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Old Jan 15, 2006, 9:24 PM   #11
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Dear Dave,

I was away from the computer today, and just got a chance to read your comments. Again, thank you.

I can't tell you what your illustration from the original post 'taught' me. As I said I learn weirdly...and you just made the concept that I have read about come alive - whether it be post processing or adjusting the settings on the camera.

As it has been said, many times, a 'good' camera does not make up for the lessons of photography to become a good - even decent photographer - which I have always known I was not. That was the thought that hit home so well today. Exactly what I had hoped would happen with obtaining the dSLR happened thanks to your 'lesson' - I realized the depth of my lack of knowledge and begain to read to close the gap - and it finally started to make some sense.

BUT to the point of your last post. I pulled up PS 6 and tried to eye dropper with the built in white (not a white card) which was probably pointless and I couldn't get it to work but it was a jpeg image.

Is it true that you just pick a white card such as an index card or a piece of 'bright white' 24 lb paper or...suggestions??? (lol what is white?) or do I 'buy' a 'white card to shoot for white? When I shoot it, what circumstances do I use? A light box (I don't have one but have a drawing for one to make)....or shoot outside (probably not) or inside (therefore influenced by incandescence...)...flash, no flash....Or have I over emphasized the need for the 'white card'. I beg you, please forgive the newbie-ism. I understand if you don't have time to answer all of this. I understand if you need to send me to a link that has some training on this matter to save your time.

I was just about to set the camera to NEF+JPEG (for other reasons along the photography journey)...is that Nikon RAW or having a D50 am I just out of luck?

Thanks, M

p.s. I can't explain what a pivotal role you played in sending me on my journey - I already knew what I didn't know (at least the tip of the iceberg) and knew I needed to learn it but I just learn strangely - I have to have a reason, a problem to solve and a visual illustration for the 'lesson' to make sense. I know this is a sappy post, but I really appreciate what your post did for me (and your subsequent response). Thank you. I look forward to setting out on my 'white balance'/'what is white journey!
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Old Jan 15, 2006, 10:41 PM   #12
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melt1109 wrote:
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Is it true that you just pick a white card such as an index card or a piece of 'bright white' 24 lb paper or...suggestions??? (lol what is white?) or do I 'buy' a 'white card to shoot for white? When I shoot it, what circumstances do I use? A light box (I don't have one but have a drawing for one to make)....or shoot outside (probably not) or inside (therefore influenced by incandescence...)...flash, no flash....
Your question is apt. Some common copy papers, for example, are said to have a high component of blue fibers (like "blue Cheer" detergent, the eye interprets the blue as bright white), so if you use one of those "bright" papers as a WB standard, the camera or software will misinterpret the blue in the paper and throw off the white balance setting. The best bet is to get a dedicated white/gray card and carry it with you at all times.

I don't know about the D50, but many/most dSLRs provide built-in one-touch WB function: you fill the lens with a white card and press a button and the camera sets the WB for the light currently hitting that card (that's the way it used to be done with video movie cameras as well). Alternately, you can get a WhiBal (google for it) or similar device, and include it in a test shot whenever shooting under new lighting situations; then use the "eye-dropper" technique to choose the white of the WhiBal.

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Old Jan 16, 2006, 7:13 AM   #13
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melt1109 wrote:
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I was just about to set the camera to NEF+JPEG (for other reasons along the photography journey)...is that Nikon RAW or having a D50 am I just out of luck?

NEF is the Nikon RAW file type. On the D70 you have the choice of NEF+JPEG or just NEF. Once you have the NEF file you can create JPEG files so I've not seen much point to that. Only possible reason is to create JPEG files that can be viewed on a computer without RAW convertor software while away from home.
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Old Jan 16, 2006, 8:41 AM   #14
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BUT to the point of your last post. I pulled up PS 6 and tried to eye dropper with the built in white (not a white card) which was probably pointless and I couldn't get it to work but it was a jpeg image.

Is it true that you just pick a white card such as an index card or a piece of 'bright white' 24 lb paper or...suggestions??? (lol what is white?) or do I 'buy' a 'white card to shoot for white?

I was just about to set the camera to NEF+JPEG (for other reasons along the photography journey)...is that Nikon RAW or having a D50 am I just out of luck?

Thanks, M

p.s. I can't explain what a pivotal role you played in sending me on my journey - I already knew what I didn't know (at least the tip of the iceberg) and knew I needed to learn it but I just learn strangely - I have to have a reason, a problem to solve and a visual illustration for the 'lesson' to make sense. I know this is a sappy post, but I really appreciate what your post did for me (and your subsequent response). Thank you. I look forward to setting out on my 'white balance'/'what is white journey!
Well, you made my day. Normally people respond to my advice with comments like, "Thanks for trying to answer me, but I don't speak Greek - nor your other language Mongolian."

The question of what is white and setting the WB has been around before digital - Thus indoor and outdoor film, etc.

I shoot NEF because I am alergic to this problem. BTW normally the WB is set with a "Gray" card since gray is "White," and deals better with the impurities.

The eye dropper I am referring to is in the "Levels" option of Photoshop. They, if I recall even in 6, also have a "Gray eye-dropper.

But what I DO, since I shoot NEF is to simply take a shot of a white card (in this case my patented White Balance Dog) every now and then as the light changes. If I didn't have the dog, I would shoot a card - I don't even try to set the custom WB -

In other words I simply use something I know is white for a causal reference that I can look back on for that light on that day.

Now PS 6 has NO CONVERTER for RAW, in our case NEF. You should either upgrade to CS2 OR purchase an alternate converter like Bibble - and there are others. You could also use the Nikon software that came with your camera.

Nagasaki and Norm have dealt with acquiring a custom WB setting which if you're NOT using NEF is probably the best way for you to go.

Let me sum up.

White Balance is a problem of film as well as digital. Which explains all those bad rolls of filn we used to take.

Digital allows the user to deal with this problem far more efficiently then film users had.

So you have the options of setting in custom WB in the camera.

You could either upgrade PS or purchase an alternative RAW converter.

You can use the slower software that comes with your camera. It isn't very fast but it does allow you to set the WB in NEF files.

And finally, the rather painful dropper options in the Levels Control.
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Old Jan 16, 2006, 10:40 AM   #15
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Norm in Fujino wrote:
Quote:
melt1109 wrote:
Quote:
Is it true that you just pick a white card such as an index card or a piece of 'bright white' 24 lb paper or...suggestions??? (lol what is white?) or do I 'buy' a 'white card to shoot for white? When I shoot it, what circumstances do I use? A light box (I don't have one but have a drawing for one to make)....or shoot outside (probably not) or inside (therefore influenced by incandescence...)...flash, no flash....
Your question is apt. Some common copy papers, for example, are said to have a high component of blue fibers (like "blue Cheer" detergent, the eye interprets the blue as bright white), so if you use one of those "bright" papers as a WB standard, the camera or software will misinterpret the blue in the paper and throw off the white balance setting. The best bet is to get a dedicated white/gray card and carry it with you at all times.

I don't know about the D50, but many/most dSLRs provide built-in one-touch WB function: you fill the lens with a white card and press a button and the camera sets the WB for the light currently hitting that card (that's the way it used to be done with video movie cameras as well). Alternately, you can get a WhiBal (google for it) or similar device, and include it in a test shot whenever shooting under new lighting situations; then use the "eye-dropper" technique to choose the white of the WhiBal.

Norm,

Thanks for your response (and pointing out the flaw in bright white paper, seemed a logical thing but I know now it is not). Can you confirm that I have found what your post recommended:

1. WhiBalâ„¢ Pocket (2x3.5 inches - includes Lanyard and Table Stand) $39.95

2. http://www.rmimaging.com/products/graycard_index.html

The Digital Gray Card(tm) is available in two standard sizes:

DGC-100 10x15 cm. (approximately 4x6 in.) $9.95 each

DGC-150 15x22.5 cm. (approximately 6x9 in.) $14.95 each

(not asking you to recommend a vendor, just that this is what I am looking for amongst the 2 options you presented)

Thanks, M
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Old Jan 17, 2006, 10:12 AM   #16
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melt1109 wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for your response (and pointing out the flaw in bright white paper, seemed a logical thing but I know now it is not). Can you confirm that I have found what your post recommended:

1. WhiBalâ„¢ Pocket (2x3.5 inches - includes Lanyard and Table Stand) $39.95

2. http://www.rmimaging.com/products/graycard_index.html

The Digital Gray Card(tm) is available in two standard sizes:

DGC-100 10x15 cm. (approximately 4x6 in.) $9.95 each

DGC-150 15x22.5 cm. (approximately 6x9 in.) $14.95 each

(not asking you to recommend a vendor, just that this is what I am looking for amongst the 2 options you presented)
Yes, you've basically got it (I haven't tried any of the products here, btw, just passing on news I've heard from others).
Just for the same of educating yourself, you might try one of these products and compare it under identical lighting to the WB results produced by various other "white" papers lying around. How much difference you get may be a result of the paper or the camera, and then again it might not make all that much difference to you. I currently use a Kodak gray card and don't find any problem with it (I also shoot RAW+Jpeg, so I can compare the two and adjust if necessary).



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Old Jan 22, 2006, 10:29 AM   #17
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Thanks for the responses...and the education along the way.

1. As I have hijacked this post, oops...my apologies, but it has been most educational.

2nd edit - The 2nd response to the original post is correct in that WB can be adjusted by Preset (shoot a gray card or use Photo for reference). Woot! I had not digested the 2nd post (thanks!) but had'remembered' the 1st post saying that it couldn't be adjusted....but my question is...what additives would I have had if I had the D70 (in layman's terms). All I got from the manual was that you lose the setting (only one reference at a time) so if I'm shooting in the house and get a preset reference, then go outside and get a preset reference, I would lose the first??? correct? more presets on the D70? which would be applicable if I shoot reference white/gray for the scene but not if I shoot the grey card? Am I getting it? sort of?

2. I have not acquired the gray card yet and am just experimenting with alternate WB 'program' options in the D50 as the 'better' WB option is not available.

3. Gah! I just got out of auto mode and worked on the camera experimenting last night. For the learning process, it was exiciting to venture out of Auto and programmed (landscape, portrait) briefly to Manual for just the few minutes I had and just watch the possibilities unfold.

I have SOOO much to learn - the camera and the photography - and the software.

It's liking opening the door and looking into the great outdoors - there's a lot out there.

Thanks,

M

4. edit/add Still have much to 'purchase' but supposedly can upgrade ($170-ish??) my PS6 to CS. Just want to be sure I need to spend the extra $70ish over Elements or even the extra $50-$120ish over Bibble. What I know about this will fit on the head of pin with room left to spare...just know hubby will be glad if I finally take the PS plunge...but trying not to get distracted from the camera and the photography basics, lol :-)


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Old Jan 23, 2006, 9:21 AM   #18
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melt1109 wrote:
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4. edit/add Still have much to 'purchase' but supposedly can upgrade ($170-ish??) my PS6 to CS. Just want to be sure I need to spend the extra $70ish over Elements or even the extra $50-$120ish over Bibble. What I know about this will fit on the head of pin with room left to spare...just know hubby will be glad if I finally take the PS plunge...but trying not to get distracted from the camera and the photography basics, lol :-)
I've been told that the latest version of elements will run the RAW converter...

I use CS2, and there are benefits. IMHO the major thing missing from version 6 was the healing brush, which became standard in version 7.

And now, that most useful of ALL Plugins, Noise Ninja requires CS as a minimum, although they also have a stand alone program.

By all means up-grade to CS2. I'm not sorry I did - but I wouldn't have missed anything if I could use Noise Ninja and the Raw Converter in version 7
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