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Old Feb 4, 2010, 2:09 PM   #1
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Default White balance woes

I'm new at indoor sports photography, and am having a lot of trouble getting my hockey pictures to come out with a decent white balance, leading to heavy post production (I HATE doing heavy post). Here's an original and the same image after post, what can I do to improve?

Original:


After post production:
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Old Feb 4, 2010, 2:31 PM   #2
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Looking at how you master p&p, it's like you don't even need a camera.
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Old Feb 4, 2010, 2:47 PM   #3
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Haha, thanks Ordo, but I'd rather not have to process so much, I feel like I loose too much detail.
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Old Feb 4, 2010, 3:25 PM   #4
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Sure. Try posting in the Sports forum. There're some "capo cameras" there.
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Old Feb 4, 2010, 8:42 PM   #5
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Doesnt your camera have a White Balance setting? In your original it looks like you have it set for sunlight but were using incandescent lighting.
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Old Feb 4, 2010, 9:40 PM   #6
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well not only is the white balance off, but the shot is underexposed too, dial up some +EV. then you can meter a custom white balance off a grey card, or even like a coffee filter or something.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 8:40 PM   #7
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Lighting on the ice is going to be different than in the stands. You really should have access to the ice before the game in order to set your custom WB. Once done, you should be able to use it any time.

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Old Feb 7, 2010, 9:29 PM   #8
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I am not trying to hi-jack this thread. But it might turn into that.

I set my custom white balance by getting in the room I'm going to shoot in and I find something predominately white. I shoot it and then use it as my custom white balance. Then I find something predominately red and shoot it, blue and shoot it and Yellow and shoot it. If I'm happy with Red Blue and Yellow, I am good to go.

If I'm not happy with the colors. I find something else that is white and shoot it and repeat.

It sounds like it takes a long time, but it actually takes about 30 seconds at most.

I'd appreciate any comments on this method. Also, as a response to the thread starter, it might work for him too.

FYI,
If you've never set a custom white balance, it's kind of a two step process (as long as your camera allows you this option to set custom white balance).

Here's how I do it.
1. Set the camera to Auto White Balance.
2. Shoot something that is mostly white, but do not use a flash.
3. While reviewing that photo, look in your menu that says something like "use as custom white balance". (You've got to tell the camera you have a photo that is suppose to be white. Your camera thinks something like, "okay if you say dingy yellow is white, I'll make anything dingy yellow, white."

4. Now here's the step that is sometimes forgotten. You must change your camera's setting from auto white balance to "custom white balance" or something like that.

It is not enough to do steps 1-3. All those do is ready the camera for a new white balance. Step 4 is applying it.

Last, I would think that the boards that hockey players get slammed up against are white and could serve as the white balance starting point.

Faithfully Yours,
FP
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