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Author Topic: Heated Debate on White Balance  (Read 7171 times)

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tab62

« on: January 27, 2013, 23:12 »
0
I ran head first into a heated debate on the best way to WB. I use 'M' on my camera and do custom later on in Raw mode.  I was told that I lazy and should determine the light source and set the camera to that type of light. Also why do I shoot RAW instead of Jpeg-  they feel that RAW is way to big and once again I am lazy to use RAW mode since Jpeg you must get it right in the camera which makes you think!


Your thoughts on these MSG folk?

Thanks

Tom


« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 23:20 »
+1
it used to be that raw conversion took effort. It is now easy and often quicker. Raw captures all your sensor can give and is the perfect negative to keep. Computing power and storage is cheap and easy. RAW gives max quality potential. So why not?

tab62

« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 23:39 »
0
"it used to be that raw conversion took effort. It is now easy and often quicker. Raw captures all your sensor can give and is the perfect negative to keep. Computing power and storage is cheap and easy. RAW gives max quality potential. So why not? "


Ditto! I tried to argue but ended up just walking away...

« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 23:39 »
+2
I ran head first into a heated debate on the best way to WB. I use 'M' on my camera and do custom later on in Raw mode.  I was told that I lazy and should determine the light source and set the camera to that type of light. Also why do I shoot RAW instead of Jpeg-  they feel that RAW is way to big and once again I am lazy to use RAW mode since Jpeg you must get it right in the camera which makes you think!


Your thoughts on these MSG folk?

Thanks

Tom

There are a few of these sad cases around. They tend to be hung up on rigid process and have no real feel for image quality.

We've had 5 DSLRs (6 if you count a Panasonic GH2) and never taken a single shot on any of them in jpeg only. We did that with our first digital camera, (a Minolta Dimage 7, 13 sec to save a RAW!) and wouldn't make that mistake again.

In the film days, slide shooters had to get everything right before they pressed the shutter button. Their job finished there, then it was up to Kodak/Fuji/whoever. B&W film types (like us) were only taking the first step towards a photo. Maybe the jpeg/RAW thing is like that.

We see shooting jpeg only as making do with second best for your photos - OK for happy snaps, but looking at the embedded thumbnails in a Canon cr2 raw file is enough to disqualify jpeg for anything serious.

YMMV...

« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 23:41 »
+1
For people pictures, I use a gray card and capture a custom white balance.  I also shoot RAW, in part because I can adjust the white balance later with no loss of data but also because I can capture better detail at both the high and low ends (and in between, for that matter) than a JPEG can hold.  RAW lets me adjust exposure during postprocessing; JPEG limits how much I can do.  And of course the more I edit, the more data I lose.  If I start with those 8 bits per channel of JPEG, I don't have much to spare.

My advice: get something to color correct your display, get the white balance right in camera or at least take a picture of a gray card so you'll know what color the light was, and shoot RAW unless there's a really, really good reason not to.  Like your camera can't shoot fast enough in RAW and you need to shoot bursts to get the shot.  Or you're down to your last memory card and it's either shoot JPEG or not at all.

« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 01:45 »
+1
These sorts of discussions are akin to religious arguments and I'd recommend staying away.

If there's a discussion about how to get accurate white balance, or use of a gray card, that's worth reading as you can learn about a technique you might want to use.

Any of those "you always..." or "you never..." conversations are generally filled with people who do more talking than shooting :)

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 02:29 »
0
I use a gray card in studio, but not often when on a shoot away. I've gone through 2 $15 gray cards in the last 3 years and I don't feel like wasting any more money on them, so I dont take them outdoors anymore.

I don't find it hard to fix WB in post, takes about 4 seconds. even if you make a custom WB you still probably will tweak it a few points either way. *shrug* each to their own.

« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 02:51 »
-1
sometimes being lazy is also being smart.

I use auto wb and I shoot jpg.

Then the raw people say, but you can better trim a an exposure that is slightly off, when you have a raw.
Yes, but not so much as they think, max step, in my experience.
and wrong exposuress? where do they come from? Is it because you or the camera is not correctly set?
or do they more come from a photographer hostile environment? Like a high contrasted scene.

So I shoot jpg, and I seek out the environment that gives me the right exposure. When in doubt I often bracket or take multiple shots with different framing. I sometimes shoot hundreds of pictures of the same subject.
First and foremost, there are many pictures I do not take, either because I know there will be problems or because I know they wont sell.

XPTO

« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2013, 03:38 »
+1
I now always shoot RAW and use auto white balance the vast majority of times, but I partially agree with them in the WB part.

First, if you are demanding regarding image quality and have enough space on the card just forget jpeg. I've made an experience with my Canon 5D MKII and an L lenses where I took a shot in RAW+jpeg during a sunny day with different degrees of shade. So the camera took both types of images and with the highest quality settings for the jpeg.

Later I've compared them and the jpeg was not better than the RAW in ANY aspect. Even without working the RAW, the WB was better than the jpeg which had a green tint to it. The shade areas in the jpeg seemed like they were passed by a strong noise removal and were a blur mess. The dark road textures under cars have lost all the the detail, which were preserved in the RAW image.

After processing both images to my liking in terms of WB, exposure and color, the quality of the jpeg that was produced from the RAW conversion was incomparably better than the jpeg from the camera in every aspect. Besides it ended up being easier and faster to teak the RAW than the jpeg!

As for the Auto WB I would agree with them if you are in a situation which has a strong dominance of a color like the orange lights from road lamp-posts or even strong tungsten lights in the interior. In these situations I had a tremendous difficulty to correct the WB even in raw because if the color dominance is too strong it's inevitable that part of the colors get definitively lost and cannot be fully recovered. So in these cases I advise to, at least, select one of the WB options available in the camera or even make a custom WB although later I almost always tend to tweak the WB to my liking.

Due to card space I also once shot entirely an extremely colorful outdoor event in jpeg. I would have regretted it if I haven't done it due to space necessity for the same reasons I mentioned.

Besides, from time to time I need to pick up older images and reprocess them, and the RAW ones are great because the conversion programs are so much advanced nowadays that the reprocessed images are incredibly better than the versions converted 6 years ago. My first hundreds DSLR images that were shot in jpeg will be forever poor and hard to correct...

So, to me these guys don't have the slightest clue about what they are talking about.

« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2013, 03:39 »
0
I know the colour temperature of the lights in my studio so my WB is set for that when I am there. Outside I shoot auto WB in RAW and tweak it if need be.

The in-camera setting for flourescent, sunny, cloudy, shady can only be approximations, can't they? Since the colour temperature of these things varies depending on latitude, cloud cover etc. . I think AWB is probably more accurate in most situations.

« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2013, 04:06 »
0
For my first year doing microstock, I only used jpeg with no problems.  I switched to raw after buying a big hard drive.  Now I mostly use raw but I am switching back to jpeg more often.  I think the main advantage with raw is maintaining highlight and shadow detail but if that's not a problem, I don't see much difference.  I think there's a lot of snobbery with raw.  People think their photos look better but that's only if you pixel peep and that's not how photos should be used.  Unfortunately stock photographers do have their photos pixel peeped, so raw might be necessary sometimes but there's lots of people only using jpeg and I've not really seen any difference in rejections between my raw processed and jpeg photos.  It also depends on the camera I'm using.  Some compacts with smaller sensors have a much lower dynamic range and I usually use raw with them.

For white balance, I use the daylight setting most of the time for landscapes, sometimes switching to cloudy or auto balance.  Indoor, I use daylight with flash and sometimes use a white piece of paper for other light sources.  Raw is useful for making minor adjustments to white balance.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2013, 04:20 »
0
I ran head first into a heated debate on the best way to WB. I use 'M' on my camera and do custom later on in Raw mode.  I was told that I lazy and should determine the light source and set the camera to that type of light. Also why do I shoot RAW instead of Jpeg-  they feel that RAW is way to big and once again I am lazy to use RAW mode since Jpeg you must get it right in the camera which makes you think!


Your thoughts on these MSG folk?

Thanks

Tom

Why even bother arguing with someone like that? Let them do what they want. No harm, no blame.

Setting the WB according to available light often gives a really nasty result which has to be tweaked in post anyway. E.g. it's usually overcast here, but cloudy gives a really unreal-looking and unpleasant orange cast. 'Shade' is at least as bad. Tungsten overcompensates and mades photos ridiculously blue. It's  no doubt much better if you're using a pukka light meter - I couldn't possibly say.

JPEGs can be 'fixed' in RAW to some extent, but less flexibly. But yes, why avail yourself of quick and efficient lens correction or effective noise control?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 04:22 by ShadySue »

« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2013, 04:42 »
0
Yeah, when I want to get things right I tend to shoot in RAW on a DSLR.
Whenreally want to think about what I'm doing (and am not too bothered about messing it up), I shoot 4x5 film on a Crown Graphic and use a Pentax one-degree spot-meter.
I don't reckon the guys shooting jpgs have anything to brag about in the "not lazy" department!
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 05:55 by BaldricksTrousers »

« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2013, 05:48 »
+1
Ignore if you are experienced in Photoshop,  for beginners this is Photoshop 101:

After correcting in Raw I bring the file into Photoshop to finalize WB.

Using the Levels Palette you can set the White Point by using the eye droppers at the lower right., I have mine set to 250,250,250  (double click to set a default). . . .  by doing this you can finalize a Neutral White Point after your RAW Conversion.  First you must find the Brightest Pixel by dragging the Highlight slider with ALT down, set a Color Sample and then use the White Point Eye Dropper on that Sample. With this technique you force neutrality in the highlight.

This adjustment doesn't work if the Highlights are Clipped or if you don't want perfectly neutral Highlights.  I do the same for Shadows, mine are set  to 8,8,8.

Make sure your Info Palette is open so you can keep an eye on your Color Sample RGB values.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 05:57 by etienjones »

« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2013, 05:58 »
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Lol! Been doing this for almost 10 years and I hadn't come across that trick before, Etien!  :-[ ::)

« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2013, 06:00 »
0
Even old dogs can learn new tricks . . . . . . . . .

« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2013, 06:35 »
0
Etien, yes, thats how i do it.

« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2013, 06:43 »
+1
I learned that at a Workshop I took with Barry Haynes (author of the "Photoshop Artistry" books) some years ago.  I hardly ever use this technique for shadows anymore, but always on Highlights if only to keep track of the RGB Values.

« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2013, 08:11 »
+1
These sorts of discussions are akin to religious arguments and I'd recommend staying away.

If there's a discussion about how to get accurate white balance, or use of a gray card, that's worth reading as you can learn about a technique you might want to use.

Any of those "you always..." or "you never..." conversations are generally filled with people who do more talking than shooting :)

Jsnova, are you implying all religious arguments are bad? Wether it is religion or white balance there are always good and bad arguments  :)
In this case he "being lazy" because he adjust WB in lightroom is a very bad argument and I agree with your recommendation.

« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2013, 09:39 »
0
These sorts of discussions are akin to religious arguments and I'd recommend staying away.

If there's a discussion about how to get accurate white balance, or use of a gray card, that's worth reading as you can learn about a technique you might want to use.

Any of those "you always..." or "you never..." conversations are generally filled with people who do more talking than shooting :)

Jsnova, are you implying all religious arguments are bad? Wether it is religion or white balance there are always good and bad arguments  :)
In this case he "being lazy" because he adjust WB in lightroom is a very bad argument and I agree with your recommendation.

It's been a while since I saw 'freezingpictures' as a name in the recent poster list.... welcome back :)

Poncke

« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2013, 13:06 »
0
RAW

dbvirago

« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2013, 13:37 »
0
Ignore if you are experienced in Photoshop,  for beginners this is Photoshop 101:

After correcting in Raw I bring the file into Photoshop to finalize WB.

Using the Levels Palette you can set the White Point by using the eye droppers at the lower right., I have mine set to 250,250,250  (double click to set a default). . . .  by doing this you can finalize a Neutral White Point after your RAW Conversion.  First you must find the Brightest Pixel by dragging the Highlight slider with ALT down, set a Color Sample and then use the White Point Eye Dropper on that Sample. With this technique you force neutrality in the highlight.

This adjustment doesn't work if the Highlights are Clipped or if you don't want perfectly neutral Highlights.  I do the same for Shadows, mine are set  to 8,8,8.

Make sure your Info Palette is open so you can keep an eye on your Color Sample RGB values.

I use that trick a lot. Doesn't always work, but when it does, you can set WB and contrast quickly. In a pinch, I have used the eyedroppers on the white and pupil of the eye to quickly fix a portrait

« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2013, 13:54 »
0
You are right, like everything in Photoshop it doesn't always work mainly because you don't always want neutral Highlights.  Snow is a good example, there is nothing uglier than gray snow! Snow is Blue  ;)

« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2013, 14:01 »
0

« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2013, 14:05 »
0


 

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