Tools for Color Balancing

pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooterwestern IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
edited November 26, 2009 in Technique
This thread is a work in progress. I want to compare the accuracy and utility of the Expodisk with other color balancing tools like the WhiBal and Balance Smarter reflector panels made by Lastolite.

I began, today, by shooting some comparison frames with my 40D - ISO 100 - set to AWB shooting in sunlight today. First I shot my collection of color checkers in open sunlight at 3:30 pm with my 40D in AWB. The color checkers include a MacBeth, a Kodak Gray scale, a white, gray and black calibrater from a Kelby book, and a white target from babelcolor.com, as seen here.

277325445_Xzqfu-XL.jpg

The exposure for the above jpg was chosen from sunny 16, and matched what the meter in my camera suggested f11 1/200th ISO 100


ALL IMAGES DISPLAYED WILL BE STRAIGHT FROM THE CAMERA JPGS, with neutral in camera processing. ( Since the Expodisk method, sets color balance in the camera, there is a less compelling need for RAW editing, unlike with some other methods of correcting white balance after the fact, which is how I have traditionally done it. Nonetheless, I will continue to shoot RAW to allow the other tools in Adobe RAW converter to be accessed for my images, but not in this thread unless so designated.

I pointed the camera at the sun with the exposdisk in place, f11, Av mode, and shot a frame. I collected a jpg with a very narrow center stripe in the middle of the histogram.

I used this gray jpg to set a custom white balance for my 40D, which I then used for this frame.

277325204_h5Y2x-XL.jpg


The next image is a shot of the color checkers, after shooting the sun with the Expodisk.
277325739_PfXHM-X2.jpg



Both of these images of color checkers have very good gray scales with good blacks and good whites. The grays are neutral as are the whites. The numbers are the pixel data I read in Photoshop with the eydropper.

I find both images to be acceptable in terms of exposure and color balance. The images are not the same exact sizes because I actually shot 4 - 5 images from each side of the subject to make sure that I did not capture some specular reflections. I was afraid that if I tried to tripod mount and shoot from the same position each time that I risked capturing reflections which would negate the information collected.

The pixel reading on both jpgs are pretty consistent, in terms of color and exposure. I might have used 1/3 srop more light to drive the whites closer to 245,245,245 but these are pretty good jpgs. No areas are blown or over exposed. Even the white disk from babel color which represents a TRUE white target.

I learned that the Expodisk can give very nice color balance information quickly and easily, and will be a great help when one wants to shoot well color balanced jpgs quickly.

Here ya go, Icebear!!:thumb More to come....
Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin

Comments

  • IcebearIcebear Major grins Posts: 4,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 10, 2008
    Dayum! OK, I don't have time to digest this right now, but Woo-hoo! "I'll be back."
    John :
    Natural selection is responsible for every living thing that exists.
    D3s, D500, D5300, and way more glass than the wife knows about.
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 10, 2008
    Tonight I revised my approach slightly, and decided to no longer include the IT8 card as it is too shiny.

    I dragged out my FlashPoint 620 strobe and its matching double diffused SoftBox and positioned it at 45 degrees and about 2-3 feet over my color targets.

    I shot a frame of the softbox firing for my first gray jpg for color balancing with my EXPO disk.

    Here is the resulting jpg.
    277326421_tg9Ss-XL.jpg

    There is a mild gradient across the frame, so even a Expo disc does not create an absolutely even jpg. I used this jpg to set a custom color balance for my Strobe+Softbox and shot several frames of the color checkers.

    Here is a representative image, a jpg straight from the camera with no processing whatsoever other than reading and adding the RGB and LAB data so that viewers can evaluate the color balance and not just rely on "how things look".

    277768574_BCKSN-X2.jpg


    Next I shot a jpg in Manual Mode to obtain a central spike in all three channels on my histogram. The target was an 18% gray reflector from BalanceSmarter.com, lit by the light from my FlashPoint 620+SoftBox.

    277769034_7DbH6-XL.jpg

    I then used the resulting jpg to set a custom white balance on my 40D and again shot the color checkers.

    Here is a typical jpg, straight from the camera without any processing in PS, using a custom balance from the BalanceSmarter.com gray reflector disc.

    277774285_nUrti-X2.jpg

    Both of these color balancing tools yield very nice color balance very easily and quickly.

    The 2nd image of the color checkers, balanced with the BalanceSmarted reflector disc, is a little brighter - it was shot at f 14 rather than f16 like the first image of the color checker ( I must have hit the aperture wheel along the way. But shots at f16 with the BalanceSmarter custom balance seemed a little dark, so I used the wider f14 )

    I plan to add, for comparison a shot with the FLash setting on the 40D as well in a few days.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • IcebearIcebear Major grins Posts: 4,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 11, 2008
    Good stuff. I'm guessing there will be more. Your methodology is different than mine, in that my setup (see thread) was designed to illustrate the differing results obtained with several "shoot thru" WB tools under identical lighting conditions, and yours (I think) is designed to actually test the accuracy of the various tools available.

    You might be creating a monster for yourself by using different light sources, but perhaps that shouldn't matter. If the tools are going to be useful, they should give similarly accurate results no matter the source, right?
    John :
    Natural selection is responsible for every living thing that exists.
    D3s, D500, D5300, and way more glass than the wife knows about.
  • rwellsrwells Let the shootin' begin... Posts: 6,084Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 11, 2008
    Jim,

    Great work, thank you thumb.gif



    If I may ask two questions that I didn't read:


    1) All ExpoDisk shots were taken with camera in AWB setting, right?

    2) On the outside shot, did you hold the camera as close to the targets as possible to pick-up any colors/tint that may be reflected on them at their level? If you held the camera standing up pointing at the sun, that would put the ExpoDisk at what, 6' from the targets and probably not getting all the reflected colors/tint that would be hitting the targets, say from the decking.


    Thanks again for going through all this effort. Were lucky your so accommodating.
    Randy
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 11, 2008
    rwells wrote:
    Jim,

    Great work, thank you thumb.gif



    If I may ask two questions that I didn't read:


    1) All ExpoDisk shots were taken with camera in AWB setting, right?

    Hi Randy,

    When using the Expo disc, the camera was in AWB and I mounted the Expo disk in the filter thread of the lens, pointed the camera at the dominant light source. For my shots in full sunlight, I pointed the camera, with AF turned off, in Manual Mode I believe, in the general direction of the sun - I did NOT look through the viewfinder for this. I did hold the camera about 1 foot above my color checker subjects on the deck. I then looked at the jpg I captured wanting to see three color bands in my RGB histogram, each in the middle of the histogram scale. I expected this to approximate the expected exposure recommended by Sunny 16. I then used that jpg to set a custom white balance per the manual's rec'd manner for the 40D.
    2) On the outside shot, did you hold the camera as close to the targets as possible to pick-up any colors/tint that may be reflected on them at their level? If you held the camera standing up pointing at the sun, that would put the ExpoDisk at what, 6' from the targets and probably not getting all the reflected colors/tint that would be hitting the targets, say from the decking.


    Thanks again for going through all this effort. Were lucky your so accommodating.


    The color checkers were on a bench above the decking, and, as I said above, I held the camera about 1 foot above the targets. The color checkers are laying on a piece of matte black naughahyde to minimize ambient reflections.

    I did not look through the viewfinder - with the Expodisk you can look thorugh the viewfinder and see the gray unfocused image, but I think it is not a good ides to encourage folks to look at the sun through a viewfinder. With a telephoto lens this can damage a shutter or one's eye.

    I am not trying to be accommodating, but am trying to experience for myself the benefits and disadvantages of the various ways of capturing correct color. The biggest benefit is a very large drop in post processing time and that is truly a great benefit. I am beginning to think an Expo disk ought to be built into one's camera.

    Thanks for your interest Randy. Please, feel free to make any suggestions how I can do this better or more acccurately, or present the information in a more useful manner.

    Icebear, in your thread you were testing the Expodisc against inexpensive alternatives to see if there was a reason to buy the more expensive tool and if the cheaaper ones were as accurate. I readily accept your thesis that Pringles can lids are not nearly as neutral a color balancing tool as an Expodisk. I suspected that might be true, but you slamdunk proved it beyond the shadow of a doubt.

    On the other hand, I am wanting to compare several competing commercial tools, like the Expodisk, the Gray card from BalanceSmarter, and others, with Cannon's in camera White Balance settings to see what is most accurate and easiest. Like Ben Franklin, I am looking for the least work for a good product in the long run. I like cheap, but only if the quality is comparable. The most expensive thing I own is a limited amount of time.

    So much is written about how to color correct images with casts in Photoshop, but I would really prefer to shoot, not try to wrestle poorly color balanced images to be finally acceptable images, myself, and I am sure you feel the same way.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • ChrisP6ChrisP6 tryin to go with the flow Posts: 61Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 11, 2008
    Cool!
    Pathfinder,

    This is cool -- you're obviously being methodical, and getting some interesting results.

    One thing I've noticed when I've done similar tests is that I'll get a better custom-balance under bright sun than I do under cloudy skies (or other soft-light). I think I see this in your test shots, where the softbox-flash Expodisc image has more red in it than the one done under sunlight. The difference is small (129, 128, 129 --> 141, 138, 137 for the mid-gray) in these examples, but I suspect it will be greater if you have a bigger source (e.g. full cloudy sky). I thought it was worth mentioning since you already have examples of both.

    Thanks again. I really like your process.

    Chris
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 11, 2008
    Chris, these are the ramblings of a color amateur, who pulled a few gadgets out of his closet, but did not think to begin with a professional market survey of all existing color balancing tools.

    I remember seeing a thread, earlier this year, about your device for color balancing, but I confess, since I did not possess one in my closet, I overlooked it. I did not overlook it on purpose, but merely began with tools I already had close at hand, but had not really explored. I will correct this error.

    Chris is the founder of Phoxle Photo Accessories, which offers its own shoot through color balancer, the SpectraSnap. After looking at his website, I have already put in my order.

    I am sure you know far more about this topic than I do, so if you have suggestions for improvement I will be delighted to entertain them. If you see errors of fact or technique, please mention them and help me make this a more useful and accurate endeavor.

    One thing I have already learned from what I have posted, is the critical importance of highly accurate exposure for out of the camera jpgs. I shot positive transparencies ( Kodachrome ) for 25 years, and I thought I understood exposure farily well - after all, in digital, shooting RAW gives you a nice safety net that you never had with transparencies, that is quite comforting. But I can see that as little as 1/3 of a stop of exposure error will alter significantly the numerical data for white or gray or black, or the color data that incorporates these hues within it. For out of the camera jpgs this exposure accuracy matters. I am beginning to believe that exposure accuracy is more critical for digital images than it was for positive transparencies.ne_nau.gif

    I used a Sekonic 358 flash meter for the strobe shots metering, measuring all across the color checkers to see if there was a significant gradient of light intensity. I cannot place the softbox directly overhead at 90 degrees, because then I have no room to shoot the camera from. So there is some inherent exposure variation in the softbox shots that I cannot avoid, but it seems to be less than 1/3 f stop and not measurable with the Sekonic 358.

    One thing I think I have discerned, is that a good gray balancing jpg, whether shot off a reflecting matte surface, or via a filtering device that faces the light, should produce a medium gray image with three color spikes in the center of my RGB histogram. Then I know the exposure is dead on, and can use that exposure setting in the camera in Manual Mode, with the same exact shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

    Another thing I will mention is that I will not be testing the WhiBal cards, even though I currently carry one in my bag - I know they work, but mine tends to have bit a sheen to it even though I am sure it is described as a matte surface. Specular reflections need to be studiously avoided if only for exposure accuracy. The BalanceSmarter disc is much less reflective, and does not seem to allow specular reflections. I think this is a good thing.

    One other business matter, I have purchased and own each of the devices I am testing, so I have no axe to grind favoring one item over another because I swagged it.thumb.gif

    One other technical bit - these jpgs are all shot in Adobe RGB and imported into Photoshop and pixel data read while in Adobe RGB. They have no editing other than an occasional small crop. No sharpening, no curves, no filters. What you see is what I shot. They are then converted to sRGB for uploading to smugmug for hosting. I chose to do it this manner, to take advantage of aRGBs bigger gamut for reading pixels, and then switching to sRGB for the web, so that the images appear "correctly" in various browsers. I, myself, view things in Safari 3 on a Mac, but other browsers and operating systems are much more common in use. My screen is set to a gamma of 2.2 like most of the computing world, and calibrated monthly.

    My next set is planned for balancing in the shade of my barn. Balancing in shade can be tricky, because the color of the wall creating the shade may have a big role in the color temperature at the subject plane. Stand beside a red barn in the shade, or a big green tractor trailer and you wlll see what I mean. Fortunately, my barn is white and creates a nice shaded area facing a wide open skyclap.gif
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • ChrisP6ChrisP6 tryin to go with the flow Posts: 61Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 11, 2008
    Pathfinder -- For "ramblings," they're pretty well thought out, and though you might be an "amateur," your approach seems fairly professional. I didn't mean to ask for an order, but since you're willing, I'll say thank you very much! As for me knowing more about this area, I'm continually learning myself, and welcome the chance to share what I know (if it helps) and learn from your tests too. There is one gotcha worth mentioning quickly -- if you do more flash testing, it's good to have the flash in manual mode and keep it's power constant because many photo-flashes vary in color temp as the power changes. Sorry if this is old news.

    Your comments about the WhiBal are interesting. I like that it's "specified," but have used the LastoLite solution myself for a long time, and also find that it's less specular. Just for grins, I just checked both of mine, and got the following "error" a and b values:

    Lastolite -- a error = -0.9, b error = -2.0 (spectrum dips down very slightly in the red)
    WhiBal -- a error = -0.3, b error = +0.6

    Bottom-line, I think they're both fairly accurate, but the less reflective surface, and larger size of the Lastolite makes it a lot easier to use.

    I'm really keen to see what you find for the shade testing. Thanks again for doing this!

    Chris
  • IcebearIcebear Major grins Posts: 4,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 11, 2008
    One thing I found interesting is what a good job your 40D did on your original shot, in AWB. I guess having all those color charts to read off of had something to do with that, eh?

    Your comment about shooting in the shade of a red barn though is EXACTLY what the "shoot through" type of color balance tool should excel at. stand at the subject, aim the camera at the intended camera position, and you WILL balance for the light falling on the subject and reflecting back at the camera. That's the only light that matters.
    John :
    Natural selection is responsible for every living thing that exists.
    D3s, D500, D5300, and way more glass than the wife knows about.
  • rwellsrwells Let the shootin' begin... Posts: 6,084Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 11, 2008
    Jim,

    I was just making sure I understood exactly your method.


    I'm in complete learning mode now deal.gif
    Randy
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 12, 2008
    ChrisP6 wrote:
    Pathfinder -- For "ramblings," they're pretty well thought out, and though you might be an "amateur," your approach seems fairly professional. I didn't mean to ask for an order, but since you're willing, I'll say thank you very much! As for me knowing more about this area, I'm continually learning myself, and welcome the chance to share what I know (if it helps) and learn from your tests too. There is one gotcha worth mentioning quickly -- if you do more flash testing, it's good to have the flash in manual mode and keep it's power constant because many photo-flashes vary in color temp as the power changes. Sorry if this is old news.

    Chris, the Flashpoint 620 has a continuously variable output power over about three stops. I assumed that the color temp MIGHT vary as a result of this, and one of my tasks is to test this, but I may reserve that test to the end of my testing with the color balance tools discussed in this thread. I will vary the power by full fstops and see if I can detect variation in the color of the color checker. I will not do this with the softbox on because my assumption is that the softbox may have a color cast itself which may be more significant than varying the power output of the strobe. I will use the Aluminum reflector for the evaluation of color temp vs output power.
    Your comments about the WhiBal are interesting. I like that it's "specified," but have used the LastoLite solution myself for a long time, and also find that it's less specular. Just for grins, I just checked both of mine, and got the following "error" a and b values:

    Lastolite -- a error = -0.9, b error = -2.0 (spectrum dips down very slightly in the red)
    WhiBal -- a error = -0.3, b error = +0.6

    Bottom-line, I think they're both fairly accurate, but the less reflective surface, and larger size of the Lastolite makes it a lot easier to use.

    The WhiBal is small and easy to carry, but I think less valuable for making sure the exposure is correct - I think the WhiBal is more valuable as a tool to include in an image to enable color balancing in RAW by clicking on the grey are with the eyedropper. But my thrust in this report is about out of the camera jpgs and their color balance, not color balance after RAW conversion.

    I appreciate your comments and look forward to more discussion as this work in progress moves forward.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 12, 2008
    Icebear wrote:
    One thing I found interesting is what a good job your 40D did on your original shot, in AWB. I guess having all those color charts to read off of had something to do with that, eh?

    Icebear, your comment is very pertinent I think. If you compare the pixel data in the first shot, shot in AWB in direct sunlight, with the shot via a custom white balance with the Expodisk, the pixel data in the whites, blacks, grays are remarkably close. There is no visually perceptible difference, is there? I think part of the reason is that they were shot in manual mode at the same shutter speeds and aperture by the same camera and lens under the very same lighting ( the sun just seconds apart).

    I need to shoot that scene again in sunlight with the BalanceSmarter disc and Chris' SpectraSnap. The SpectraSnap should arrive sometime within the week I believe. I may get delayed a bit because I am attending Marc's print workshop the weekend after this.
    Your comment about shooting in the shade of a red barn though is EXACTLY what the "shoot through" type of color balance tool should excel at. stand at the subject, aim the camera at the intended camera position, and you WILL balance for the light falling on the subject and reflecting back at the camera. That's the only light that matters.

    I agree! I suspect that the shoot through device will be better than a reflective device in this scenario. It will be interesting to see which is better , and how the Canon Shade setting compares also. It is handy, built into my camera, and I confess that I rarely have used it in the past. Maybe I should more often. We are going to find out soonthumb.gif
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • IcebearIcebear Major grins Posts: 4,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 12, 2008
    pathfinder wrote:
    Icebear, your comment is very pertinent I think. If you compare the pixel data in the first shot, shot in AWB in direct sunlight, with the shot via a custom white balance with the Expodisk, the pixel data in the whites, blacks, grays are remarkably close. There is no visually perceptible difference, is there? I think part of the reason is that they were shot in manual mode at the same shutter speeds and aperture by the same camera and lens under the very same lighting ( the sun just seconds apart).

    The true test might be to shoot a difficult target. Your target is easy. What if your target were more monochromatic. I think that would fool your AWB setting. Actually I should say "fool the WB sensor" in your camera. I'm guessing your AWB would suck as bad as my Nikons' (D200 & D300). Not that I'm suggesting ANOTHER FREAKING SCENARIO.
    John :
    Natural selection is responsible for every living thing that exists.
    D3s, D500, D5300, and way more glass than the wife knows about.
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 12, 2008
    Icebear wrote:
    The true test might be to shoot a difficult target. Your target is easy. What if your target were more monochromatic. I think that would fool your AWB setting. Actually I should say "fool the WB sensor" in your camera. I'm guessing your AWB would suck as bad as my Nikons' (D200 & D300). Not that I'm suggesting ANOTHER FREAKING SCENARIO.


    Respectfully, I beg to differ. I do not think the target I used is easy at all. Try to capture the full black to white gray scale I am shooting. It is not that easy. Matching the colors is not that easy either, that is why they were chosen for the Color Checker by MacBeth.

    I can see why you say a monochromatic subject might fool the camera in AWB, but a custom white balance should not even blink at a monochromatic target.

    Actually, a monochromatic target is EXACTLY what a BalanceSmarter reflector disc is - a matte, dull gray reflector that is totally monochromatic - and when I shoot it with my 40D in AWB white balance, I get the jpg I posted previously - with a single, overlapping histogram spike for each of the three RGB colors in the middle of the histogram range. A true gray!!

    As seen before - the white lines give the camera AF something to grab onto quickly so that you do not have to turn off AF temporarily

    277769034_7DbH6-M.jpg
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • IcebearIcebear Major grins Posts: 4,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 12, 2008
    I obviously did not express my meaning very well. If (in AUTO WB mode) you aim your camera at a red wall, your white balance sensor will not have the range of data it needs to be able to determine the temperature and tint of the light reflecting off of it. I think it's analagous to shooting a snowy scene. The camera makes assumptions that aren't valid. I'm referring to shooting in AUTO WB. Of course if you've already set a CUSTOM WB, and are shooting in CUSTOM WB, then the monochromatic red wall should render perfectly

    Certainly, your grey target is monochromatic but, as you point out, it is DESIGNED to be not only monochromatic, but perfectly neutral. That's why the camera can give you a proper CUSTOM WB setting from it. If you held a yellow piece of mat board in front of your camera and tried to set a custom WB, You'd get . . . well wrong anywayrolleyes1.gif .

    When I said your target was "easy" what I meant was that with all that color info, the WB sensor was better able to set an AUTO WB than had your target been more monochromatic. And I was only referring to your first image - the one shot on AUTO WB.

    Did I clarify, or just dig a deeper hole?
    John :
    Natural selection is responsible for every living thing that exists.
    D3s, D500, D5300, and way more glass than the wife knows about.
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 12, 2008
    I gotcha!

    I think....
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • IcebearIcebear Major grins Posts: 4,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 12, 2008
    Whew:whew
    John :
    Natural selection is responsible for every living thing that exists.
    D3s, D500, D5300, and way more glass than the wife knows about.
  • BradfordBennBradfordBenn Constantly Amazed Posts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 25, 2009
    I have a question to ask now. I know it is an old thread, but I am a slow learner so I keep coming back to it.

    If one is going to be doing WB correction in software afterward, such as ACR LR or PS, and shooting in RAW does the white balance still need to be set on the camera?

    I am trying to understand and determine what to set on the camera and what is afterward. I understand the idea of getting as perfect an image as possible onto the sensor so that it is as perfect as possible when being stored. What I do not understand is if the WB is being done by a processor in the camera or it is actually changing the image on the sensor? To put it in audio terms, and these might not apply, is the camera using the WB settings to trim the maximum range of each of the color channels, much like turning down the input trim on an audio console to keep the preamp from clipping. Or am I over thinking this?

    The reason I am asking is I am trying to determine if it is worth setting on the camera, or just ignore it at the moment and focus (pun intended) on the composition itself as I learn.

    Thanks
    -=Bradford

    Pictures | Website | Blog | Twitter | Contact
  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,489Administrators moderator
    edited November 26, 2009
    If you're shooting raw, in most cases it doesn't matter what the camera WB is set to. The camera's white balance setting doesn't affect the RAW image pixels. However the cameras WB setting is stored in the image metadata. You can tell ACR to use that setting if you want by selecting As-Shot WB. That's useful if you've set a custom WB in the camera that you want to use. But I think it's easier to shoot a WB card and tell ACR to use that area for WB calibration instead. In this case, you're completely ignoring the camera's WB setting so it wouldn't matter what it was set to.

    I guess I should add for sake of completeness that the camera's WB setting does affect the look of the image on the LCD (which is actually a JPG), and of course it also affects JPG images if you're creating them.

    HTH,
    -joel
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
    edited November 26, 2009
    All the images in this post were shot as jpgs, not RAW. That was deliberate, as the point of this thread was to test various tools for custom white balance for in camera jpgs. As kdog said, if you're shooting RAW, final color balance will be done in RAW processing or even later altered in Photoshop if needed for artistic reasons.

    One of the things I learned doing this work, was how very precise the exposure must be to accurately capture the scene. As I stated I think your exposure for in camera jps has to be less than 1/3 stop off a perfect exposure, or you have a compromised image file. Not necessarily a terrible one, but a compromised, less than perfect, file.

    I think everyone should try the exercise I suggested - shoot in Manual mode so you are in charge of exposure - and try to capture a Kodak grey scale and end up with a file that reads 5,5,5 in the blackest area, 128,128,128 in the middle grey tone, and 250,250,250 in the brightest tone when read in Photoshop with the pixel reader. I think you will find it difficult to do consistently and reliably. You can see how I did as I posted the PS image data in various tones in my images.

    If you cannot do this, then your neutrals and your colors will not be correct in your images if they are SOOC jpgs.

    I like shooting jpgs, and frequently do for quick snapshots when i am travelling as I have limited time to spend editing thousands of images. I do shot RAW routinely for images I am more serous about, that I want to try to create the best final print that I can. It is good to know how to do both well, I believe. Then I can choose which will serve me best for that task at hand.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • Wil DavisWil Davis Thaumaturgist… Posts: 1,692Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 26, 2009
    Great thread!

    Full of very useful stuff; many thanks for putting it all together!

    thumb.gif

    - Wil
    "…………………" - Marcel Marceau
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,427Super Moderators moderator
    edited November 26, 2009
    Why Thank You Wil.

    Have a very lovely Thanksgiving today too.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • BradfordBennBradfordBenn Constantly Amazed Posts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 26, 2009
    Thanks for the responses. I am digging out my manual for the P&S to see how to adjust it.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
    -=Bradford

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