…here to learn and share photography and all that encompasses this art.


March 11, 2011

another menu option – setting of your choice

…The Sky’s the Limit


Consistency is one of the keys to successful photography.  Whether you shoot in Auto mode, full manual or somewhere in between, or whether you shoot for fun, for free or for money,  consistency will allow you to save time in post and allow your shots to be more uniform.

This post will be referring to the setting called white balance. In almost all digital cameras there is a setting called white balance.  This setting will allow you choose the desire color temperature depending on the environment.  You may have noticed that there are icons/symbols to represent the different temperatures; such as a florescent light, an  incandescent light bulb, a sun or cloud, and there also may also be others.  The one I want to key into is the AWB or Auto White Balance.  Here the camera will meter the scene and determine which color will be best suited for the particular shot.   Please read your manual to get a full understanding of the way white balance works with your camera.

When began shooting digital, I was shooting  in AWB as this was recommended to me.  Most of my images were fine but from time to time, I noticed the camera would choose another WB setting as it was detecting something different in the scene.  However, after shooting for some time, listening and reading what some of  the experts were recommending, and pondering the theory of how white balance works, there seemed to be flaws to this logic if you plan on having your shots come out with a consistent color temperature.  I know what you are thinking…what if you shoot RAW?…then you can change all the shots in post?  Yes, that is true; post processing will allow you to change the white balance if shot RAW.  However, there may be some folks that shoot JPEG and/or it would be another step in post that can be eliminated if adjusted correctly in camera.  Again, this is something that helped me and may not necessarily work for everyone.

There are a few ways to do do this; one way is to use one of the presets, for example, on a sunny day you may just set the WB to the “Sun” setting or on a cloudy day, use the “Cloud” setting…you get the point, yeah?  Once you are done with the shoot, hopefully the white balance is correct, images are all uniform and you are ecstatic with the results.  If not, you can do a batch edit to the images and change the white balance in post.

Another way is to use a color card either gray or white to meter the scene.  15% gray or a white card is recommended, and there are professional companies that sell these cards.  I have not used these cards as this would incur a cost that may or may not be worth it to someone on a limited budget…like me.  I have used a white object, like a white canopy and a white card.  I also use a preset white image that is in my camera.  These methods have done me well.

Again, there is no right or wrong, just personal preference.  Bottom line is that you should be happy with your images and how they came out.  If there is anything that can be attained from trying different techniques, it would be knowledge; knowledge of your camera, art and what the outcome is if you did_________(fill in the blank).

If you have a different method that works for you I would be interested in hearing about and possibly trying it.  Who knows, there may be a better way to fry an egg.

Thanks again for stopping by…


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