Old 07-12-2011, 07:05 PM
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PCH (Paul)
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Location: Perth WA
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White Balance?

Hi Guys,

I have a question for you camera buffs out there .....

For normal terrestrial photography, do we bother adjusting white balance on our all-singing, all-dancing DSLR cameras of today?

I've been reading about it since with a lens I recently bought from a forum member, a white balance filter was supplied.

Reading about it, it doesn't seem terribly complicated. But I just wanted to know whether if there's a benfit to checking and perhaps adjusting regularly or with different light conditions.

So, before you guys go out and create these stunning bird, reptile, macro, lightning etc shots - have you all fiddled with your white balance?

Or are our todays cameras all pretty much set (at the factory) and forget?

If we do adjust, - then how often? Is it once a year, before each shoot sequence, once when the camera is new and then never again?

Or what?

All replies much appreciated
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:28 PM
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Octane (Humayun)
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Canberra
Posts: 11,159
Part of processing every single image I take/make is correcting for white balance, whether it's a snapshot, a landscape, or an image for a wedding album/gallery. It's just standard RAW processing workflow.

Using white balance cards is all well and good, however, they often leave the image looking cold and sterile.

It's much better to find either a white, grey or black object in each of your images, and using Digital Photo Professional's white balance tool, simply click on those regions until you get the desired result.

Correcting this way often returns some warmth to the image.

That's what works for me.

Where white balance correction gets difficult is when you're shooting with multiple, mixed light sources. Examples being a portrait of your subject in window light, being also lit from the side by disgusting tungsten. You, obviously, try your best to isolate your subject so that they're not within range of lighting like that. Another classic is balancing flash, with ambient light. This is where white balance cards in front of your subject's face to take a reading, work best.

There is nothing worse than seeing inconsistent white balance in a series of shots.

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