will give you the WB for any shot.

If you like this say thanks to Katrin Eastman.. http://www.photoshopdiva.com/resume.html

mike
 

usayit

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The frame that you are using for a custom white balance.. is it a picture of a white or grey surface under the same lighting conditions?
 

RacePhoto

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The frame that you are using for a custom white balance.. is it a picture of a white or grey surface under the same lighting conditions?

Oooo, good question. That should be important, that the light on the Grey card or whatever standard card used, should be the same as the shot is going to be, or it doesn't help anything.

White isn't always white. White paper comes in all kinds of "colors". I used a white T-shirt once, and all I can say is, I was glad I could adjust all the shots the same to correct for the blue hue.

Shooting RAW you can still get it close or right on, and if needed, adjust later, but making it the best possible in camera, is the way to start.
 

JerryPH

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Ok you could shoot in RAW and select your white balance level in post processing. ;)

Thats basically all that I do. I set the WB to AUTO and touch it up in CS3.

WB issues are never a concern for me, no matter what.
 

Joves

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Should the white sample fill the entire image or does it just have to be in the image? I've seen suggestions for things like a pringles lid, etc.. but they seem too small.
Ok I will chime in having had a D50. Go to custom and yes it does have to fill the whole sensor area. I have used 3x5 cards the back of and, I have even used the palm of my hand in a quick settting in a fix. Dont laugh it sometimes works really well. If you are shooting under tungsten lights turn on the light and, set the card on a table or, somewhere under the light and, measure. Also did you try setting your flash output to a lower setting? Sometimes using the lower settings will off set the color cast but, not mess up the image. I have an Expodisc myself it works pretty good but, is pricey. I have the 77mm one so it fits all of my lenses.
 

JerryPH

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Yes it needs to be the complete image. No it doesn't need to be in focus. :)

That palm trick? Its in "Understanding Exposure". Once you know that the difference between your greycard and your hand is + or - "X" amount, you can use your hand all the time. ;)
 

MACollum

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I have yet to get a good reading off a gray card. Don't know what I'm doing wrong but I plan to keep experimenting.
 
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Syndac

Syndac

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Thanks for the responses guys. I'm assumig it was the white paper being used. At a hotel two nights ago I had the same problem with the yellow lights, I took a reading off the white sheets under that lighting and it actually worked perfect. I'll just have to buy one of those official grey cards. :mrgreen:
 

usayit

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Also consider what was already mentioned above... shoot RAW and adjust WB after the fact. You'll find this pretty easy to do and less of a hassle than custom WB.
 

Sideburns

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Yes it needs to be the complete image. No it doesn't need to be in focus. :)

That palm trick? Its in "Understanding Exposure". Once you know that the difference between your greycard and your hand is + or - "X" amount, you can use your hand all the time. ;)

the palm trick is for metering...not for white balance.
 

Christie Photo

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Ummm..... digital has made white balance so much easier than film.

HOWEVER, some concerns remain the same. Mixing light sources of differing color temperatures will still require a decision on how to proceed. You can select a WB for the mixture of light falling onto the subject and let the other light do what it will. Or, you can work to make all the light the same (or nearly the same) color temperature. For instance, in a scene with daylight coming in from a window, you can either turn off any incandescents or replace them with blue bulbs... or use an alternate light source like a strobe. Another approach would be to eliminate the daylight. The goal however remains the same. Bring all lighting into the same temperature range.

-Pete
 

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