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White Balance Adjustment when nothing white
Hey all,.

I had a newbie question relating to white balance during post processing. I usually set my cam (Canon XT) to AWB (Auto White Balance) and then fix it in post processing. Almost always I can find something white and in DPP I use the "click" for white balance where I select anything white..

What's best way to correct for white balance when nothing white in the picture? In the past, I've selected the various built-in options (cloudy, sunny, etc) but I usually get best results from the click on something white. Is there a trick/another way to do this? I also don't trust my eye to see which is the best setting. I've gotten a little better but don't quite have the "eye" to tell some of these things. Just as an example - in Gary Friedman's book he gives a step through on using DPP and only after he said something like "There is obviously too much red in this image, so I'll adjust for that." I could see it after he said it, but there was nothing obvious about it to me. So just to illustrate my level and I don't quite have the eye to tell some thigns that may be obvious to others - hopefully this comes in time!.

Thanks!.

Just trying to learn.

Blog: http://novicephotog.blogspot.com/Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9778447@N07/..

Comments (10)

Riceowl wrote:.

Hey all,.

I had a newbie question relating to white balance during postprocessing. I usually set my cam (Canon XT) to AWB (Auto WhiteBalance) and then fix it in post processing. Almost always I canfind something white and in DPP I use the "click" for white balancewhere I select anything white..

You can click on something gray, but it should be a neutral color of course. I get much variability in Photoshop when clicking a slightly different point on same object, which looks the same to me, but apparently is not. So I mostly just work by eye anyway. The only result we need is "pleasing"...

Comment #1

Click with what tool? If you use Curves or Levels, you can click with the gray point (middle) eye dropper on anything neutral that doesn't have color. Keep clicking until the cast is removed. There's also a method in Photoshop of finding the lightest area in the image using threshold. A quick search provided this tutorial:.

Http://www.cellbio.duke.edu/...ngensmith/adobe%20photoshop%207/help/help.htmlThen follow the links:Making color and tonal adjustmentsUsing target values to set highlights and shadowsLarry Bermanhttp://BermanGraphics.com..

Comment #2

It just has to be neutral in color..

Or you could make a point of having something white (or grey) in the picture..

Or you could set a custom WB off a white piece of paper ahead of time..

Or shoot in raw and fix it later, but you may still need something neutral in the picture or in a picture under the same light.A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #3

If there's nothing "white" or gray in the picture, you can copy the picture and blur it completely. Select the whole picture and blur it repeatedly to a total blur. That will show the dominant color cast. You could find the RGB value of that and work from there...

Comment #4

WFulton wrote:.

...So I mostly just work by eye anyway. The onlyresult we need is "pleasing"..

I can only agree with that. It often isn't necessary to worry about what is "exactly right" as though there was an absolute objective standard for every picture..

I often experiment with Auto Levels - that can give surprisingly good results - or Adjust Colour for Skin Tone. Very often one of these gives a good result..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #5

If you want to click you may click on what's supposed to be neutral grey - any density of neutral grey, it doesn't have to be white. I would most frequently use the color temperature slider if required and just move it both ways until I obtain what seems to be best. You must have a good, large, calibrated monitor..

In my opinion if you have mixed lighting there is no 100% correct WB - and besides I think it's more important that the picture should look pleasing to the eye and represent the scene the way you remember taking it, not 100% correct. Like:.

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/gallery/3036374#202756456.

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/gallery/3036374#164997547.

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/gallery/3036352#176331400.

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/gallery/3036352#164982164.

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/gallery/3036352#165047912.

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/gallery/3036352#164986617.

The only situation which demands exact WB would be professional reproductions of artists' works - is that what you're doing?..

Comment #6

Thx for the responses! I didn't realize you could also select a neutral gray as well. I guess if nothing is present, it's just a matter of adjusting the levels and curves until it looks good. I'm not a pro, beginner SLR and just take family shots and such but would like to get it right. I guess I need to brush up on post processing skills..

Thanks again!Just trying to learn.

Blog: http://novicephotog.blogspot.com/Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9778447@N07/..

Comment #7

It's better in my opinion to get it right before pressing the shutter button and anything white will usually do, or better still a meter - although that then raises problems with some camera's ways of setting things..

But what's wrong with a white tissue? Or even a plain old fashioned cotton hankerchief? (Remember what mother told you?) They are small, light and easy to carry around. I have also used one of those white cup-like paper things bakers bake cakes/muffins in and the white plastic container they came in, or the traditional _white/grey_ "Pringle" tin lid. You can even use them on top of the lens as an incident light meter..

And there's those nice little grey or white reflectors they give away with photo magazines, and so and so forth..

Ten minutes experimenting will/should give you an easy solution....

Regards, David..

Comment #8

I carry a 5" square piece cut from a standard 18% gray card, sized to exactly fit in one of the outside pockets of my bag. I put it in with the gray side directly against the fabric of the bag, with my shooting notebook protecting the other side from anything sharp that might be in the pocket. It works beautifully for setting a custom WB..

WillWill PrattBarrick Museum, UNLV..

Comment #9

The eyedropper in pe5 or 6 or csx will work with white neutral gray and black..

2 suggestion-.

-use the camera in your backyard and do some simple scene tests so you KNOW what colors are in the scene and then what colors you should on you monitor. adjust the color mode, contrast, saturation, sharpness if needed so that the scene loks the same on the monitor. I assume your monitor is calibrated, for photography it should be. a calibrated monitor is the only way that a certain red in the real world will be the sme red on the monitor..

-do some tests on a known sunny day and a known cloudy day with your camera's AWB so you know what the accuracy of the settings are. this is after your monitor is calibrated, if it is not..

For myself I know that my AWB on the dslr is practically dead on outdoors, because I have tested it as decribed above. also, since setting the camera.

Settings I have not changed them for any reason. and will not because those settings in the test conditions give the accurate scene reproduction that I know works. if I want/need more color I can always up the saturation in pp...

Comment #10

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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