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Manual white balance

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I have read something about this before but forgot about it other then remembering don't really have to do it ...

Do you set manual WB underwater ? Tell me about it ?? Why, why not ??

What depth and how often/repeately you reset it ??

Do you set it w/ strobe on ?

 

Cheers !

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Shoot RAW format and forget about it as you can adjust WB in post production without destroying your image.

 

Mark

 

 

I have read something about this before but forgot about it other then remembering don't really have to do it ...

Do you set manual WB underwater ? Tell me about it ?? Why, why not ??

What depth and how often/repeately you reset it ??

Do you set it w/ strobe on ?

 

Cheers !

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I have read something about this before but forgot about it other then remembering don't really have to do it ...

Do you set manual WB underwater ? Tell me about it ?? Why, why not ??

What depth and how often/repeately you reset it ??

Do you set it w/ strobe on ?

 

Cheers !

Hi CADiver,

 

manual white balance helps to adjust the color temperature with constant, i.e. natural light. I meter and set this when I don't use a strobe, mostly in clear tropical waters and shallow depths to remove a slight color cast and get more natural looking colors. That being said I rarely ever don't use a strobe under water.

 

When connecting a strobe most SLR cameras will automatically set their internal white balance to flash to match its color temperature and won't allow you to use manual WB metering (actually my Nikon D300 does, I suspect others will be similar).

 

While it is true that you can adjust white balance / color temp. in raw photos on the computer easily, this is not a failsafe device against not getting good color to begin with. You can just as easily ruin any photo by adjusting white balance in post processing, just max out the sliders in photoshop/aperture and see how you get color fringes and bleeding.

 

manual wb = natural light

auto wb = flash

 

i stick to this simple approach, but it works for me.

Edited by simonmittag

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When connecting a strobe most SLR cameras will automatically set their internal white balance to flash to match its color temperature and won't allow you to use manual WB metering (actually my Nikon D300 does, I suspect others will be similar).

Are you saying your D300 won't let you set manual white balance when you connect a strobe? If so, I recommend you get your D300 fixed because it is broken. My D300 has always let me set WB to whatever I want when I have a strobe attached, be it a Nikon Speedlight or an Ikelite Substrobe.

 

I used to set up presets for different flash/strobe combinations and just set the WB to the preset for the strobes I was using. The presets were made by shooting a Kodak Gray Card. While this worked well, I often forgot to change the preset between shooting environments. As I was shooting raw it didn't matter a whole lot.

 

Now what I do is pretty much always shoot with WB on the camera set to Sunny. I then have Develop Presets in Lightroom set up for the WB for various conditions and simply apply the preset to all the raw photos. The Develop Presets were created by shooting the Kodak Gray Card under the appropriate conditions and using the Lightroom White Balance Selector do determine the required adjustments. For example, I have a Develop Preset for my D300 when using 2 x Ikelite DS125 strobes.

 

There are very, very few situations where using Auto white balance will give you anything useful and this is especially true for underwater shots. Auto white balance averages the whole scene and assumes that it will be neutral gray. If you have a scene that is predominately a certain colour, the white balance will be wrong. If you have a scene that averages to something other than neutral gray, the white balance will be wrong.

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There are very, very few situations where using Auto white balance will give you anything useful and this is especially true for underwater shots. Auto white balance averages the whole scene and assumes that it will be neutral gray. If you have a scene that is predominately a certain colour, the white balance will be wrong. If you have a scene that averages to something other than neutral gray, the white balance will be wrong.

 

Really? I think you may be selling AutoWB short a bit ... How else can we explain this in-camera 'auto' wb result?

 

This is from a D700 shot with Auto WB and processed in ACR with no adjustment to the defaults. Then I made a copy and averaged the color.

 

post-14536-1252974666.jpg

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That's much better that I would have expected from Auto WB. Perhaps I am selling it short. I think I would still prefer to know that the colours are correct, consistent and repeatable.

 

EDIT: OK, after playing with Auto White Balance with my D300 I am actually very impressed. I had used it with my D70 and found it to be worse than useless but I'm amazed how close the D300 gets it. In fact, it is so good I can't even understand how the camera does it.

Edited by ATJ

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Are you saying your D300 won't let you set manual white balance when you connect a strobe? If so, I recommend you get your D300 fixed because it is broken. My D300 has always let me set WB to whatever I want when I have a strobe attached, be it a Nikon Speedlight or an Ikelite Substrobe.

 

Andrew,

 

I just tried this again with the YS-250 flash attached (via TTL Converter). What I previously didn't get to work was metering (not manual white balance, that always worked). Funny enough this also works now. What happens is that if you hit "WB" for metering it gives you "PRE" (at D-0 WB setting), then if you release shutter it takes one test image including flash and stores the preset (gives "GD" feedback on OSD). Second shutter release takes the actual image. I have no idea why I didn't get this to work previously but my WB button never reacted when I had flash attached. I obviously stand corrected (and happy I can use this feature from now on).

 

Cheers,

 

Simon

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