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Proper way of White Balancing a DSLR

daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

Hi there! I want to know if there is a correct way of white balancing video on dslrs. I have a Canon t2i and I really want to stay away from auto white balance as much as possible. I normally use presets like daylight (on a sunny day where the light is harsh) but what do you use when your indoors and there are a lot of different lights that can mess up your white balance?

Any tips/comments/suggestions are welcome!

Thanks!<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>


composite1's picture
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Dax,

Outside of AWB (ugh!) and presets, your other option is a Custom Whitebalance. The sybol for CWB is a square over two wedges. What you do to get a CWB is take a whitecard and hold it in your dominant light source and take a picture of it. When you select CWB your camera will ask you which image you want to use for the whitebalance. Select the one you just shot and the camera will make the adjustment.

Now, the drawback with CWB is each time the light changes so does your whitebalance. So if you've got clouds drifting in and out or you've been shooting during the length of the day, the sunlight changes in temperature over time. That meaning the light in the morning won't be the same as noon or sunset so you'll have to make the appropriate adjustments.

Indoors, you'll need a CWB when you have mixed light like sunlight from windows and indoor lights. Take your whitecard and place it central to the outdoor light and indoor so they mix together. Take the picture and use that as your whitebalance image. You can confirm that info on page 99 of your manual.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

I have some friends that swear by these...

http://www.expoimaging.com/product-overview.php?cat_id=1

I personally... use a grey card while shooting, to set both white and exposure values..


ageless1's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: 02/13/2012 - 9:34pm

Ditto to what Composite1 said except I would recommend a greycard like this. You can pick one up for a few bucks at most camera stores.

greycard


composite1's picture
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Grey cards, exposure step cards like the one shown and warm cards are very good tools for custom and special effects whitebalancing. However, make sure they are specifically designed for photography/videography or your results will not be accurate. Be careful what 'white' you use as well because there are different shades and tones of white and that will influence your whitebalance as well. Notebook or printer paper white is about as standard white as it gets though I've done 'dirty WB's' off of T-shirts, cars, trucks, walls, etc long as they were acceptable and represented what I needed when a whitecard or other tool wasn't available.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

Thanks for the comments guys! I've been doing a lot of research on this one but I still can't figure out what to do if I were to shoot on a cloudy day. You know when the Sun is up then suddenly the clouds starts to pass by thus messing up your exposure & whitebalance. I have always wondered how videographers working in a tv station do it when they are doing a live broadcast? Sigh.. Maybe I'll do more research on this one


composite1's picture
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Dax,

It's not that complicated. All you're doing is telling the camera what 'white' is under a certain lighting condition. In a situation like you described, you'd just take photos under clear and cloudy situations during the day's shoot. As conditions changed, you could just switch over to the appropriate image. It's the same thing with a dedicated video camera except you would use custom WB presets made under clear or cloudy conditions. No need to sweat or do torturous research. Like I said, the process is clearly described in the T2i Manual on page 99. Don't over think this. You'll just give yourself a headache and won't get stuff done.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

I think I just make it sound complicated when it's not. Thanks for the feedback composite1! I will look at my manual and read page 99. I appreciate that! Thanks again! :)