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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tooele, UT
    Posts
    277

    White balance for the complete dummy.

    Need how to advise for adjusting the white balance on my Canon 20D. I volunteered to shoot some indoor and outdoor shots for my neighborís wedding reception on Saturday and now am scared about how to set the white balance. The bride will be in white and I donít want to take hundreds of pictures with her in yellow or blue.

    Iíve only ever taken studio shots with the 20D and can control white balance through constant color lamps and have avoided white clothing. So I am a complete newb when it comes to doing this for a wedding. I need white balance for the complete dummy instructions.

    Iím not getting paid for this gig but did convince my wife that I needed a good flash, so arriving tomorrow is my new Canon Speedlite 580EX. Itís not a complete loss for me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Set to auto white balance and shoot in RAW+JPEG. That way you can correct the balance afterwards.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Near St. Louis
    Posts
    3,528
    Quote Originally Posted by mcenut
    Need how to advise for adjusting the white balance on my Canon 20D. I volunteered to shoot some indoor and outdoor shots for my neighborís wedding reception on Saturday and now am scared about how to set the white balance. The bride will be in white and I donít want to take hundreds of pictures with her in yellow or blue.

    Iíve only ever taken studio shots with the 20D and can control white balance through constant color lamps and have avoided white clothing. So I am a complete newb when it comes to doing this for a wedding. I need white balance for the complete dummy instructions.

    Iím not getting paid for this gig but did convince my wife that I needed a good flash, so arriving tomorrow is my new Canon Speedlite 580EX. Itís not a complete loss for me.

    Shoot RAW and use one of these - I consider myself a dummy and it works great for me!

    WhiBal
    Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20 HSM | DX 18-105 f3.5-5.6 VR | DX 55-200 VR | 35 f/2.0 D | 50 f/1.4 D | 85mm F/1.8 D | SB-800 x 3 | SU-800
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Flickr | Twitter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Crapville, Australia
    Posts
    5,148
    Quote Originally Posted by aparmley
    Shoot RAW and use one of these - I consider myself a dummy and it works great for me!

    WhiBal
    I knew you wouldn't be far away with your WhiBal Parm! I think I want one BTW.
    Christian Wright; Dip Phot
    EOS 5D Mark III | EOS 600D | EOS-1V HS
    L: 14/2.8 II | 24/1.4 II | 35/1.4 | 50/1.2 | 85/1.2 II | 135/2 | 180/3.5 Macro | 200/2.8 II | 400/2.8 IS | 16-35/2.8 II | 24-105/4 IS | 70-200/2.8 IS II | 100-400/4.5-5.6 IS
    580EX II | EF 12 II | EF 25 II

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Near St. Louis
    Posts
    3,528
    Quote Originally Posted by cwphoto
    I knew you wouldn't be far away with your WhiBal Parm! I think I want one BTW.
    I figured you'd say - use the dress as your white point! LOL
    Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20 HSM | DX 18-105 f3.5-5.6 VR | DX 55-200 VR | 35 f/2.0 D | 50 f/1.4 D | 85mm F/1.8 D | SB-800 x 3 | SU-800
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Flickr | Twitter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Crapville, Australia
    Posts
    5,148
    Quote Originally Posted by aparmley
    I figured you'd say - use the dress as your white point! LOL
    Man do you know how many dresses aren't pure white?!
    Christian Wright; Dip Phot
    EOS 5D Mark III | EOS 600D | EOS-1V HS
    L: 14/2.8 II | 24/1.4 II | 35/1.4 | 50/1.2 | 85/1.2 II | 135/2 | 180/3.5 Macro | 200/2.8 II | 400/2.8 IS | 16-35/2.8 II | 24-105/4 IS | 70-200/2.8 IS II | 100-400/4.5-5.6 IS
    580EX II | EF 12 II | EF 25 II

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tooele, UT
    Posts
    277
    Well thanks for all the advice. I think I will have to invest in some good white balance cards one day, but since I have only have until Saturday and have no good camera stores in town I made my own white balance card. I used Photoshop and created a black, gray and white card. Printed out in grayscale on my Epson printer it worked pretty well.

    I performed a quick test in my backyard at sunset (in the shade) and got these results:





    They look good enough for me. I'll run more tests in the morning and noon light (which is when the wedding reception is on Saturday.)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tooele, UT
    Posts
    277
    One more picture here. This time I used the flash and had my daughters stand in front of the white vinyl fence.

    Last edited by mcenut; 07-20-2006 at 10:03 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Near St. Louis
    Posts
    3,528
    Quote Originally Posted by cwphoto
    Man do you know how many dresses aren't pure white?!
    probably a lot. . . if you know its not pure white - click for white point and warm it a tad - would that not be better than just guessing??? serious question BTW.
    Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20 HSM | DX 18-105 f3.5-5.6 VR | DX 55-200 VR | 35 f/2.0 D | 50 f/1.4 D | 85mm F/1.8 D | SB-800 x 3 | SU-800
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Flickr | Twitter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,770
    To OP: The camera manual says to use either a white paper or 18% gray card. My side-by-side test showed them almost identical, but the gray card is probably more consistant.

    So, either a 1 cent regular old piece of copier paper, or the $5 gray card.

    Also; you can set Custom WB but that's not needed if you shoot RAW since the resulting WB setting is entirely adjustable without degradation during PP (for RAW). If you shoot in JPG, then adjusting WB from a single reference shot requires that the JPGs are created using the same WB setting (ie: custom or one of the static pre-sets such as daylight, cloudy, etc.).
    Gear List:
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