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Thread: White balance Cards

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    White balance Cards

    Probably another silly question, but my white balance cards are being delivered today.

    When I use them, do i have to do a test shot everytime I change power settings of my off camera flash OR just one test photo with lighting in place and firing? I know if natural light is changing I would have to fire another test shot - but not sure if the colour of light changes with different strength of flash firing.

    Hopefully the white balance card will help me get images without the colour cast I seem to keep getting.
    Constructive Criticism always welcome - it's the only way to learn!
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    You need to learn how to set a custom white balance with your camera. Then when you have the lighting conditions you are shooting under, you take a custom white balance, using the card, then apply that CWB to the shoot.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    That was the plan

    I just wasn't sure if changing my settings on flash would effect the CWB, happy camper now they just arrived so I will take some shots tonight and see how I go!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    changing flash settings could effect result. As you decrease flash output, ambient light gets more of a look in, thus the white balance can change. You need to set a CWB for the light you are shooting under.

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    Just another silly question , Do you really need to set a CWB if shooting in RAW , I might be wrong , But I thought you could adjust the White balance during processing , Even images shot with flash ? Or do you get a better result using the cards
    Last edited by William; 12-11-2010 at 3:04pm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    Just another silly question , Do you really need to set a CWB if shooting in RAW , I might be wrong , But I thought you could adjust the White balance during processing , Even images shot with flash ? Or do you get a better result using the cards
    Not a silly question Will,
    RAW does allow 'easy' adjustment of WB. However if you are doing it "free-hand" in PP it relies on you picking the correct adjustment level to get the "real" colour of the original scene which is dependant on your memory, colour acuity, screen settings etc. The other two options are to set up all your lighting etc. , take a picture of your WB card and 1) immediately set a CWB in camera; or 2) save the pic and then use it as a reference for your PP software to adjust afterwards. This will give you the most "accurate" colour reproduction. You may still want to tweak it anyway as reality isn't always best...

    Cheers
    John


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    So my best bet is if I make any changes to my set up grab another pic with WB card....

    Thank you for your help!

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    Member Adrian Fischer's Avatar
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    yes. With the card its easy to just put it in the frame and take a shot. Then in pp (ie LR) use the card in the image to set WB then adjust to taste.
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    Thanks for that John , Your right , Really hard to visualise after the fact , I will just rely on my sometimes Artistic version of the real scene I'm getting to old and lazy to bother with the white balance cards , The tip about the test shot is a good one thou , Good one

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    I'd set the camera to a Flash whitebalance setting, and then either take a quick snap of the WB card for a grey reference point(to be used later in software) or use it for the actual Custom WB setting in the camera.

    Seting the WB in camera can actually have a slight side benefit in that the exposure will then be more accurate. WB settings affect each colour channel(mainly red and blue) so having the WB set as per yoru requirement will help in getting the best exposure as you shoot(and then not be so reliant on software). That's the ideal way.
    You said that you'll be using flash, but is there going to be any other light source that may affect the overall colour of the light.
    that is: if you're shooting outside at close to sunset and using flash this can produce some anomalies in colour balance, but shooting closer to midday will produce a more even colour balance.
    Similarly shooting with strong levels of standard fluorescent lighting nearby will also produce a slight colour cast too. Mixed lighting is(or can be) very difficult to get accurate colour balance spot on.
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    For just now it would be indoor use of off camera flash - but I will keep the effect of other light sources in mind.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    and one more thing, practice! The more you 'test' out your WB card and settings, the more you understand how it all fits together. So get the gear out and practice, and learn.

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