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setting white balance?


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#1 Biodiversity_guy

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 08:00 PM

This is all new to me. Reading some of the other posts, folks talk about setting up different "customized white balances" depending on depth, strobes, ambient light, etc.

Is setting/resetting white balance a relative easy thing to do? Point the sensors at a grey object and get a reading? I am hoping to get a Canon G9, with the OEM housing.

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge!

Edited by Biodiversity_guy, 27 April 2008 - 08:21 AM.


#2 jeremypayne

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 10:05 AM

This is all new to me. Reading some of the other posts, folks talk about setting up different "customized white balances" depending on depth, strobes, ambient light, etc.

Is setting/resetting white balance a relative easy thing to do? Point the sensors at a grey object and get a reading? I am hoping to get a Canon G9, with the OEM housing.

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge!

I use a diverse coral landscape or a sandy bottom - both seem to work well.

Keep in mind white balance is distance dependent underwater ... so do the custom balance off something at your shooting distance.

The G9 has two custom setttings ... when I dive I use C1 for strobes and C2 for ambient light.
Jeremy Payne
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#3 Elainew

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 10:12 AM

I wear a small arm slate and use that for white balancing at various points in the dive. It becomes second nature once you start doing it.

#4 Halabriel

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 09:24 PM

I have a white credit card sized plastic luggage tag that I keep clipped to my BC. I hold it at arms length to do the white balance. I like Elaine's arm slate idea though. I've got one somewhere - maybe I should ressurect it.

Cheers

Hal
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#5 Cathy

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 10:04 AM

I have a white credit card sized plastic luggage tag that I keep clipped to my BC. I hold it at arms length to do the white balance. I like Elaine's arm slate idea though. I've got one somewhere - maybe I should ressurect it.

Cheers

Hal


If you have a nice external strobe, you may not have to worry so much about white balance. There is a lot to be said for just setting the white balance on cloudy, and letting your strobe provide wonderful color on the foreground.

Enjoy the journey,
Cathy Church
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#6 sgietler

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 10:32 AM

hey BDG

yes, its quite easy to do.

setting custom white balance is mainly used if you are shooting ambient light only, not if your strobes are turned on.

I find the best way is to bring something white down with you, like a small dive slate.

It's best to re-do the custom white balance if you move up or down 10ft or so in the water column, or every 5ft if you are very shallow.

it works great in sunny, shallow water for wide-angle photos.

Its very important to custom white balance when shooting ambient light if you are shooting in JPEG mode. if you use raw mode, its not as important since you can change the white balance in the raw editor and you haven't thrown away any data.

hope this helps

Scott

#7 Alastair

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 10:01 PM

I'm all for the cloudy white balance......

always provides nice colours. spent all that money on strobes let them do the work. And if you are shooting RAW you can always tweak it after the event.

Regards,

Alastair
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#8 TimG

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:11 AM

I don't know if the G9 can produce RAW files (rather than JPGs) but if it can, this gives you very good control of WB. You can change the WB through software.

If you don't want to manually WB underwater and you don't have RAW, you could just use your strobe and set the camera to Auto WB. It'll do a pretty good job.

Tim

(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)


#9 blueskys4ever

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 10:20 AM

The G9 does have RAW file mode. Each picture may use 15mb of your card, so you will need to get a large capacity memory card.

#10 improv

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 05:44 PM

Hey, I'm a noob with a ikelite housing for my 40D and the DS51 strobe....will the cloudy preset give me good results in the pool? I shoot in about 4 feet of water and try to get as close to my subjects as I can.

You may check out a couple of my test shots here: www.improvphoto.com/wordpress

I had the camera on auto WB and as you can see, two different results from pretty much the same distance. What I want to do is to get a consistent color right out of the camera so I have to do minor tweaks in Lightroom....I will try the cloudy WB on the reccommendations here.

Thanks in advance,
MP

#11 Stephen H.

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:12 PM

On these forums it has been mentioned that the Canon G9 "Cloudy" WB setting has some issues. Namely the images turn out too yellow.
I can verify from my own experiences this is the case with the Canon G7 on the cloudy setting; sliding the bar from yellow to blue on PS3 has done wonders for some of my macro shots.

WA I cannot really say...I don't do to much WA with the G7

Stephen
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#12 keidavies

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 09:32 PM

The G9 does have RAW file mode. Each picture may use 15mb of your card, so you will need to get a large capacity memory card.


wow i never knew that raw images took up so much space on your cards... will be bearing that in mind when i get a new camera - thanks!

#13 Pigphy

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 10:36 PM

Shoot in RAW is the best. It gives you room to make changes. "Never will u say that you took a shot and it turns out ugly or well composed pixz ruined by poor setting."

Even though shooting in RAW takes up a lot of space on the card, there are the High Capacity storage media available. Coupled with <external portable media storage> devices like image banks and such, it will be well worth it.

Think of it this way, u travel half way round the world for that "perfect" dive holiday, get some nice pictures to complement yer holiday.

#14 Tim Digger

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 01:01 PM

There seems to be two different approaches to the problem of white balance in U/W photos.
In summary:
1. Shoot RAW leave the white balance on auto and use strobes to illuminate subject with manual settings for 1/2 to 1 stop underexposure for the background water and a variable strobe intensity whether with manual or TTL to just produce appropriate colour in the foreground. This leaves you with a RAW file that can be tweeked post shot with minimal loss of definition etc.
2. Shoot jpeg use white balance appropriate for depth or done each time for the shot, and use available light and hope that the shot is appropriately coloured.

Each has advantages and disadvantages.
Method one will if correctly exposed give fully saturated well colour balanced photos and the control of shutter speed and aperture that is needed for high quality images. It has inherently more variables and beyond about 20m depth even in tropical waters is the only way to produce images with a reasonable amount of red light in the palette. It is more difficult because of the number of variables that need controlling, and expense of decent strobes.
Method two uses the camera to control exposure on available light, and provided white balance is easy to perform on the camera (underwater and each time) or filters are used to improve colour balance then will produce images that have a generally good quality and colour balance with less variation needing post shot correction.

I do not believe that either method is exclusive, though shooting RAW files does allow for a greater freedom in post processing. Memory these days should not be an issue. Plus there is a delete button that should be used!
Tim Digger
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#15 jeremypayne

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 01:45 PM

Equipment capabilities aside for a moment, as a digital photographer, one has some choices that are touched upon in the preceding post ... but I wouldn't reduce it to two options ... Here are two of the choices mentioned and my own thoughts:

*** Shoot RAW or JPEG?

If one chooses, RAW - regardless of any other choices - one can set the white balance after the fact ... but it doesn't hurt to get it right in the camera.

If one chooses JPEG - regardless of any other choices - one needs to get the WB correct in the camera as it is much tougher to fix in post.

*** Use strobes or ambient light?

This is a different and independent decision. One can shoot RAW + Strobes, RAW + Ambient, JPEG + Strobes, JPEG + Ambient ...

One's strobes' color temperature is what should determine the WB setting when using strobes ... whether shooting RAW or JPEG, the color temperature of the strobes is what you are seeking to match in your processing - whether in camera or in post. If using strobes and shooting RAW, you can defer this to post ... if using strobes and shooting JPEGs, it is best to get this right in the camera.

If shooting with ambient light, WB is depth (and distance) dependent ... but again, if shooting RAW there is no urgency other than post-production efficiency to getting it "right" in the camera and if shooting JPEGs one needs to get it as right as possible in the camera.

When shooting with ambient light at depth, filters are a great help in achieving a good white balance.
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#16 Tim Digger

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 09:24 AM

Jeremy you put it far better than I did. I would agree that strobes are an independant variable, my thinking was that with a strobe with balanced ambient lighting the whole question of colour balance becomes much more difficult and setting for ambient white balance can produce some strange extremes. Usually the auto white balance handles this situation well and use of RAW allows, as you say for minor post processing better than jpeg and with less underwater tasks.
Tim Digger
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#17 Edward Lai

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 12:42 AM

This a picture taken with ambient light only, with a 85C filter and pre-set white balance.


Posted Image

Edited by Edward Lai, 22 December 2008 - 03:33 AM.


#18 Steve Williams

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 08:45 AM

Hi Guys,
I noticed in Alex's video on using the Magic Filters he always sets his white balance before each series of shots. I always shot RAW and I don't understand the need to WB as Alex decribes. What am I missing?

Cheers,
Steve

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#19 jeremypayne

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 08:56 AM

Hi Guys,
I noticed in Alex's video on using the Magic Filters he always sets his white balance before each series of shots. I always shot RAW and I don't understand the need to WB as Alex decribes. What am I missing?

Cheers,
Steve

Steve - I think it just saves you time in post if you have it nailed in camera. I've shot RAW with the Magic Filters and gone both ways ... sometimes setting and resetting all the time and other times just letting it fly.

If you have the time and inclination to "get it right" in post, I don't think it should matter.
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#20 ce4jesus

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 10:03 AM

Steve,
After reading Alex's article about a year ago on "muddy blues" I tended to start paying attention to the blues in my shots. If you white balance the RAW file after shooting, the blues tend to be a muddy color. Adjust sliders in Photoshop tends to help with this but raises noise in the blue background. Shooting to get the blues right underwater, helps eliminate the muddy appearance of the blues and gives you a pleasing blue background with low noise. I wish I could reference the article, but can't remember where I read it.
Gary
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