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Thread: What is White Balance?

  1. #21
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    very interesting thread indeed~ gonna start practising on setting up the WB manually from now on. usually i will just use photoshop to alter my pictures... hehee~

  2. #22
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    white balance is process that makes white look white

  3. #23
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    Had this guy come up to me at Aquarama 2007 in Suntec say nice camera you have, what is your white balance setting? He was a nice old man who had the same camera as me with a little round thing with white net[?] to set the white balance. I told him mine's on cloudy. He started explaining to me about the white net gizmo thing he had to correct white balance.

    I thought about it for one second and just shrugged, too hi-tech, not wanting to offend him. I showed him my pictures and it looked ok to me.
    He looked perplexed. He didn't show me his.

    Since mine was not broke I didn't feel the need to fix it.
    At the same time, I thought he was going about it the wrong way. He was white balancing the ambient lighting, not the aquarium lighting. Light from the aquarium was never going to hit his white cap thing covering his lens to produce any effect, it was some dim 20W fl, Whereas the venue lighting at Suntec was considerably more powerful. Tsk tsk... wrong place to use that gizmo IMO. Perhaps only useful if you didn't know how to use photoshop and didn't have any off 'off' coloured highlights in the shot.

    --------

    I set it to 'cloudy', then tinker with the hue +- to my liking then have NEVER adjusted it since!

    Ok 1st of all...

    1. I use flash. Great for neutralizing weird aquarium lights.

    2. I like tungsten warm light as bg colour to complement my flash for indoor warm lighting.

    3. Lighting imbalance gives the mood and feel of the place. Ironically like in the movies[Fight Club, Chungking Express, Matrix, Swordfish], green looking lighting flourescent tubes gives night life and seedy parlours it's own feel.

    4. There's Photoshop!
    You can if you dare to fail - Stan Chung

  4. #24
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    you are right, I had to sink a grey card into the water to get it properly WBed. I think this guy is using a gizmo called the Expodisc which is a WB + exposure "meter" rolled into one.
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazona crumenatum Galleria Botanica

  5. #25
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    This just shows that sometimes people just go with what they read without properly understanding what they are doing. Hahaha!! I do that sometimes. We're all humans after all.
    - Luenny

  6. #26
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    Did a custom white balance using a namecard which i water proofed it. Here's the new picture.

    BEFORE CUSTOM WHITE BALANCE



    AFTER CUSTOM WHITE BALANCE

    Eugene (^_^)
    De Dwergcichlide Fanatiek
    Now swimming: Plecos and Apistogrammas

  7. #27
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    I think the problem is even more complex.

    Say you want to do a fish portrait inside a tank, which water has an intensive yellowish tint due to the use of peat.
    To do an accurate white balance, you have to know where you want to shot the fish in the tank. 5 cm away from the panel? 10 - 15 - 20cm...?

    Why is that so. The thickness of the yellowish water influences the intensity of the tint.

    [o] = Kamera/Lens
    - = 1 cm
    [ = front panel

    a)
    [o] - - - - - [ - - - - - <&#176))><

    b)
    [o] - - - - - [ - - - - - - - - - - <&#176))><

    You need a different WB in b) compared to the one in a), because there is the double thickness of yellowish water between fish and camera.

    I tried this my own when I used to keep some Nannostomus sp. purple.

    Here is a photo without WB.


    I was not happy.
    So I did a manuel WB with a white plate inside the tank. For this, you have to shot the plate filling the whole photo frame (not like in the photo for demonstrating) and with the same light sources that shall be used later for exposure (like all the flashes).



    Here is what I got with proper WB. Unfortuately I do not have a photo with yellowish tint showing the same plants like below, would have been even better for comparison.



    So, if you don&#180;t keep the same distance - at least roughly - you will end up with either still notable yellowish tint (fish was to far away, so you get only half the truth) or, the fish was to close, so WB will took out too much yellow and you will end up with the complementary colour of yellow: blue. You can see the effect in the last photo. Watch the fins.




    And then, there is another question.
    Which photo is more accurate? The one with the tint, showing the fish in a natural environment, or the one we think we made the proper white balance. How does a fish or a diver will see the fish in its natural habitat?
    Whitebalanced or with a tint?
    So long, and thanks for all the fish (Douglas Adams)
    andreas

    andreaswerth.net
    aquarienfotografie.net

  8. #28
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    at a practical level, custom WB is good enough as a close approximation. after as Andrea asks, what is the "correct" colour? that as viewed under flash, 6500K florescent, or MH or whatever.

    This same question is well know for serious philatelists who has to decide or deduce the printings of classical stamps base on several traits, one of which is the colour of the ink and colour of the paper. In that case, the definition general accepted is that of the stamp as viewed under a "good northern day light" !!! not very precise.

    as for fish, I would suggest the "correct" colour depends on your intend. for my purpose of photo documentation, I decided it should be that which appear under a standard speedlite flash. for other purposes, for example to show the fish in its natural context, a yellow tint would actually be more "correct"!

    one should also note that it is not always possible to perform proper white balancing. when your subject is illuminated only one or two primary colours, then your WB is badly screwed because part of the primary colours are missing which means you cannot correctly constitute white or neutral tone colours.
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazona crumenatum Galleria Botanica

  9. #29
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    I'd, remove the fish from the tank and shoot one with flash for an idea of the actual colour. Granted a stressed fish would display different colours, it's what I do with discus all the time.

    Tank pictures generally has a +green from the glass, + yellow green from the water, and reflected elements in the tank. [more green if planted etc]

    I think we see what we want to see. I once colour corrected a fish I thought was supposed to be blue but it was actually a green fish.
    You can if you dare to fail - Stan Chung

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