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Thread: Should WB always be corrected?

  1. #1

    Default Should WB always be corrected?

    Hello all, as my post count suggests, im also a newbie here

    So far all the articles I've read tell you about how to correct WB so that a white piece of paper still looks white, no matter the real-life lighting conditions. However, I could not find info on whether or not it is sometimes better to leave the "tint/hue" to that which the human eye saw in the scene. In order words dont correct the WB.

    For a more concrete example, here is my novice hands on a 35mm/1.8 lens, D90, 1/40 Speed (Apeture priority), F1.8, Cool-white fluroscent WB setting (!)

    #1

    During the event, to my human eye, the lighting is quite close to this. Lighting is quite dark and amberish.

    #2

    This is after some post in PS

    This is actually for an event, so all the other photos for the event need to have the same "WB look". Will it be acceptable for photos for an event to look very different (photo #2) compared to real-life (photo #1)? My concern is if the event organizers will be shocked that an amber-lit room becomes whitish. Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    Quote Originally Posted by rubberbands View Post
    Hello all, as my post count suggests, im also a newbie here

    So far all the articles I've read tell you about how to correct WB so that a white piece of paper still looks white, no matter the real-life lighting conditions. However, I could not find info on whether or not it is sometimes better to leave the "tint/hue" to that which the human eye saw in the scene. In order words dont correct the WB.

    For a more concrete example, here is my novice hands on a 35mm/1.8 lens, D90, 1/40 Speed (Apeture priority), F1.8, Cool-white fluroscent WB setting (!)

    #1

    During the event, to my human eye, the lighting is quite close to this. Lighting is quite dark and amberish.

    #2

    This is after some post in PS

    This is actually for an event, so all the other photos for the event need to have the same "WB look". Will it be acceptable for photos for an event to look very different (photo #2) compared to real-life (photo #1)? My concern is if the event organizers will be shocked that an amber-lit room becomes whitish. Thanks!
    You should check with the organizers what they are looking for, if they want to retain the hue then just leave it, if they want it corrected then you shld correct the WB.

  3. #3
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    anyone would tell you that pix #2 is preferable.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    i normally give #2 . . . most people prefer #2 than #1 . . .

    That is why they called it WB, to balance the white with the table cloth in this case.
    Shot more cos digital is FREE !!!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    #2 is more preferred but I thought WB is supposed to reflect how true to the original colour ?

    I believed especially in hotel, the colour is supposed to be more amber as of the lightning used.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    Hmm... personally I would prefer #1 to #2 as it's closer to what my eye saw (and remembered) of the scene. But I only shoot for my own family, which could be why I prefer staying as "true" to the scene as possible for remembrance sake. (I.e. not pro, not even part-timer)

    Like what spree86 said, best to check with the organizers what they want?
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  7. #7
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    I prefer #2 to #1, though I think you went a little too far in correcting the 'red-ness' in #2. Probably somewhere in between is the preferred option. Depends on individual I suppose. Maybe better to check with the person you are handing the photos to.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    for me, it will be on a case by case basis

    if to compare you case photos, i would tweak the photo to somewhere in-between because the first photo is really too warm and the 2nd is too neutral(abit of colortone will set the mood)

  9. #9
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    So to sum it up...

    Correct WB to the point when you like what you see.


  10. #10
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    Depends on the requirements as well as mood... Some will prefer a slightly warmer picture but not too warm.

    Some prefer a slightly cooler look. it's all subjective.

    The lens and flash used can also do a part in changing this factor.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    anyone would tell you that pix #2 is preferable.
    It is a matter of taste. Germans generally like their pictures cold. Americans like their pictures warm.

    Personally, I think #2 is way too cold... I'd put back a little more temperature... to give it a hint of tungsten. However, we have to be careful here. From experience, the warmth tend to get 'exagerated' in print because our eyes adjust when we view our monitors, but it does not adjust when we view hard copies.

  12. #12
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    Quote Originally Posted by nottipiglet View Post
    It is a matter of taste. Germans generally like their pictures cold. Americans like their pictures warm.

    Personally, I think #2 is way too cold... I'd put back a little more temperature... to give it a hint of tungsten. However, we have to be careful here. From experience, the warmth tend to get 'exagerated' in print because our eyes adjust when we view our monitors, but it does not adjust when we view hard copies.
    TS only show two, so from these two to pick one, most people will pick #2, but it dose not mean #2 is good, just that more acceptable.

    do you see my point?
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    i agreed with you . . . #2 is much more acceptable.

    I personally prefer #1 . . . but . . . clients always have the final say.
    Shot more cos digital is FREE !!!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    TS only show two, so from these two to pick one, most people will pick #2, but it dose not mean #2 is good, just that more acceptable.

    do you see my point?
    True. Most people would prefer #2 as per above.

    The WB of #1 can work if the TS increases the brigtness (and contrast correspondingly). I have seen pictures with tungsten lighting that works.
    Last edited by nottipiglet; 7th October 2010 at 04:40 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    i give both. and leave the headache to the client.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    Yes, and hold it consistently. Most photogs correct or adjust the image singularly on it's own, it always looks great. But when you put a few of them together or appear on a page, errrrh…….different skin tone, greys and shadows. It would be challenging, …..consistency. Our eyes cannot measure shades of greys but can detect differences very accurately.
    just1book, no kidding!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winsonapm View Post
    Yes, and hold it consistently. Most photogs correct or adjust the image singularly on it's own, it always looks great. But when you put a few of them together or appear on a page, errrrh…….different skin tone, greys and shadows. It would be challenging, …..consistency. Our eyes cannot measure shades of greys but can detect differences very accurately.
    This is a very good statement. If not given a choice, it may already look good ad it is. Face with two possibilities, both weakness may be presented so it might make things worse instead of better

  18. #18
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    boss Winson is right, inconsistently of images in color balance is very easy spotted when it printed.

    anyway, TS you can try get these two images printed, tell the lab not to do any color and density correction, than from the judging the both prints, tell us what is your finding?
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    Thank you so much for your insightful inputs, and taking the time to post here to help me (and any other newbies) improve

    Quote Originally Posted by arctos View Post
    Hmm... personally I would prefer #1 to #2 as it's closer to what my eye saw (and remembered) of the scene. But I only shoot for my own family, which could be why I prefer staying as "true" to the scene as possible for remembrance sake. (I.e. not pro, not even part-timer)

    Like what spree86 said, best to check with the organizers what they want?
    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    I prefer #2 to #1, though I think you went a little too far in correcting the 'red-ness' in #2. Probably somewhere in between is the preferred option. Depends on individual I suppose. Maybe better to check with the person you are handing the photos to.

    After going for the "real-life correct" (white tablecloth) WB in PShop, I realise that this causes faces in some photos to lose their "rosiness". The "tradeoff" is quite boggling

    Quote Originally Posted by Winsonapm View Post
    Yes, and hold it consistently. Most photogs correct or adjust the image singularly on it's own, it always looks great. But when you put a few of them together or appear on a page, errrrh…….different skin tone, greys and shadows. It would be challenging, …..consistency. Our eyes cannot measure shades of greys but can detect differences very accurately.
    Consistent WB was my intention, but after going through 100 or so shots I realised this is much harder to do without having individual shots having some weird tints. Even harder is having a mix of flash and non-flash shots.

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    So to sum it up...
    Correct WB to the point when you like what you see.
    What about during the shooting itself, how would one consider whether to shoot in "current lighting wrong WB" or "White tablecloth correct WB"? I realised this is potentially quite a biggie as many event venues like ballrooms have amber light instead of white fluroscent.
    The following photo is by Kensaw in his Mininior Photography thread I hope he will be ok with me using it as an example..


    If this scene was shot in the "correct" WB, this photo would not have much meaning anymore.
    Last edited by rubberbands; 8th October 2010 at 05:43 PM. Reason: bb code

  20. #20
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should WB always be corrected?

    Btw, there is a difference in correct white balance and a white balance balance in multiple source light scene.

    There is a mix of tungsten and fluorescent lighting and in that kind of scenario, you can only hope to achieve a more pleasing mix.
    Michael Lim
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