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Author Topic: White Balance  (Read 9500 times)

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tab62

« on: April 08, 2011, 16:20 »
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Hi Stock Folks,

If you don't have the color passport colors available during a shooting session is using 'Auto' W/B okay on the session? For example, say your lighting is 5500 K via the soft boxes than wouldn't it make sense that if the WB shows around that number that you are okay?

Thanks.


Tom


« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2011, 16:42 »
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I would shoot everything in RAW and if you are doing that, then it totally doesn't matter what color balance you are shooting with, you have total control over it in post.  So yeah, I always shoot in auto white balance.

« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2011, 16:46 »
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when I shoot under strobes, I do place WB to around 5600k but as Tyler said in Camera Raw you can change that but mainly when I shoot I tend to pick the best wb at least to see "more or less" how it is going, not that we should or can trust in back lcd :)

« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2011, 17:08 »
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I use a grey card and set a custom white balance before my studio shots (food and table top stuff) and I find that works great - I never really need to adust the white balance.

« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2011, 17:19 »
-1
I use a grey card and set a custom white balance before my studio shots (food and table top stuff) and I find that works great - I never really need to adust the white balance.

I've always left WB in Auto, always shoot JPEG and have never even seen a 'grey card' let alone bought or ever utilised one. I've never quite understood why amateur photographers always try to make things so difficult for themselves. I'm happy that they do though as it makes them so much less productive.

Dabbling with white balance or fannying around with RAW is totally unnecessary for 99% of stock shoots.

« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2011, 17:48 »
+1
I use a grey card and set a custom white balance before my studio shots (food and table top stuff) and I find that works great - I never really need to adust the white balance.

I've always left WB in Auto, always shoot JPEG and have never even seen a 'grey card' let alone bought or ever utilised one. I've never quite understood why amateur photographers always try to make things so difficult for themselves. I'm happy that they do though as it makes them so much less productive.

Dabbling with white balance or fannying around with RAW is totally unnecessary for 99% of stock shoots.

On the contrary, it's made my workflow faster, not more difficult.  The grey card was in the back of Scott Kelby's Lightroom book, so no cost other than what I paid for the book.  One minute (literally one minute, maybe less) spent throwing the card on the table, take a shot, set the WB and every shot is spot on - I don't have to spend any time playing with white balance in post processing.  I'm not seeing any of the rejection problems a lot of others are complaining about so I must be doing something right.

« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2011, 18:26 »
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I would shoot everything in RAW and if you are doing that, then it totally doesn't matter what color balance you are shooting with, you have total control over it in post.  So yeah, I always shoot in auto white balance.

^ This is by far the easiest way to deal with white balance in my opinion.  Sometimes, depending on what you are shooting cameras may favor certain colors such as red, for example.  Even auto white balance can get tricked into having a cast to the image, requiring a WB tweak.  If you can swing it, shoot in RAW then edit in a raw converter.

« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2011, 19:08 »
-1
On the contrary, it's made my workflow faster, not more difficult.  The grey card was in the back of Scott Kelby's Lightroom book, so no cost other than what I paid for the book.  One minute (literally one minute, maybe less) spent throwing the card on the table, take a shot, set the WB and every shot is spot on - I don't have to spend any time playing with white balance in post processing.  I'm not seeing any of the rejection problems a lot of others are complaining about so I must be doing something right.

Great. You've sold fewer than 50 images in over a year at IS. That would be a poor day as far as any half-serious contributor was concerned. You carry on messing about with WB, or whatever it is you do with your time, and I'll carry on collecting the cash for the licensing of images.

« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2011, 19:12 »
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On the contrary, it's made my workflow faster, not more difficult.  The grey card was in the back of Scott Kelby's Lightroom book, so no cost other than what I paid for the book.  One minute (literally one minute, maybe less) spent throwing the card on the table, take a shot, set the WB and every shot is spot on - I don't have to spend any time playing with white balance in post processing.  I'm not seeing any of the rejection problems a lot of others are complaining about so I must be doing something right.

Great. You've sold fewer than 50 images in over a year at IS. That would be a poor day as far as any half-serious contributor was concerned. You carry on messing about with WB, or whatever it is you do with your time, and I'll carry on collecting the cash for the licensing of images.

I was watching how it would go and finally get to its momentum! I am starting to enjoy you (not joking)

« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2011, 19:15 »
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I have a grey card.  I found I got a different result every pixel I clicked on.  So, I eyeball the WB.

« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2011, 19:18 »
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I was watching how it would go and finally get to its momentum! I am starting to enjoy you (not joking)

Funnily enough Luis I'm starting to enjoy your posts too. All of a sudden you are actually expressing your own opinions, which are genuinely good to read ... and without sticking 'LOLS' on the end of every sentence which used to particularly annoy me!

« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2011, 19:22 »
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I was watching how it would go and finally get to its momentum! I am starting to enjoy you (not joking)

Funnily enough Luis I'm starting to enjoy your posts too. All of a sudden you are actually expressing your own opinions, which are genuinely good to read ... and without sticking 'LOLS' on the end of every sentence which used to particularly annoy me!

When I use LOL I am actually LOLING but will take that in consideration from now on

« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2011, 19:25 »
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I would shoot everything in RAW and if you are doing that, then it totally doesn't matter what color balance you are shooting with, you have total control over it in post.  So yeah, I always shoot in auto white balance.

^ This is by far the easiest way to deal with white balance in my opinion.  Sometimes, depending on what you are shooting cameras may favor certain colors such as red, for example.  Even auto white balance can get tricked into having a cast to the image, requiring a WB tweak.  If you can swing it, shoot in RAW then edit in a raw converter.

I've discovered a long time ago that using auto-WB is more work at the end than setting the wide balance to a close setting, which the camera offers, shooting in a row. So if you take 50 images and you find out that you like 5 of them, for example, every single one in auto-WB will have a different WB, but if you have it set to a close pre-set WB, they will all be the same. So in post-processing, it will be much faster and easier, especially if you have a batch.
When you use studio lights, there is no guessing. Manufacturers usually give you a pretty close WB setting and after a few sections you find out for yourself what the best setting is for WB. It is never too far off of the manufacturers' measurement.
The only problem that I can see is that if you use a mix of studio lights. From a few different manufacturers, in that case there is no correct WB.
Sometimes I do photos for local theaters and there you have to use a pre-set WB (close to frontal light) and peek on the LSD on your camera to make sure that WB is good (there is no flash allowed). They use so many different white balanced lights and if your camera is set to AWB it just goes crazy.
But if you again have to measure WB in post processing, the easier way to do it is to use something white or black. That is a one click WB fix.
In addition, There are Natural Color Cards that you can use on the first image to set your WB and if you will be printing your image, that can be helpful. Or as OP mentioned, a Color Passport will work well.
Thanks to the internet, you can easily find many different ways to measure WB correctly.

Kone

« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2011, 20:15 »
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On the contrary, it's made my workflow faster, not more difficult.  The grey card was in the back of Scott Kelby's Lightroom book, so no cost other than what I paid for the book.  One minute (literally one minute, maybe less) spent throwing the card on the table, take a shot, set the WB and every shot is spot on - I don't have to spend any time playing with white balance in post processing.  I'm not seeing any of the rejection problems a lot of others are complaining about so I must be doing something right.

Great. You've sold fewer than 50 images in over a year at IS. That would be a poor day as far as any half-serious contributor was concerned. You carry on messing about with WB, or whatever it is you do with your time, and I'll carry on collecting the cash for the licensing of images.

Sorry I offended you by having an opinion and fewer sales then you deem worthy.  How many sales do I need before I'm allowed to post again?  ::)

« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2011, 20:41 »
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Sorry I offended you by having an opinion and fewer sales then you deem worthy.  How many sales do I need before I'm allowed to post again?  ::)

You haven't offended me __ I'm just trying to tell you the actuality. I kind of assumed that you were here to learn rather than to teach. I guess when you've sold say 25K+ licenses or thereabouts then your opinion just about becomes valid to the majority on this forum (btw, that's quite a low hurdle nowadays). Until then you are most likely a newbie with much to learn. One of the things you will learn eventually is not to fanny about with WB because it is an utter waste of your time.

« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2011, 21:48 »
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I would totally agree with Kone about the use of WB in a studio setting. Setting your WB for sunlight or whatever pre-set you choose will ensure you get consistent results for your entire shoot.  If you're doing work-for-hire for a client especially, they will expect this. Having to readjust in post production to get all of the images to have the same WB is time consuming. 

« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2011, 23:21 »
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Sorry I offended you by having an opinion and fewer sales then you deem worthy.  How many sales do I need before I'm allowed to post again?  ::)

You haven't offended me __ I'm just trying to tell you the actuality. I kind of assumed that you were here to learn rather than to teach. I guess when you've sold say 25K+ licenses or thereabouts then your opinion just about becomes valid to the majority on this forum (btw, that's quite a low hurdle nowadays). Until then you are most likely a newbie with much to learn. One of the things you will learn eventually is not to fanny about with WB because it is an utter waste of your time.

Am I missing something? I think original question was about WB, not about how to sell more. Yes, for good sales you do not need WB, good cameras or lenses, lights, you do not even need to be a photographer. So what?

P.S Something definitely happened to this forum that used to be helpful and _friendly_ one
« Last Edit: April 08, 2011, 23:25 by UncleGene »


SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2011, 00:24 »
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for the most part, I trust my eye. many of the people I know who are slaves to their histograms and grey cards aren't particularly inspiring photographers. I use auto WB sometimes. but through experience alone I've learned which WB I prefer in certain lighting conditions and subjects and I often adjust the setting on the fly as required. if I leave it on auto. as many have said, I leave it to post processing.

I'm not intending to undervalue the importance of learning the tech stuff. but, it's doesn't dictate WB in my workflow. I don't own a grey card.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 00:40 by SNP »

rubyroo

« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2011, 01:12 »
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I use auto-WB the vast majority of the time, but there have been very rare occasions when the auto-WB just didn't seem to be getting it right during the shoot.  In those cases, I've used a grey card just to be sure.  

Also very occasionally I've only noticed the WB was a little 'off' when viewed in Lightroom, in which case I've adjusted it there.

So I'd say there's no hard rule about it - just know your tools and adapt as necessary to get the result that works for both you and the agency.  If auto-WB nails it (which I find it does the vast majority of the time) - then it is a bit less faffing around.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2011, 03:07 »
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I've always left WB in Auto, always shoot JPEG and have never even seen a 'grey card' let alone bought or ever utilised one. I've never quite understood why amateur photographers always try to make things so difficult for themselves. I'm happy that they do though as it makes them so much less productive.

Dabbling with white balance or fannying around with RAW is totally unnecessary for 99% of stock shoots.

Completely agree. Unless one is using weird bluish or yellowish lamps combinations, auto white balance is ok all the time.

« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2011, 03:23 »
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I don't really see a problem with using a gray card for white balance,  I don't do it but I wouldn't be critical of anyone else that does it.  I also wouldn't recommend using jpeg all the time.  I started off only using jpeg but switched to raw and I wouldn't go back to 100% jpeg again.  But I don't spend all my time in a studio, we all have to find what works for us.

And I'm so sorry that I don't have enough sales to give a valid opinion LOL.  I do remember seeing that Yuri spends some time getting his white balance spot on for each series of photos.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 03:26 by sharpshot »

« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2011, 07:14 »
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I've done a test some time ago.  The result convinced me to use manual WB.

Same light setup (studio), same object, same parameters camera exept :
- image taken auto wb
- image taken manual wb

Completely different result. Adjust the image with auto wb in photoshop to same measured wb on manual wb... still difference noticeable on end result.
The images with manual wb are more pleasing to the eye, contain less yellow cast.

Patrick.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2011, 09:33 »
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I don't really see a problem with using a gray card for white balance,  I don't do it but I wouldn't be critical of anyone else that does it.  I also wouldn't recommend using jpeg all the time.  I started off only using jpeg but switched to raw and I wouldn't go back to 100% jpeg again.  But I don't spend all my time in a studio, we all have to find what works for us.

And I'm so sorry that I don't have enough sales to give a valid opinion LOL.  I do remember seeing that Yuri spends some time getting his white balance spot on for each series of photos.

your post reminded me; I meant to say I don't know why anyone would shoot jpeg as a regular part of their workflow. twice I've switched to shooting jpeg only because I had so little space left on memory cards while travelling. I'm sure there are other situations where photographers do this...but shooting jpeg instead of RAW all the time, why? talk about potentially limiting your image quality right out of the gate.

« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2011, 12:30 »
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Tip of the day:  Never do what is working best for you!  Always check how the coolest person around does it, and do the same!!

« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2011, 12:35 »
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Interesting considerations.

I shoot basically outdoors, and I set my camera at auto WB most of the time and I think it works fine in sunlight conditions. I don't like however the color when its clouded or shaded - then I use the appropriate preset WB, however I do think that sometimes this gives an excessive yellowish look. When I see that, I prefer to use auto and then add a "warming filter" in the eidtor. Personally I don't think it is practical to adjust WB manually (by using a grey card, for instance) when you are out there hiking and lighting conditions change a lot.  I do use manual adjustments however when I shoot indoors under natural light from the window, readjusting as I see lighting conditions changing. Also in some special indoor situations, the camera preset may not be appropriate. The other day for instance I was photographing my birds and I had the blinds partially close to avoid direct sunshine, however the blinds are beige and therefore the passing light is not suitable for any of the presets.

PS: I still shoot JPEG - shame on me! - because I never installed Canon software!  ::)

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2011, 13:06 »
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^ shoot RAW. you can make so many adjustments in your RAW converter without degrading your image quality. I save my files only once as jpegs to limit compression. if I have to go back and make an additional change after I've already saved as jpeg, I start again from the RAW file. IMHO.

« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2011, 15:47 »
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When I edit an image, I save it as TIFF for all the edition (or PSP if I am working with layers). But yes, I should be shooting RAW, everone says.


tab62

« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2011, 21:39 »
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Did I get an education on WB! I will give manual  a shot and see how my pics come out tomorrow. By the way I don't even have 50 sales with all my sites combined yet so not even a considered a rookie more like a trainee in boot camp hoping to make the rank of private!

« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2011, 00:12 »
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PS: I still shoot JPEG - shame on me! - because I never installed Canon software!  ::)

I was shooting in sand dunes and rocks under a slightly hazy sky yesterday. The guy I was with hasn't got anything decent because he shot on his "green square" jpg setting (he's new to photography). The shots I got needed tone-curve and WB adjustment to escape the super-flat contrast and yellow-brown cast, after which the results are excellent. There are some conditions where the standard camera functions just can't cope, even if the WB is adjusted, and you need to process in Canon's RAW processor (which, BTW, can also entirely remove CA from RAW files but not from jpgs, something that nobody seems to mention but which is increasingly important as iS becomes ever more fascist about CA rejections).

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2011, 00:27 »
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PS: I still shoot JPEG - shame on me! - because I never installed Canon software!  ::)

I was shooting in sand dunes and rocks under a slightly hazy sky yesterday. The guy I was with hasn't got anything decent because he shot on his "green square" jpg setting (he's new to photography). The shots I got needed tone-curve and WB adjustment to escape the super-flat contrast and yellow-brown cast, after which the results are excellent. There are some conditions where the standard camera functions just can't cope, even if the WB is adjusted, and you need to process in Canon's RAW processor (which, BTW, can also entirely remove CA from RAW files but not from jpgs, something that nobody seems to mention but which is increasingly important as iS becomes ever more fascist about CA rejections).

great point about CA and other image corrections best done in RAW...

« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2011, 16:37 »
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Just to clarify, by shooting JPEG I don't mean shooting in auto-everything mode. Even in my Powershot, I use aperture or manual exposure and adjust WB depending on the situation, as I explained before.

« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2011, 19:08 »
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Oh dear __ so shooting RAW and fannying about with WB is really important apparently? I never realised. No plans to change though. Getting it right in-camera works OK as far as I'm concerned. It saves time in post-processing too.

« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2011, 20:10 »
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Oh dear __ so shooting RAW and fannying about with WB is really important apparently? I never realised. No plans to change though. Getting it right in-camera works OK as far as I'm concerned. It saves time in post-processing too.
Yup... getting WB right in camera is important.
Believe it or not, maybe your type of photography is general and doesn't need WB control, okay, your work, but in controlled lighting, WB does mather, and not easily controlled with post processing programs, there will always be a noticeable difference unless you get it right in camera.

Patrick H.

« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2011, 20:20 »
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shooting raw and adjust wb on camera raw or other "minor" setting is quite quick as we all know come on  ;D (when travelling I do shoot always RAW)

as long as we have a fast workflow it is smooth


 

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