Are you tired of your photos coming out with inaccurate colors? Do you want to achieve the perfect white balance and enhance the overall look of your images? Look no further! In this blog, we will dive deep into the realm of white balance and teach you how to master it like a pro. Understanding white balance is crucial for photographers as it directly affects the color temperature of their images. By adjusting white balance, you can achieve more natural and realistic colors, correct color casts, and create the desired mood for your photographs. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced photographer, this blog will equip you with the knowledge and techniques to confidently master your white balance.
MASTER YOUR WHITE BALANCE
Have you ever struggled with white balance for your photos or video? You go out for a shoot, you bring all the footage back, you bring all the photos back, you throw them on your computer, you start working on them, you’re working on them for a while and maybe you go grab Lunch, maybe you come back and you look at them and you say ah these are all wrong! Today I’m gonna share with you one super simple tip to know that your white balance is correct so you never have to worry about white balance again.
If that idea sounds good to you, hit that like button below. That is super helpful for me. And a massive thank you to the sponsor of today’s video, Epidemic Sound. I’ll talk more about them at the end of the video, but they are the leader in YouTube music licensing. The soundtrack for this channel and there’s a free trial and the first link in the description totally free. Go in there for 30 days, download music, make videos, put them on your channel, all free. I don’t see why you wouldn’t.
The Tool You Need: Neutral White Card
Today, we are going to be using a very simple tool. The one that I have is a little expensive, but it’s because it has some more features to do some other things. The tool that you need to get your hands on is a neutral white card. I’ll put some links to them down below. They range in price. Again, this is an expensive version right here. This is the X-Rite Color Checker Passport Photo Edition.
I just ordered the video edition today, which is what made me think to make this video for you guys. But this is the photo edition and on the first page of this guy right here is a bunch of color references. This is so I can take all these colors, I can take a photo of them, I can bring them into Lightroom, and I can actually create a custom calibrated color profile for whatever camera I’m shooting, for whatever lighting I have, my colors will look exactly how they’re supposed to look. So, that’s why I sprung to get the more expensive version. It’s also in this super dope plastic hard case that’s really thin. I just kind of slide it in my bag, doesn’t take up a lot of room. Pop it out whenever I need it. Yeah, it is a little pricey though. I think it’s like $130 or $140 for this version. Again, in the description below, you’ll see links to much more affordable options that will do the same thing.
And what we are talking about today, which is on this page, this up here is neutral white, and this down here is middle gray. They’re both super useful. We are going to focus on this one up top and it’s just a white balance tool.
Using the Neutral White Card
So, how do we use a neutral white card? It is super simple. Each time you go out for a video shoot or a photo shoot in each lighting scenario, you are gonna have your subject hold this up next to them just like this. If you’re doing video, you’re just gonna film like two or three seconds with it right here. If you’re doing photos, take two or three photos with this in it. Then, you are gonna close this up, put it back in your bag or back in your pocket, and then just shoot away. And because you have the images or the few seconds of video with this in there, you’ve captured the white balance info for that scene.
To use that, you are going to go into pretty much every major editing software and when you look for white balance, there’s gonna be a little eyedropper tool. You take that eyedropper tool, you pull up your reference photo or video that has the neutral white card in it, and you take that little eyedropper tool and you click on it. That’s it. Perfect white balance. Then, you just take those white balance settings and you paste them across all of the other photos shot in those same lighting conditions. And same thing for video, you’re gonna set white balance off those two to three seconds and then just paste that to all other shots that were in that same lighting condition.
Now, you might like an image that’s a little bit warmer or a little bit cooler. You might like to push your greens or push your magentas a little bit. That’s totally up to you. That’s a preference thing. That’s a style thing. You could do that. But in order to do that, the best place to start is from a proper white balance using the neutral white card.
The caveat here is that you need to use this every time the lighting changes. Now, in very controlled situations like this, I have one light here, I’ve got one. This is not gonna change. I can sit here for three to four hours and nothing will change. So, I only have to do this one time. I hold it up before one of these shots, I do this, and then I’m ready to go. I put it away and I shoot my video. But if I’m out on a photo shoot, every time that I switch spots, I’m gonna have my subject hold this up again. So, if I’m shooting in one spot, maybe it’s backlit through some trees, I’m gonna have them hold this up. If the sun comes out from behind the clouds and the lighting conditions have changed, I have my subject hold this up again, take another shot, and I have a reference point for each time that the lighting changes. Each time I have this held up, I then set my white balance and I copy and paste them until the next time that I see this was held up.
Now, some cameras can actually do this in camera. On this A7S3, I can go in there, I can hold this up in front of the camera, I can set a custom white balance. Now, the camera’s gonna put a little box right over neutral white. I’m gonna hit yes, and it’s gonna set a custom white balance in-camera. Now, I’m still gonna have my subject hold this up just to confirm, just to make sure that I nailed it. Maybe the camera was off a little bit or this was. I always want to double-check and make sure that my white balance is nailed. And then, if you have something like this, you can also use the middle gray to set your exposure and know that your exposure is nailed. But that is for another video. Today, we just care about white balance. And for white balance, you want that neutral white card. It is super this whole thing is super helpful. This front part for photos very cool. I’m super excited to get the one for video because it has some neat tricks also. But now you know about a neutral white balance card and you will never have to worry about white balance again because yours is gonna be perfect. And then, again, once it’s perfect, you can tweak it and add your own style to it. But you’ll know that you started perfect.
I hope that helped you guys. If you did, hit that like button. Maybe think about subscribing for more videos like this. And a massive thank you to Epidemic Sound again, the leader in YouTube music licensing. But what makes Epidemic Sound so rad for me, at least as a creator, is that it learns the songs that I’m using and it has a recommendation engine in it that recommends me…
FAQ: Master Your White Balance
1. What is white balance and why is it important?
White balance refers to the adjustment of colors in a photograph or video to achieve accurate and realistic tones. It ensures that whites appear pure and unaffected by the color temperature of the light source. Proper white balance is crucial for a natural-looking and well-balanced image.
2. How does white balance affect different lighting conditions?
White balance compensates for the color temperature of the light source. In daylight, a balanced white creates a neutral-colored image. In low-light or warm lighting conditions, white balance adjusts to reduce excessive warmth, preventing an orange or yellowish cast. Similarly, in cool lighting conditions, white balance ensures that the image does not appear too bluish or cold.
3. What is the best white balance setting to use?
The ideal white balance setting depends on the lighting conditions and the effect you want to achieve. While ‘Auto’ mode can work well in many situations, using custom white balance presets or manually adjusting the white balance settings will yield more accurate results. Experimenting with different settings is recommended until you achieve the desired color rendition.
4. How can I manually adjust white balance on my camera?
Most cameras offer a variety of white balance presets, such as Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent, and Tungsten. These presets compensate for specific lighting conditions. Additionally, you can use a gray card or a white object in the scene to set a custom white balance manually. Consult your camera’s manual for specific instructions on adjusting white balance settings.
5. Can white balance be corrected during post-processing?
Absolutely! Many photo-editing software, including Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, provide tools to adjust white balance after capturing the image. By fine-tuning the white balance during post-processing, you have more control over colors and can fix any inaccuracies or color casts that may have been present in the original image.
6. Do all cameras have the same white balance options?
No, not all cameras have the same white balance options. The availability of white balance settings can vary depending on the camera model and brand. High-end cameras usually offer more extensive white balance options, including manual adjustments, while entry-level cameras may have limited preset options. It’s best to refer to your camera’s manual to understand the specific white balance functionality it provides.
7. Are there any other factors that can affect the accuracy of white balance?
Yes, some factors could affect white balance accuracy. Using colored filters, such as neutral density or polarizing filters, may alter the color temperature and require adjusting white balance accordingly. Additionally, shooting in RAW format preserves more data, allowing for better white balance adjustments during post-processing compared to JPEG files.
8. Should I always aim for perfect white balance?
Perfect white balance is subjective and depends on the intended style and mood of your images. Sometimes, intentionally deviating from perfect white balance can create unique artistic effects or evoke specific emotions. Experimentation is key, and understanding the fundamentals of white balance will help you make informed decisions based on your creative vision.
I hope you find useful my article MASTER YOUR WHITE BALANCE, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.
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