Posts Tagged 'learn white balance'

White Balance in Digital Photography

White Balance in Digital Photography

Introduction to White balance in Digital Photography and Videography

Part1

Many photographers avoid using the White Balance (WB) setting in their camera simply because they think the camera can take care of it or, if necessary, they can make the colour adjustment later in post processing. This can be true but there are certain variables which can cause an undesirable colour cast in our images and sometimes post processing will not help us a lot (especially if you shoot in Jpeg format).

In this series of articles I am going to explain a basic definition of White Balance in Photography and Videography, take a look at White Balance presets and give you some tips on when you should consider using a custom White Balance in Photography or Videography.

What is White Balance?

Let’s look up the definition of White Balance in Photography in Wikipedia:

“In photography and image processing, color balance is the global adjustment of the intensities of the colors (typically red, green, and blue primary colors). An important goal of this adjustment is to render specific colors – particularly neutral colors – correctly; hence, the general method is sometimes called gray balance, neutral balance, or white balance. Color balance changes the overall mixture of colors in an image and is used for color correction; generalized versions of color balance are used to get colors other than neutrals to also appear correct or pleasing.

Image data acquired by sensors – either film or electronic image sensors – must be transformed from the acquired values to new values that are appropriate for color reproduction or display. Several aspects of the acquisition and display process make such color correction essential – including the fact that the acquisition sensors do not match the sensors in the human eye, that the properties of the display medium must be accounted for, and that the ambient viewing conditions of the acquisition differ from the display viewing conditions.

The color balance operations in popular image editing applications usually operate directly on the red, green, and blue channel pixel values, without respect to any color sensing or reproduction model.” 

Does it sound complicated?

In technical aspects, White Balance or colour balance is very complicated, but as a photographer or videographer you just need to know how to see the colour cast and how to fix the problem.

What is “Colour Cast”?

You’ve probably noticed when checking and reviewing your digital photos that at times images can have an orange, blue, yellow etc cast to them, although to our eyes the scene looked quite normal. Pronounced and heavy colours such as Yellow, Blue, Orange is called “Colour Cast”.

White balance in digital photography

Sample of a mild colour cast. There is a slightly blue colour cast in this image.

White balance in digital photography

Heavy yellow colour cast in this image.

What causes Colour Cast?

The reason for colour cast is that different sources of light have a different ‘colour’ (or temperature). These differences in colour/ temperature range from the very cool light of a blue sky through to the very warm light of a candle.

We don’t generally notice these differences because our eyes adjust automatically for it.  Unless the temperature of the light is very extreme a white sheet of paper will generally look white to us. A digital camera, however, will faithfully and accurately record the predominant (and usually invisible to us) colour temperature. This is why digital cameras have different settings for White Balance.

White balance in digital photography

Adjusting White Balance in Digital photography or Videography is very important.

White balance in digital photography

Just removing the heavy yellow cast from the image in post processing.

White balance in digital photography

Adjusting the White Balance in Digital photography or Videography helps you to represent a pleasing image or video

In next part of this series I am going to discuss the different settings for White Balance starting from Auto White balance to some presets and I will finish up by explaining Custom White Balance.

Check our Photoshop Layers and Mask workshop on September 17 and 18. This is a full hands on class on Photoshop and the power of Layers and Masks.


Ted and the Omnilargess team

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Custom White Balance In Digital Photography

Custom White Balance in Digital Photography

Photo Tip Friday April 4 2014

Is Custom White Balance really that important?

Custom WB = Accurate colour in your Digital Photographs

Custom White Balance can handle different Light Sources

Custom White Balance can handle different Light Sources

This is a solid fact! If you are shooting for accurate colour of your subject, such as jewelry or items for a catalogue, then I highly recommend you learn how to apply custom White Balance at the time of capture. Sometimes photographers argue they can use post processing to make the colour NICE and remove colour cast. This is true (especially if you are working with RAW files), but is doing extra post processing for colour accuracy a good use of your valuable time?

I am a big fan of post processing and although part of my business is to provide post processing service for busy pro photographers, for my own important projects I always use Custom White Balance to save time in post processing and to give my clients the best possible images with close-to-natural looking colour.

During all the years of teaching photography classes I’ve noticed White Balance is one of the most challenging topics for the majority of my students, which is why I teach White Balance in our Digital Camera Bootcamp program. But there are some photographers who want to take colour accuracy to the next level by learning in-depth information about custom White balance and the tools one should use to obtain perfect colour.

Recently I developed a workshop just about White Balance. In this workshop I am going to show you the different approaches to obtain accurate colour for yourself or for your clients. Please follow this link to learn more about this hands-on workshop:

http://omnilargess.com/event-registration/?ee=111

Is there really a visible difference between Auto WB and Custom WB?

It all depends on how well trained your eyes and brain are, which is why Post Processing may not be a good option for everyone. Each of us sees colour differently and each monitor or printer renders the colour in a different way, etc. With Custom White Balance you can be sure that you capture the correct colour in first place.

Here are some samples for comparison. I took all photos on a tripod and used a Nikon AFS 14-24 lens with identical exposures. (The Nikon AFS 14-24 is a fabulous lens. Did you know we have this lens in stock for rental?)

Auto WB

Auto White Balance

Custom White Balance

Custom WB

In the image with a custom white balance the camera was able to capture more details.

Here are some more examples:

Auto White Balance can handle different Light Sources

Auto White Balance can not handle different Light Sources

Custom White Balance can handle different Light Sources

Custom White Balance can handle different Light Sources

Auto White Balance creates a colour cast in indoor photos

Auto White Balance creates a colour cast in indoor photos

Custom White Balance provides accurate colour

Custom White Balance provides accurate colour

 

If you want to learn more about Digital Camera Photography in general, consider registering for our Summer Digital Camera Bootcamp – there are still a few spots available!

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

[SINGLEEVENT single_event_id=”digital-white-balance-workshop-2-530e3297916d1″]

 

 

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Understanding Exposure in Digital Camera 3

Understanding Exposure In Digital Camera Part 3

White Balance in Digital Photography

Last week I talked about controlling exposure by using ISO, Shutter speed, and Aperture. These variables control the exposure, which is brightness and contrast of the image. Exposure does not play a big rule in colour rendition, so this week I am going to explain how to create better colour in your photos.

You can control the colour of your photos by using White Balance.

Auto White Balance

Auto White Balance

Custom White Balance

Custom White Balance

Many photographers avoid using the White Balance (WB) setting in their camera simply because they think the camera can take care of it or, if necessary, they can make the colour adjustment later in post processing. This can be true but there are certain variables which can cause an undesirable color cast in our images and sometimes post processing will not help us a lot (especially if you shoot in jpeg format).

In this article I am going to explain a basic definition of White Balance and give you some tips on when you should consider using a custom White Balance.

What is White Balance?

You’ve probably noticed when checking and reviewing your digital photos that at times images can have an orange, blue, yellow etc cast to them, although to our eyes the scene looked quite normal. The reason for this is that different sources of light have a different ‘color’ (or temperature). These differences in color/ temperature range from the very cool light of a blue sky through to the very warm light of a candle.

We don’t generally notice this difference because our eyes adjust automatically for it.  Unless the temperature of the light is very extreme a white sheet of paper will generally look white to us. However a digital camera doesn’t have the brain to make these adjustments automatically and will faithfully, accurately record for the predominant (and usually invisible to us) color temperature.

What is Auto White Balance?

Each digital camera has the data of thousands of images built into its processor. When you use any of the auto modes (Auto White Balance, Auto Exposure, Auto area auto focus, etc.) the camera compares the scene to the data of these images and selects the one that is closest. The result might be close or be quite far from accurate color and exposure.

You may have noticed that the newer digital camera take better photos. It is not because these cameras are better made, but mainly because the manufacturers add more data to the newer camera to use as references.

When should I use Auto White Balance?

That being said, if you have a newer digital camera, and are taking pictures with only one source of light, the Auto White Balance will create a decent image for you. If there are more than one source of light (e.g. daylight from a window and tungsten light of an indoor lamp) the chances are higher that your camera can’t make the right decision, which will result in a heavy color cast in your image.

How do digital cameras measure the White Balance?

Generally speaking, digital camera searches for 18% grey in the scene, and whatever resembles closest to 18% grey will be used as a reference to grey and the colors adjusted accordingly. This is why photos in a forest with no white or grey present in the scene will often end up with a deep green cast over your images.

Should I use auto or custom White Balance for every single photo?

Here are three golden rules for when to use Auto White Balance:

1- You have a newer digital camera

2- You have something white or grey in your subject

3- You have one dominant source of light, not a mixture of light sources.

If none of these apply, then a custom white balance setting would be a good option, especially if you shoot primarily in jpeg format.

What is a custom White Balance?

In custom White Balance you tell your camera what is white or grey and the camera will set the other colors for you. Your camera will remember this custom setting until you change it again.

Does this mean that I have to do custom White balance for each and every picture?

As long as the light source and its brightness stay the same you don’t need to change the setting. When you change location (for instance from shade to sun, or from one room to other room) you will need to redo the Custom White Balance.

Look at these photos and see how different White Balance settings can change the colours.

White Balance Techniques

White Balance Techniques

To learn more about Digital Camera Photography visit our  Upcoming Classes page to find a workshop that covers your questions.

Stay tuned for our next Photo tip.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

[SINGLEEVENT single_event_id=”summer-digital-camera-bootcamp-2-52f2900de37a0″]
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Custom White Balance Mystery

Custom White Balance Mystery Revealed!

White Balance can be a little confusing for almost all digital photographers. That is why we receive lots of questions regarding White Balance in Digital Cameras as well as editing software. In our workshops, whether in classrooms or outdoors,  one of our major topics is White Balance. As a matter of fact, in digital photography, we can consider White Balance as having a part to play in our Exposure. We all know that Exposure rules are solid and, for creating better images, these rules should be applied all the time.

My camera has an Auto White Balance, is it not good enough for capturing great images?

The answer is quite simple! Your camera has an Auto Mode as well, and Auto mode makes an OK image! The same with the Auto White balance. In many situations Auto White Balance can bring out almost good colors, but not perfect color.

White Balance is one of the most confusing concepts for digital photographers, can you make it simple?

It is not only confusing for photographers, it is confusing for Digital Cameras as well. In our indoor Digital Photography workshops, I explain White Balance in detail and in plain english. Then, in our Outdoor Photography Workshops, you have a chance to experiment and apply all the technical data in real life.

I shoot in Raw format, do I need to be concerned about White Balance?

That is the part that we cover in our Photoshop and Photo Editing classes. When we look at a photo, our brain adjusts the colors for us in less than 4 seconds! Which means, if you don’t see the color cast in less than 4 seconds, then it is very difficult for you to adjust colors properly. In our Photoshop and Colors workshop, you learn how to identify the color cast in a photo quickly and then you learn about the tools that you should use to adjust the color without changing the other parameters in pictures. RAW capability is great, but when we make adjustments to the color in our images, we lose some information.

Can I use the same color cast removal techniques for jpegs?

The quick and simple answer is Yes, but up to a certain point. You don’t have the same amount of Raw Data in Jpegs, so there is less room to adjust than you would have in a RAW file.

Can you give us some examples about when and where to use Custom White Balance?

Using Custom White Balance will depend on the level of digital photography that you do. If you are doing some candid shots just for fun, you don’t need to be too concerned about Custom White Balance. But if you take important pictures and also want to simplify your editing process, you should consider switching to Custom White Balance. As a rule of thumb:

–  when there are multiple sources of light (more than one) you need to tell the camera what to do about color.

  • whenever you take pictures indoors, using Custom White Balance will provide the truest color for you.
  • When taking photos in Shade/Shadow. The light temperature varies from location to location and cameras usually don’t have the data to adjust for these situations.
  • When you take pictures in a very colorful environment. You need to help the camera see past these

Do you want to learn more about Withe Balance?

Visit our Digital Photography Workshops page and sign up for one of our informative photography Classes.

Do you want to have hands on Exposure and Adjusting the White Balance?

Join us for our Outdoor Photography Workshop. You will have lots of time to practice not only The White Balance but also different settings in your digital camera which help you understanding Exposure and color adjustment in your Digital Camera.

Do you have Digital pictures that need to color corrected?

Sign up for our upcoming Photoshop and Photo Editing Classes and learn how to identify the color cast and remove it.

 

Ted and Omnilargess Team

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