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Thread: Don't Whine about White Balance

  1. #1
    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Don't Whine about White Balance

    OK,
    How should the poor camera brain deal with the white balance of this shot?

    -bob

  2. #2
    Digital Dude
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    Thumbs up Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    Provided this shot is without adjustments then I would say itís nearly perfect! What lens and setting was used?
    Regards,

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    Subscriber Member jaapv's Avatar
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    Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    Well, if we see what the big screen on the right made of WB, it seems to be pretty good.
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    Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    Hi Bob

    You make an excellent point (at least, I think you're making a point!).

    No such thing as correct white balance . . . .

    Not in this shot anyway - in fact, not in any shot which has mixed shadows and direct light, mixed lighting sources . . . . which means almost everything.

    Properly functioning white balance changes lovely evening light into boring mid-day light etc. etc.

    The problem is not the camera - it's the human eye/brain - it's capable of setting different white balance for different parts of the scene - something no camera I know of can manage!

    There are so many people who seem to think that there is a 'right' and a 'wrong' white balance - in most circumstances its what suits the scene and the viewer's brain.

    Just this guy you know

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    Member pthompson's Avatar
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    Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    When it comes to color temperature, some situations are basically impossible to sort out; this looks to be one of them. Did you shoot this with AWB, or on one of the camera's WB settings? Any post-processing adjustments? This does look too warm on my screen...

    When it comes to white balance, any situation seriously challenges the M8 'brain'...

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    Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    Considering how well the M8 plays with DNGs, I'm amazed that anyone even worries about WB. I manually set WB, mostly out of habit, but C1's dropper tool in now my best friend, as it is brilliant when it comes to fine-tuned color balances.

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    Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    Jono et. al.,
    Yes, the scene is a mix of several kinds of white balance. I think that many of he screens in the room were set too cold, so that to get an acceptable result (to the client) I had to warm it up past the point that the color on the woman's shirt went quite off from what I remembered.
    I have several shots in this series taken under the same lighting conditions, but with different material displayed on the monitors and screens around the room. The M8 couldn't really pin down a "single" color temp.
    It turns out that sampling neutrals in the image was useless as well, since the neutrals were illuminated by light sources of varying temperatures. Indeed the room is lit over-all with "studio fluorescents". I don't think that is possible that these were the 5000k type, so probably more like 3600k or so.
    The stage was lit with 3200k tungsten.
    As shot was 3900+12 best balance for the stage is indeed 3200, compromise "fluorescent" for me is 3800+21; Client liked best 5000+10 to white balance for the large plasma display.
    Anyway I think the the M8's little brain did just fine, considering that it doesn't have a connection to the customer's preferences.

    M8 dng AWB 640iso 1/125 28mm chron f/don't remember, probably 4-5.6

    -bob

    p.s.
    I think that professionals who set up lights and displays like this deserve b&w results

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    Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by rwfreund View Post
    As shot was 3900+12 best balance for the stage is indeed 3200, compromise "fluorescent" for me is 3800+21; Client liked best 5000+10 to white balance for the large plasma display.
    Anyway I think the the M8's little brain did just fine, considering that it doesn't have a connection to the customer's preferences.
    Bob - using AWB with the M8 is pretty pointless; much better to select a setting, or do a custom setting. Of course, you can correct almost anything in a RAW conversion, so the issue is pretty academic. I couldn't tell from your post if you are aware that 3900+12 is the coolest of only three options that the M8 AWB will give you, the other two being 5900+9 and 7400+8...and the same camera settings and lighting conditions might give you several of these choices if you take more than one shot. Sort of like a blind man shooting a gun - some outcomes are better than others...

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    Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    Fundamentally I don't care.
    Most of the time AWB is as good a raw starting point as any other (it is just metadata, after all).
    I could set everything at tungsten for that matter. Even what I thought was more natural for correct emphasis on the woman on the stage didn't matter to the owner of the plasma screen. No WB sensor cum logic will ever work that out.
    Almost everything I shoot needs a tweak here or there so why not start at whatever comes up?
    -bob

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    Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by rwfreund View Post
    Fundamentally I don't care.
    -bob
    Sorry, Bob. I must have gotten you confused with the original poster...

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    Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    And sometimes, the "wrong" WB is absolutely the right one:


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    Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    HI Maggie
    Excellent shot, but whether it's 'wrong' is debatable - it looks about right for the shafts of sunlight!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    Well, it was "fluorescent," and I'm pretty sure there weren't any there!

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    Re: Don't Whine about White Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Well, it was "fluorescent," and I'm pretty sure there weren't any there!
    Well, it looks about right for 'flourescent' then

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