Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Photography: White Balance, once again

Alright so i have discovered the power of using the "White Blance Preset".

This is a function that you can find if i m not mistaken in any "modern" DSLR out there, my D40x has it and i my guess is that yours probably has it to. You can probably find it under the WB settings....

So why am i praising this tool so much? Well its great for studio work as well as those "tricky light" situations. Remember that i was tell you guys earlier to shoot in RAW so white balance would never been an issue? While autoWB is great for those moments when you dont have any time (note here: i always keep my camera on autoWB unless i m doing something special) so you can fix the WB after in post process!

But i m going to be honest with you guys, i have tried to mess about with the WB in photoshop and i m never really 100% happy with the results i get when i find myself in those special moments, what i tend to do then is that i just erase the background my object is in and add a layer of white, which has in the past made some of photos look 2D, like the photo below for example. There i just took the photo on autoWB and removed the background and it looked the way it looked, tho in that case i was going for that look so you are welcome to use it in those cases!

Now back on track here, so when do i use white balance preset?

I often use it when i m so called "doing my studio" work. This means that i m using one type of light source under controlled condtions. So what i do is that i grab the background and i just go into the menu of my camera (follow the instructions provided by the camera) and i take a shot of the surface that is ment to be white, it doesnt really have to be white, but what ever clear object you take a photo of will give the camera the reference that is supposed to be white (does that make sesnse)

Below are some example where i shot the apple on a off white surface, but with the help of the WB preset i got the "background" to look white, and it saved me loads of time in post processing, actually i never processed this image only turned the photo from RAW to JPG

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