View Full Version : White balance

06-23-2007, 09:20 PM
I was looking around at white balance techniques, so, I wondered how you guys did it? I don't have much money right now, so, is there any poor man's ways to get a good white balance with my camera?

06-24-2007, 09:54 AM
I use "sunlight" pretty much exclusively. I used to shoot on Kodachrome25 slide film though, so if I get a color cast from artificial lights I actually like it.

06-24-2007, 10:27 AM
I do not use any costly technics when adjusting for white balance. If I did I would probably use the Expodisc (http://www.expodisc.com) or PhotoVison (http://www.photovisionvideo.com/) targets.

That being said, I always attempt to set the white balance correctly before I take pictures rather than doing a lot of post processing on the computer. I do this three ways. It all depends on the situation. I'll start with my least preferred method:

3) If I'm shooting in full sun, I adjust the built in white balance setting to full sun. Shade is shot the same way. A trip to the local zoo two weeks ago worked very well using this method. However I did need to adjust a few indoor shots after the fact.

2) Since my camera uses a white card as a reference for the custom white balance setting, some I guess use gray, I fill the frame white any available white object in the same light I will be shooting. It doesn't have to be perfectly white as long as it is lit well enough to get my pictures close to perfect balance. This works about 99% of the time when shooting indoors and about 90% outdoors. Depending on your lens and close focus distance will determine how big the white object needs to be. Remember to photograph your white object with flash if you are going to be shooting with flash. Once the photo is taken use that photo to set the custom white balance setting on the camera. (Note: Some camera set custom white balance differently, so consult your manual.)

1) My preferred poor mans white balance adjustment method is using a printed page of the attached image. This is a low cost variation of the PhotoVison (http://www.photovisionvideo.com/) targets. It will print well on a standard size sheet of bright white 110 lb. card stock paper. The way I use it is that I place it in front of the subject I am about to photograph. Fill the frame with it (I have to manual focus on it, auto focus will not lock in on it) and take the picture. Then I go into my custom white balance settings and adjust to the picture just taken. (The same rule applies as above, consult your manual if your camera differs.) This method has always given me the best white balance results. However who wants to carry around a 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. I suppose you could print it smaller, but I have not tried that.

(Note: When printing the attached image, print only in black and white. Some color printers will attempt to print black and gray using all the colors instead of using the black cartridge. Check your manual how to set your printer to print only using black and white.)

06-24-2007, 02:51 PM
The simplest way:
take a white piece of paper with you.
Set the camera to custom white balance, set it on the white piece of paper.
There you have it, a good white balance for your current light conditions.
Happy shooting...