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Thread: Photo tip: (was re Elm Burl) White Balance Cap

  1. #1
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    Photo tip: (was re Elm Burl) White Balance Cap

    Vaughn,
    Have you ever looked into getting a white balance cap?

    http://www.amazon.com/58mm-Digital-W.../dp/B001BO7PHA

    Basically, you set up your shot, pop that on your lens, shoot a test shot, and reset your white balance in your camera. Then you shoot again with the new white balance.

    Obviously a bit more intense than everyday use, but for those nice showy shots for your website etc... might be worth the extra 30 seconds or so, and should help you get a killer shot for that special bowl/urn/HF
    -Ned

  2. #2
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    I hadn't seen one of those before, Ned. I added it to the Amazon wishlist.

    I typically set my white balance by pointing the camera at the light to middle gray portion of my backdrop (approximating an 18% gray card). Ever since I got the D5000, I've also been shooting in RAW format, which lets me tweak the white balance (and exposure compensation) nicely in the post-processing if necessary.

    Out of curiosity, did the white balance on the elm HF pics seem out? The first of the five pics could probably use a bit more tweaking, but the others are pretty true to real life as far as I can tell.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  3. #3
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    actually I thought you had it spot on to my view. The question is somewhat 'How is this going to be viewed?'. If you're putting it on line only, vs printing it, you might be over-critical of the balance levels. There's such a thing as over-tweaking an image. Sometimes less is more.

    The idea of the custom white balance should be to take into account the subject, so while the grey card portion of the backdrop is a good start, shooting the Subject and then setting the balance gives you both the lighting condition And the reflected tones of the subject factored in.

    Also,
    if you're shooting in RAW, you already are accessing the 'base' info, as you know, so you're getting 'everything' dynamic range wise out of the file already. You'd just be getting a 'better' initial file.
    Last edited by Ned Bulken; 02-11-2011 at 11:41 PM.
    -Ned

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    I hadn't seen one of those before, Ned. I added it to the Amazon wishlist.
    Ditto!
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    Me Three...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Bulken View Post
    actually I thought you had it spot on to my view. The question is somewhat 'How is this going to be viewed?'. If you're putting it on line only, vs printing it, you might be over-critical of the balance levels. There's such a thing as over-tweaking an image. Sometimes less is more.

    The idea of the custom white balance should be to take into account the subject, so while the grey card portion of the backdrop is a good start, shooting the Subject and then setting the balance gives you both the lighting condition And the reflected tones of the subject factored in.

    Also,
    if you're shooting in RAW, you already are accessing the 'base' info, as you know, so you're getting 'everything' dynamic range wise out of the file already. You'd just be getting a 'better' initial file.
    I agree on the over-tweaking aspect. I've been guilty of that one. Setting the white balance with the subject in the tent also makes sense.

    And I also agree with the idea of getting the best initial shot possible. It saves time in the long run, and also allows more flexibility if tweaking is indeed needed.

    Thanks for the suggestions and info.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
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    Anytime guys, you're most welcome.
    -Ned

  8. #8
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    Interesting, may have to pick that one up too...Thanks Ned!
    Darren

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