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Old Mar 4, 2010, 1:53 PM   #21
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what situation are you planning for? Doing studio work? Or any time you want to take a photograph in any environment? I'm really struggling with how many situations outside of studio work where you are going to take the time to pre-meter the shot to determine exposure by using a device. It simply isn't practical in most situations because that piece of paper needs to be where your subject is, not where the photographer is. And if you're going to be doing that much studio work you should just use a light meter and be done with it. But the practicality of taking an exposure shot of a neutral object for exposure setting in every environment you shoot in just isn't practical. As Jim said - take the first shot and use the histogram or your eyes to adjust exposure. You'll spend less time adjusting shots in post for minor exposure issues than you will taking your paper out, walking up to where your subject is located and taking the exposure shot every time.

By the way - the same is true for setting white balance - the card, paper etc needs to be in the exact lighting your subject will be under which may be different than the light temperature where you're standing to take the photo.

In all, I think you're spending an awful lot of energy obsessing over solutions that in many instances simply aren't practical real-world solutions - unless you're shooting in the same exact lighting repeatedly AND your camera has the ability to save a custom WB setting.
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 3:27 PM   #22
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Use a subject type that's less reflective for more consistent results.
What is subject type?

what situation are you planning for?
anytime in anywhere. You said also Jim said using histogram for exposure, i think this is really good advice and after all i need to learn how to read it. But do you have any suggestion about wb? you said it is not practical to use white cards etc.. but you didn't say you can use histogram either. Is shotting raw only solution for white balance? Because i don't trust awb and i feel that i obligate to adjust wb somehow in anywhere. From this topic and all my search on the net the best one for custom wb seems double layer matte photo paper. I don't want a perfect white balance so i don't need to put it near to subject but i want nearly perfect (better than awb) balance.

Last edited by imut; Mar 4, 2010 at 3:31 PM.
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 3:35 PM   #23
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By subject type, I mean what you're taking a photo of (in this case, we're discussing paper, grey cards, etc.

There are many solutions for setting a custom white balance. As long as the subject is neutral, then your white balance settings should be close (and gray and white targets usually have equal parts of red, green and blue, making reading lighting temperature more consistent using them for that purpose).
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 4:46 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
For example, the last time I set a custom white balance, I used Staples "Photo Supreme" Double Sided Matte Paper. It's a higher quality paper compared to the typical inkjet paper used for documents; as it's specifically designed to produce higher quality photo prints, and the Matte surface helps to reduce any potential for light reflections causing "hot spots" which can impact your results when measuring lighting temperature to set a custom white balance.
Brilliant idea! Use the photo paper you'll be printing on, to set the white balance. Even if the paper isn't perfectly white, the colors will all be correct because they're printed on the same off-white paper you set the white balance with.
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 5:13 PM   #25
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How to hold that photo paper or gray card to camera. "I know John told it should be near by the object" Does it should see the light source with a specific angle or just directly put it in front of lens at 90 degree angle?
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 5:19 PM   #26
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If you are photographing a subject that is easy to get to or can hold a paper. Just have them hold it at the place you want to take the pic. Zoom in on the paper, and follow the steps for custom WB. If you can not get to the subject. Hold the paper at arms length with the paper in the direction of the subject and do the custom WB. If can place the paper in the direction of the subject. step back to where you want to shoot form, zooming to the paper and do you custom WB.
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