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02-26-2008, 02:00 AM   #1
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man whi bal only with grey card?

I was shooting around town over the weekend, basically my first time in M mode. I thought I was doing ok until I got home & viewed the pics on my computer. I dunno, maybe it's my eyes but they look kinda blue-ish to me. If I 'auto white balance' them in Lightroom they seem to look more natural:

as shot

auto whi bal

as shot

auto whi bal


Reading further into the K100d's manual it tells you in order to configure manual white balance you're supposed to put a grey or white piece of paper in the viewfinder & snap a pic. Well I have a "digital grey card" but thought this device was only meant for when shooting in full auto (green) mode. So what gives here, does everyone walk around with one of these? Am I supposed to adopt this card every time I head out with my camera? If so I think I should've got the smaller one.....

02-26-2008, 03:20 AM   #2
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In normal lighting conditions, I find the preset WB options work very well. In day light as you have here, Auto WB should be fine.

I really only do a manual WB when I am in difficult or mixed lighting. Since I shoot RAW, I usually leave the camera in Auto WB, I shoot a gray card at the start of the shoot, and correct it in ACR later using the WB tool.
02-26-2008, 03:40 AM   #3
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I've almost never had to do manual white balance in daylight outdoors .
To warm up the picture a bit, I've used "Shade" white balancing, it gives about the same effect as the PP'ed photos you posted.

I've had to use Manual White Balancing only with difficult shots with mixed coloured lights.

Strictly speaking, you should use a Grey Card for MWB but a white piece of paper works just fine because the exposure system will anyway expose it to grey.

Shots below before and after manual white balance using a piece of White photocopy paper. The lighting is from a mixture of halogen and red incandescent lamps - tough !

Before (Auto WB) - Very red, pretty much unusable shot



After (Manual WB) - looks almost normal


Last edited by kittykat46; 02-26-2008 at 03:49 AM.
02-26-2008, 04:26 AM   #4
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First, let's just remember that this is ALL subjective -- if you want a particular mood or feeling, who cares what "correct" is? That holds true even for blown out highlights and noise -- if they're handled well they are simply part of the "look". If I wanted a warm and cozy feeling, kitykat's first "very red" shot would be fine for me; I (personally) even prefer it over the AWB shot.

But as Alan says,

QuoteOriginally posted by roscot Quote
In normal lighting conditions, I find the preset WB options work very well. In day light as you have here, Auto WB should be fine.

I really only do a manual WB when I am in difficult or mixed lighting. Since I shoot RAW, I usually leave the camera in Auto WB, I shoot a gray card at the start of the shoot, and correct it in ACR later using the WB tool.
shoot RAW, correct later. The dirty little secret is that even if you don't have a gray card or anything like it, there is often something neutral enough in the scene to sample and give you a decent white balance. I'm sure Lightroom has an eyedropper tool for WB like ACR does -- click around the scene with it and see what happens. Playing is the best way to develop understanding; just be aware of what you're playing with.

02-26-2008, 04:28 AM   #5
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I only carry a grey card if I'm shooting film, and usually then almost exclusively if I'm shooting black and white. Just my process...

As for digital, I shoot RAW, so I don't worry about WB. When shooting video though, which I suppose you could liken to shooting JPEG, I usually carry a grey card, but there's usually an assistant or a big camera case to make that not a hassle. In a pinch, I've used the sidewalk, an overcast sky (usually makes things a touch warm), or a piece of paper. Anything with no color information (whites or greys only) will work for WB.

Calibrating in the shade will make things warmer, calibrating in direct sun will make things cooler. Putting the shadow of a building right through the center of the frame you're calibrating with will yield a rather nice neutral.

Will
02-26-2008, 05:07 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by amateur6 Quote
First, let's just remember that this is ALL subjective -- if you want a particular mood or feeling, who cares what "correct" is? That holds true even for blown out highlights and noise -- if they're handled well they are simply part of the "look". If I wanted a warm and cozy feeling, kitykat's first "very red" shot would be fine for me; I (personally) even prefer it over the AWB shot.

But as Alan says,



shoot RAW, correct later. The dirty little secret is that even if you don't have a gray card or anything like it, there is often something neutral enough in the scene to sample and give you a decent white balance.
Quite true. When I shoot a dog show, the rubber mats they use in the ring makes a good target. Shaded concrete is another decent target. Any neutral colored object will work to get you in the ball park. Then you can tweak the WB to get the look you want.
02-26-2008, 08:01 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by arthur pappas Quote
I was shooting around town over the weekend, basically my first time in M mode. I thought I was doing ok until I got home & viewed the pics on my computer. I dunno, maybe it's my eyes but they look kinda blue-ish to me. If I 'auto white balance' them in Lightroom they seem to look more natural:



Reading further into the K100d's manual it tells you in order to configure manual white balance you're supposed to put a grey or white piece of paper in the viewfinder & snap a pic. Well I have a "digital grey card" but thought this device was only meant for when shooting in full auto (green) mode. So what gives here, does everyone walk around with one of these? Am I supposed to adopt this card every time I head out with my camera? If so I think I should've got the smaller one.....
Looks like the tungsten preset was picked... that blue (got a bunch of blue ships, last time I shot jpg BTW) is what you'd get. As others mentioned AWB works good in outdoor, natural light so it is pretty safe to use. RAW works best and you can pretty well ignore WB though it never hurts to be "close".
AWB was never designed for tungsten light. Pre-set or custom is really the way to go....
02-26-2008, 02:33 PM   #8
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Accurate white balance

It is just worth mentioning that grey cards are intended for exposure reference and are not ideal for white balance (as this requires greater reflectance than a grey card will give you). To get an accurate white balance requires a proper white balance reference card. Everything else , including white paper (which often isn't really white), will involve a degree of inaccuracy due to the somewhat"dirty" spectrum of wavelengths being refleced by it.

02-26-2008, 04:07 PM   #9
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Hi Delgado,

here is some info on the card I bought. To me it looks like it can help with exposure and white balance. I dunno, maybe I should start carrying it around with me...

Digital Image Flow

I bought mine off ebay:

Digital Grey Kard Ultra White Balance Gray Card 18% - (eBay.ca item 200186970267 end time 25-Mar-08 21:03:45 EDT)
02-27-2008, 03:36 AM   #10
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has anyone used the ExpoDisc from expo imaging? is it more accurate than a grey card?
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