White balance will be the death of me...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by ORourkeK, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. ORourkeK

    ORourkeK No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With my new setup I am doing everything I can to learn and do new jobs. I have taken on a pro bono product photography job and for the life of me I cannot achieve a proper white balance. It doesn't help that a lot of the items I am taking pictures of are off white. I have started using a grey card and I change my white balance in camera to fluorescent since I am using two soft boxes with fluorescent bulbs. This causes the pictures to have a blue hue pre post, and when I use the grey card in post it changes to a slight orange hue. I was having much better success using auto white balance in camera. This is really just a rant to get my frustration out. Time to go read up more on white balance.

    1. This is using fluorescent white balance and a grey card. Besides the underexposure, I was pretty happy with it, until I couldn't shake the blue tone.

    [​IMG]IMG_0357 by KC ORourke, on Flickr


    2. This is with auto white balance.

    [​IMG]IMG_0316 by KC ORourke, on Flickr


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The best way is to shoot in raw, include a WB reference in the first image (and every image thereafter that exposure changes) and correct in post.
     
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  3. ORourkeK

    ORourkeK No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    "I Shoot RAW". I think I should have changed the in camera white balance to custom. I believe that is where I went wrong.
     
  4. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you shoot raw the in-camera WB setting is meaningless. Raw data has no WB set. Raw converters will try and read the in-camera WB setting and set something similar typically called "as shot" but that's completely changeable.

    Joe

    Couple thoughts: In what way is your display calibrated?
    The two softbox lamps; are they the same color?
     
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  5. ORourkeK

    ORourkeK No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow. Not sure how I never learned that. Thanks for the info.

    I have not used anything to calibrate my screens. I just use the default settings. Both of the softboxes are the same with identical bulbs.
     
  6. ORourkeK

    ORourkeK No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am a bit confused though. If shooting in RAW makes in camera WB settings meaningless, how come changing the WB in camera messes with the hue of the image?
     
  7. ORourkeK

    ORourkeK No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Never mind. I just read that it changes the preview of the image but since it can be changed in post, it doesn't really matter.
     
  8. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Without a calibrated display you're out of control. How can you assess the color of your images when the odds that the display is showing you the wrong color is nearly 100%?

    The two bulbs in the softboxes -- they're the same make/model -- have you tested them to see if they are the same color. Unless they are manufactured for photo use odds are they're at least subtly different.

    Do you have Photoshop? I assume you do if you have LR. Load one of your finished photos into PS. Open the ColorPicker. Right click the mouse and set the sample size to at least 5x5 pixels. Click on what you expect is white in your photo. In the ColorPicker look at the RGB values displayed. If they are the same or nearly the same you clicked on a white area.

    Create a new blank image in PS and fill the screen with it. Open the ColorPicker and set the RGB values to 220 each making that color (white) the foreground color. Get the paint bucket tool and dump in that color over the entire image. Does your screen look white?

    Joe
     
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  9. Jeff15

    Jeff15 TPF junkie!

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    Shoot raw, sort the problem later........
     
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  10. ORourkeK

    ORourkeK No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I went back for a quick test tonight after work. The first of each set is the WB straight out of the camera and the second I edited using the grey card. All I learned tonight is that I really have no clue what I am doing. These are worse than the first two I posted.

    [​IMG]IMG_0481 by KC ORourke, on Flickr


    [​IMG]IMG_0481-2 by KC ORourke, on Flickr


    [​IMG]IMG_0483 by KC ORourke, on Flickr


    [​IMG]IMG_0483-2 by KC ORourke, on Flickr
     
  11. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    How, exactly, are you using the gray card?
     
  12. ORourkeK

    ORourkeK No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I put the item I want in my display, find the exposure I want to use, place the grey card in the frame where the item would be, and take a picture. Then in post I use the eye dropper to change the WB, copy the WB settings, and paste it to the other photos.
     

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