July 30, 2014, 04:05:24 PM

Author Topic: White balance, how to determine?  (Read 4153 times)

Mr Bean

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 355
    • View Profile
White balance, how to determine?
« on: August 13, 2013, 09:22:34 PM »
I was out taking a few pics the other day of our local wild flowers. It was late in the day, with less than an hour of sun. So, there was a touch of red in the light. While taking this pic (a Field Daisy) I wondered what techniques others have taken to establish a white balance in the field. The reason I ask is that this flower has a hint of mauve in the petals, and what can you do to establish the "real mauve"?

Using an 18% grey card or a white card, just to one side (to crop out later) was a thought.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm using Lightroom v4.4 for my post processing.

5D mk3 with grip, 300 f4 L, 100 IS Macro L, 50 f1.4, 50 f1.8, 40 f2.8 pancake, 35 f2, 1.4x TC III, Zeiss 15mm f2.8, 24 f1.4 L
580EX II, MT-24EX Macro Flash
EF 12mm and 25mm II Extension tubes

canon rumors FORUM

White balance, how to determine?
« on: August 13, 2013, 09:22:34 PM »

Pi

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 937
    • View Profile
    • Math and Photography
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 09:39:59 PM »
Gray card is good, but the result depends on the position and the orientation. Placing it too close to a colorful subject might affect the result visibly. You may want to place it in front the flower, take a shot, remove it, shoot again.

Some people like white balance diffusers/caps - they might be known under other names. They help the camera measure the WB of the light falling on the lens. I am not saying that they are better or worse - actually, I never tried them.

emag

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 316
    • View Profile
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 10:32:53 PM »
Color Checker Passport, set up profiles in LR

Mr Bean

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 355
    • View Profile
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 12:31:55 AM »
Gray card is good, but the result depends on the position and the orientation. Placing it too close to a colorful subject might affect the result visibly. You may want to place it in front the flower, take a shot, remove it, shoot again.

Thanks Pi. I might go back to that flower on the weekend and try a couple of cards (grey / white) then see what I end up with.

Color Checker Passport, set up profiles in LR

Thanks emag. I haven't seen that before. I presume its this sort of thing.....
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/accessories/colorchecker-psssport.shtml
5D mk3 with grip, 300 f4 L, 100 IS Macro L, 50 f1.4, 50 f1.8, 40 f2.8 pancake, 35 f2, 1.4x TC III, Zeiss 15mm f2.8, 24 f1.4 L
580EX II, MT-24EX Macro Flash
EF 12mm and 25mm II Extension tubes

Sporgon

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1702
  • 5% of gear used 95% of the time
    • View Profile
    • www.buildingpanoramics.com
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2013, 01:53:49 AM »
Quick n simple method: just photograph a white card in the same light as your flower. Set custom White balance from this shot.

tpatana

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 257
    • View Profile
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 02:29:39 AM »
Assuming your monitor is calibrated: if it looks good, then it's good.

If you want to go more high-tech, then the cards and such work too.

Often I go by the eye. If it looks wrong, I tune the sliders. Also it's bit subjective, so many times I switch between couple photos, and tune until they all look good. If you stick only to one photo, often after tuning it to "look good", and you come back later, it doesn't look good anymore.

Janbo Makimbo

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 161
  • 6D
    • View Profile
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 02:34:48 AM »
I have an expodisk and it is very good for setting custom white balance...

canon rumors FORUM

Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 02:34:48 AM »

mb66energy

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
  • too many boring photos with high tech quality ...
    • View Profile
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2013, 05:08:59 AM »
I shoot raw and use always the "sunlight" white balance setting to keep things comparable.

Afterwards I correct - if necessary - the color temperature (using DPP, lightroom will have it's equivalent) to a value which suits my needs.
I too observed the color shift in afternoon light and it muddle up different greens to a "greenish-yellowish soup". Shifting color temperature from 5200K (daylight) to sth. between 4000K and 4500K gives IMO better colors. But I do not try to overcorrect the values - 3500K might be correct for such cases: I like to leave a bit of the warmer atmosphere in the image to conserve my experience (or colder ambience if the light was blueish).

A major prerequisite is a constant lighting of the surroundings of the monitor and to "calibrate" your eyes to grey or white regions of the computer screen.

Best - Michael

(BTW: you use a great lens set with larger gaps which can be filled by using your feet ... :)
TOOLS: EF-S 10-22 | 60 || EF 2.8/24 | 2.8/40 | 2.8+2.0/100 | 4.0/70-200 | 5.6/400 || 2 x 40D || 2x TC ||| 600D for video ||| EOS M + bunch of FD chrome rings

mikebg

  • SX50 HS
  • **
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2013, 06:15:03 AM »
The best way by far, is to use live view (if you have it).

Set the camera to live view and point the camera at your subject. With one eye on the lcd and one on the subject, adjust the white balance until what you see on the lcd looks the same as the subject. Works every time!

Don Haines

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2838
  • Posting cat pictures on the internet since 1986
    • View Profile
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2013, 07:30:29 AM »
The best way by far, is to use live view (if you have it).

Set the camera to live view and point the camera at your subject. With one eye on the lcd and one on the subject, adjust the white balance until what you see on the lcd looks the same as the subject. Works every time!
That is so simple that its brilliant! I'm going to give it a try. I have been using a card which is half grey scale and half color bars, but I often do not have it with me when I need it.
The best camera is the one in your hands

privatebydesign

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2086
  • Ermintrude says "moo"
    • View Profile
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2013, 07:49:43 AM »
Not really, the problem with that method is the camera screen calibration, it isn't and you can't create an accurate profile for it.

Accurate colour in flower pictures demands camera profiles and the easiest way to get them is with an X-Rite Color Passport. Nothing short of a camera profile is good for anything other than the most casual of flower images as the colours are some of the strongest in nature and tax the capabilities of current gear.
The best time to plant a tree is twenty-five years ago. The second best time is today.

Janbo Makimbo

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 161
  • 6D
    • View Profile
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2013, 08:21:27 AM »
The best way by far, is to use live view (if you have it).

Set the camera to live view and point the camera at your subject. With one eye on the lcd and one on the subject, adjust the white balance until what you see on the lcd looks the same as the subject. Works every time!

Good luck seeing accurate white balance on an lcd in sunlight....... Expodisk is by far and away a more accurate method than this

emag

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 316
    • View Profile
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 09:12:19 AM »
Mr. Bean -

I also have an (equivalent to) Expodisk and have used it extensively.  It is indeed quicker than the Color Checker Passport for setting a custom white balance.......BUT......the passport has so many more uses and is just as simple to carry.  I've really taken a shine to it since I began using it.  You can set up custom camera profiles in Lightroom for various lighting conditions (sunny, clouds, rain, twilight, deep shade, etc.), shoot Raw and select the correct profile in post.  Much less tweaking is needed with such a work flow.  Want to warm skin tones a tad?  Click on the appropriate warming white balance block on the image of the Color Checker.   IIRC, there have been posts on CR from colorblind photographers here on CR who use the Passport to ensure proper color.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 09:12:19 AM »

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 13616
    • View Profile
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2013, 09:15:43 AM »
Accurate colour in flower pictures demands camera profiles and the easiest way to get them is with an X-Rite Color Passport.

+1 on the X-Rite Color Checker Passport.  Small, light, easy to slip in a bag, and quite tough.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

jebrady03

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 227
    • View Profile
Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 09:27:47 AM »
somewhat related - does anyone know how to determine what color temperature was selected when using auto white balance?  I'm using DPP and the "info" window doesn't reveal it.
Thanks!

canon rumors FORUM

Re: White balance, how to determine?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 09:27:47 AM »