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Old May 18th, 2006, 08:52 AM
koriarose's Avatar
koriarose koriarose is offline
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White Balance

Ok, I need a someone to explain white balance in the easiest way possible. I just read the article Tim had on white balance but am slightly confused. I have a Kyocera Finecame L4v, and it comes with the option to adjust wb to 6 different options. At what times would I need to adjust wb as opposed to leaving it on auto? Thanks
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Old May 18th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Mike Jordan Mike Jordan is offline
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While most cameras do very well in auto white balance, sometimes the little computer that is in the camera just can't cope with mixed lighting and different reflective colors that are bouncing around a room. This is where a custom white balance helps.

There are two ways to do a custom white balance... one is to create one based on your camera. This ususally entails shooting a neutal gray or white card (make sure you fill the view finder with the card and the same light is falling on it that will fall on your subject) and telling your camera to use that iamge to adjust the white balance for all pictures taken.

The second way is to shoot the same neutral gray or white card (better is a black/gray/white card), shoot in raw and then process all the images afterwards based on the shot with the neutral color card. A neutral color is when all three numbers of the RGB color are equal. 255,255,255 is white. 255,255,245 is also white but isn't a neutral white. It has a color cast that might not be obvious. If the object really is that color, all's fine. But if the object is suppose to be pure white, then it needs to be adjusted to 255,255,255. This goes for any of the prime colors.

Also, you don't have to shoot in raw to be able to use a neutral card. You can also adjust jpegs from a black/gray/white card or just a gray or white card. It's really best to have at least a black and white point to set color balance if possible.

Mike
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Old May 18th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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koriarose koriarose is offline
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Ok Let me summarize your answer. If I want to change the white balance on my camera other than auto, have a black and white card (index card?), hold in front of camera and adjust until the card depicts white or black, depending on which card I'm holding??

Let me also say that I am a hands on learning person as opposed to reading text book answers. Sometimes the handbook and/or articles(here on pc) cause me to lose my train of thought. Thanks.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 09:32 PM
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Mike Jordan Mike Jordan is offline
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What you do is place the card where you can take a picture of it. With most digital cameras, you take a full screen picture (get close to your white balance card and fill the view finder). Then you change your setting to custom white balance and pick that picture in your memory card. You can't delete the image while you are shooting and if you fill your card up and change it, you need to take another picture again. The camera is going to use that picture as a reference to set the white balance on all the pictures you take while you have custom white balance set. If you turn off the camera, it reverts back to auto white balance.

If you are just going to take a picture of a black and white point so you can set your white balance during processing in the computer, you just need to have them in a picture so you can select them in Photoshop.

Here is an example of a tri-color board:



This is actually a bit too glossy of a board as you can see the black side is reflecting the light a bit and isn't totally black. The card is big enough that if I was to zoom in on the white area, I could set my color balance in my camera.

And here is a good example of when I used a black/gray/white calibration target within the shot so I could set color balance in Photoshop. Notice the small gray card with the white and black areas leaning against the box in the left corner? This is a WhiBal white balance calibrated card that can be used to set color balance. I was taking a picture of the ice cream for the company that makes it to show them that the ice cream didn't look anything near what was shown on the box.. This was just a quick setup to get some shots to seend them. This image is the jpeg that is created with my raw images and has only been cropped and nothing else done to it.



Mike
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Old May 19th, 2006, 07:41 AM
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koriarose koriarose is offline
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I think I got it. Thanks!
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