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Old May 6, 2006, 10:15 AM   #1
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Where would the best setting be for white balance, like if your outside and it's cloudy do you put the setting on cloudy, or if it's sunny put it on sunny, Because i tried a couple pictures in the house and put the setting on bulb and the picture was a little red..
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Old May 6, 2006, 10:24 AM   #2
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From looking at your previous posts, you have a Canon Rebel XT.

Most cameras do a relatively poor job in artificial lighting using Auto WB (and sometimes, incadescent or flourescent settings aren't that good either). Auto WB usually gets you pretty close outdoors (depending on the range of colors in the image).

This topic comes up relatively often. So, I'll just copy my response from another recent thread.

Your camera has a custom white balance feature. It's designed to measure the temperature of the light by sampling it by shooting a white or gray card (a photographic gray card is preferred).

Then, it can apply the same white balance to other shots in that lighting when you use it.

Look up custom white balance inyour manualand you'll see how to set it.

Some users buy aphotographic white card or graycard for this purpose (setting the camera's custom white balance). A gray card is preferred.

Afew white coffee filters stacked usually gets you pretty close (although you have to be careful as some cameras can be a bit "finnicky" shooting them). Almost anything white can work in a pinch and get you close (even a piece of paper).

Another wayof setting custom WB is by using the top from a Pringles Potato Chip can (it's a translucent gray lid). You set your white balance while pointing the lens through thelid towards the light source). I've heard that they may have changed the color of the tops so that newer ones won't work as well, though.

A commercial product that is well liked by others to do the same thing isthe Expodisc.

Here is a link to the site:

http://www.expoimaging.net/products/

You'll find instructions specific tocamera models there, too (basically, it's explaining how to use the custom white balance feature in conjunction with their products):

http://www.expoimaging.net/support/manuals.aspx

Of course, shooting in raw gives you more leeway (you can more easily tweak the color temperature in post processing).

Another way to make sure you've got it set right is to take photos of a photographic gray card or white card in the lighting you're shooting in and use the white balance eye dropper in your raw converter to sample it.

Then, saveit as a custom white balance in your raw converter and apply the same settings to the images you convert.


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Old May 6, 2006, 3:17 PM   #3
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Thank You JimC, i do have the canon 350D, is it better to shoot in RAW or JPEG.
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Old May 6, 2006, 3:21 PM   #4
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Oh one more thing when you use the custom w/b every time you take a picture do you always have to use the grey card or does it automatically have it set..
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Old May 6, 2006, 3:39 PM   #5
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i'm on that expoimaging site and that expocap seems pretty nice you think it works?
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Old May 6, 2006, 3:40 PM   #6
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Raw gives you more control over color temperature (you can set it any way you want, after you take the photo).

But, again, even Auto WB is usually pretty good in outdoor lighting, and there are presets available, too.

If you use custom white balance, it's only applicable for the light you measured it in. It probably stores it indefinitely (but, check your manual to see).



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Old May 17, 2006, 10:33 PM   #7
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Hi Jim,

I am confusing to decide when wanted to shoot at:

* Out door (late afternoon): should I set to cloudy or daylight ?

* In door (with mix lighthing) should I set to tungsten or fluorescent ?

What is the different between fluorescent, flurescent-H and flash WB ?

Pls enligten me

Thx
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Old May 18, 2006, 9:14 AM   #8
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Experiment.

Most of the tiime when I'm outdoors, I'll leave a camera set to Auto White Balance.

Some cameras cope better than others, but most work OK in natural light, depending on the colors available in the scene to the camera. If your photos are too warm or too cool, try using a preset white balance setting instead (or better yet, use the camera's custom white balance feature).

Indoors, most cameras have more difficulty, because there can be a lot of variation in the temperature of the lighting, even within the same lighting type. That's why you often see more than one setting for flourescent. Again, custom white balance is your best bet in difficult lighting.

Unless you're using a flash (or have a lot of sunshine cominig in through windows with ambient light contributing much more to the exposure), avoid Flash WB setting unless you're actually using a flash indoors. The temperature of a strobe is closer to daylight and you'll get a strong color cast trying to use it under most artificial lighting indoors if you're not using a flash.

If you are using a flash, then it's designed to match the temperature of the flash. That's what it's there for. But, if ambient light is contributing a lot to the exposure (because you're using higher ISO speeds and/or larger apertures and/or slower shutter speeds), it may not work properly.

In more difficult lighting, shooting in raw is your best bet (since you can more easily change the white balance after you shoot, versus trying to set it accurately before the shot is taken). Taking a photo of a photographic gray card or white card and using the white balance eye dropper found in many raw converters is another way to set it after the fact. See my first post in this thread.


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Old May 18, 2006, 9:58 AM   #9
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I would just add one word about white balance -- often, "white" is not the color you actually see when taking the photo. One problem I find with using a gray card or the like is that the color cast added by the lighting is pretty much completely removed in white balance. If you use, say,an outdoor setting you get too much bias and if you manually set the color balance, you get too little. Maybe it's just my biology, but I find color balance in difficult lighting almost impossible to get right. The best bet, I think, is either shoot raw or, lacking that, manually set white balance using a gray card, andin eithercase, adjust for the cast you recall as best you can in post-processing.
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Old May 18, 2006, 10:53 PM   #10
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Thanks Jim...

Meaning .. as long I am using external flash Canon speedlite than when I am taking outdoor or indoor so I should set to flash-WB ?
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