A&P setting your white balance indoors

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Girth, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    71,405
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Houston
    I've always been told to try and adjust your WB to a white surface and your pictures will get the right colors. I shoot RAW for the most part, but is there a procedure to actually set it, and if so, what do you guys (pros) do?

    just curious. :dunno:
     
  2. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,114
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    east coast
    I usually set my WB manually to a specific K value such as 5800 for flash. I tweak in post.

    However, to answer your question, my cameras have a menu function whereby you shoot a pic of something white that fills the center of the frame, go to the camera menu and select "white balance". The camera does the rest.

    Also, a 18% grey card will give you more accurate WB results than a white surface.
     
  3. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    71,405
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Houston
    Guess I have to go see if mine has that too... never really bothered looking for it, just always did it manually like you mentioned.
     
  4. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    17,726
    Likes Received:
    51
    white balance is much more of an intuitive process than photoshop would have you believe.

    RARELY in the real world is a white object actually white. A persons brain naturally adjusts the colors so that they make sense.

    Fluorescent lights are the perfect example to this. They're green. Yet paper doesn't look green when you're sitting in your office.

    So shoot on auto and correct it in post to where you want it to be. it's not that hard.

    This is how I do it:

    in PS, open a curves layer. Double click on the R most eyedropper in curves. It's the white point eye dropper.

    Click on an area that you expect to be white, or as close to white as your image gets. Like a persons white shirt. If you have nothing white, this works with any shade of black/white. The idea here is that you're clicking on an area that you don't want to have any sort of color cast.

    Look in the LAB section of the curves layer. The L number is luminosity. This is your brightness. Don't fuck with it. Change the A and B numbers to 0. Re click the same area you clicked in.

    Hit Ok, say NO to defaults.

    Now, that curves layer has just adjusted whatever you clicked to be perfectly, absolutely colorless. Or, white.

    Then you can lower the opacity of the layer if it looks to sterile, or just leave it at perfectly color balanced.

    done.
     
  5. isaac86hatch

    isaac86hatch This thread sucks

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    27,892
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oregon
    "I" tool in ACR :dunno:
     
  6. Wheezer

    Wheezer OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,629
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston
    On the D300 push and hold the the WB button, then with the back wheel scroll over to PRE. Then release and hold down the WB button again until PrE flashes, take a picture of a white or grey card or anything white that fills most of the screen. It wont actually take a picture, but if it works "Good" will flash on the screen. The D300 allows you to select up to five preset whitebalances this way.
     
  7. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    71,405
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Houston
    trying that now. :cool:

    too many flourecent lights in our house... still comes out orange. :hs:

    going to try it outside later.
     
  8. Wheezer

    Wheezer OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,629
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston
    :dunno: I've never had a problem...it's usually pretty close when I do it that way. A lot closer than Auto or other presets.
     
  9. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    71,405
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Houston
    at 2500K its actually not bad... but the pre setting isn't doing it for some reason. :dunno:
     
  10. nine

    nine OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Messages:
    16,254
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    so. cal.
    i shoot my lens cap in the same light then use that to get me in the neighborhood
     
  11. someonenew

    someonenew He's Dangerous

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    104,681
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    If you take a photo then go into the menu there is an option to set wb that way. I usually do it this way
     
  12. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    17,726
    Likes Received:
    51
    my post must be fucking invisible.

    You people and your trying to set WB in camera...

    :rolleyes:
     
  13. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    71,405
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Houston
    :love:

    I do a lot of PP WB fixing too. I was just curious how people set theirs on the camera. I want to minimize my PP as much as I can, and if this is going to help, why not? :dunno:
     
  14. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,114
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    east coast
    It's not your post that's invisible but your workflow seems too convoluted. If my WB is off a bit, I push a WB slider in Lightroom until the color is correct. Then copy the settings to the rest of the pics.
     
  15. planb

    planb itches in my teeth

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    13,490
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    nara, japan
    I use a whibal.
     
  16. isaac86hatch

    isaac86hatch This thread sucks

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    27,892
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oregon
    :werd: x 100
     
  17. FusionZ06

    FusionZ06 /\__/\__/\__0>

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    Messages:
    86,918
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sunshine State
    I just do it in photoshop after the fact...
     
  18. FusionZ06

    FusionZ06 /\__/\__/\__0>

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    Messages:
    86,918
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sunshine State
    For skin problems and WB I use SkinTune
     
  19. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    17,726
    Likes Received:
    51
    That works great for batch processing, and I do that a lot too.

    My method is for perfection of an individual shot, not mass editing for proofs.

    So I would do exactly what you described for the bulk, and then when the bride pics out the one image that she wants a perfect 16x20 for, I go into photoshop and make it flawless.

    The way I described gives you a couple things that your lightroom slider doesn't.

    1. A starting point that is absolutely colorless. If you use the white dress as your picking point, you absolutely know that the dress is white when you're done. It doesn't matter if your monitor calibration is off, etc. The numbers are exact, your eyes and equipment aren't. If the color numbers for that area are all at 0, there's no possible way the dress prints green.

    2. Control to go back and change it. Say you go and you finish your post work and print. Well, fuck. Now the image looks too sterile, and you wish the dress had more of the tone you took out. Lightroom slider? You're beat. Go back into lightroom, reset your color balance and then redo all of your post work. Curves layer? Go to the curve layer, bring down the opacity. Done. The rest of your post work stays intact.


    Still seem convoluted?
     
  20. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,114
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    east coast
    I'll give your process a try.

    EDIT: Pretty slick. It's obviously not for batch processing like you say, but it works well. I tried it on a few shots that I had corrected in LR and the WB was very close.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008
  21. Dwight Schrute

    Dwight Schrute New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    8,616
    Likes Received:
    0
    1. Buy a WhiBal (or similar) card.

    2. Shoot a photo of the WhiBal card in the same light as your other photos. Before, during, or after you shoot the other photos doesn't matter, as long the light is the same.

    3. In post, balance all the photos you took with the white balance of the WhiBal card. LR can do this in one click.

    Done. 30 seconds. No other method is easier.
     
  22. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    17,726
    Likes Received:
    51
    cool. Lemme know if it makes sense when you try it out.

    I'm a huge fan of making sure I can change or re-do ANY of the changes I make to an image. I think that ability is easily the most important thing photoshop has ever given us. Each and every change I make to an image is 100% editable, changeable and deletable at ANY point in my process. I love that.
     
  23. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,114
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    east coast
    LR offers the same thing, ie you can undo any change. I like your process in that the white is absolutely color free. Thanks for sharing!
     
  24. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    17,726
    Likes Received:
    51

    NP! Glad to see someone tried it out...

    Oh, and I knew I had a #3 benefit somewhere, just couldn't place it...

    Layer masks...

    You can mask out areas that you don't want to change the color balance... Make the dress color free white, then 50% mask out the background to leave it nice and cool, or mask out the brides skin to keep the warm setting sun on her face...
     
  25. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,114
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    east coast
    I've never played with layer masks yet. One of those PS things I've got to learn.

    EDIT: Now is as good a time as any. :mamoru:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008

Share This Page