This is a spin off from the Setting White Balance topic. When I was reading through that thread, I wanted to know more about how best to get it right. I am a keen novice in the U/W photography game. I am just past the point and push stage, but not yet up to the DSLR knobs and whistles stage; I have a P+S with an external Inon strobe (although the temptation to DSLR is enormous) and I shoot almost exclusively in blue waters.
So now I have a question in three parts...
Really aimed at Alex, but all comers welcome.
I have just read through Alex Mustards article in UwP 42 entitled "Strobes and water colour". My distillation of understanding runs like this....
- P+S cameras assess the white balance of the picture and set it for you.
- If you add a cool (Inon) type strobe, the camera will compensate the foreground - which makes the background less blue (more green).
- If you add a warm (Subtronic) type strobe, the camera will compensate the foreground - which makes the background more blue (less green).
- You can compensate for this with filters, for my Inon, adding a 1/8 CT straw lighting gel.
The next parts to the question spring from reading about these diffusers. The spiel for the Inon blue diffusers says "This diffuser is used with compact cameras that tend to give a reddish-yellow hue in your photo. The diffuser renders a more natural color tone because of its blue tint." This suggested to me that P+S cameras get the white balance wrong when using a strobe...so....
Manual white balance.
The Setting White Balance topic talked a lot about how to set your manual white balance. You must have removed the camera from Auto mode to do this, so does all the stuff about the camera assessing the white balance and setting it (in PART 1) still apply? Do I need to worry about warming up my Inon strobe if I am setting manual white balance?
Also, in the Setting White Balance topic Cathy Church said "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." Well my Ixus has Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom WB settings, so I can set Cloudy. Does the " warming the strobe" apply now?
Magic fliters seem to be designed for ambient light and Auto WB. Can you use them with a set WB and a strobe.
Thanks for bearing with me through what seems to have become a convoluted question. I am off to bed now having finished a night shift (which is probably why my brain is tied up in knots over this whole WB thing.)