White Balance Findings


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sehsuan

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#1
has anyone encountered the apparent odd yellowish cast on photos produced especially using nikon's digital slr's? it's not the fault of the camera in anyway - nikons are indeed one of the better camera brands out there with a large user base - there have been a few interesting shots i've seen before, but possibly ruined by a severe colour cast. watcher did mention to me it's possibly a scenario of some nikon dslr users blindly following the settings used up in the northern hemisphere by nikon users - setting their cameras to cloudly +3 (or was it, cloudy -3?) for their white balance.

this is apparently what happens - the cloudy white balance is meant to remove the slight blue/greyish cast in the scene and adding a little missing yellow in the frame, which is apparently great for temperate region users, because for some muggy climated regions (think: grey skies aplenty), it's always cloudy! but when this approach is adopted in singapore, due to the our excessive sunlight most of the time throughout the year, factoring the sun's own yellowish cast, plus the cloudy white balance's extra addition of yellow (accentuated with the +3 setting), skin tones are unrealistically jaundiced! in fact, everything looks skewed! so if one enjoys inflicting a bout of jaundice on their photographic subjects, don't say i didn't help to enlighten you! for the uninitiated, the white balance setting on your camera is one of the most important, the function it serves is to correct the entire scene to show its true colours under white light. if it's for what i call, bringing out the atmosphere or the mood/feel of a place, you can try to use some funny white balance mode. but most of the time, you would want to see the real colours of the scene, that's why you can select the mode. and that's also why there's daylight and tungsten white balanced film on the market.


auto wb


daylight wb


shade wb


cloudy wb


tungsten wb


fluorescent wb


flash wb

for your information, auto white balance works best in this case, of a shot of my room. my room walls are white. see what cloudy white balance does to it? the big question is, do people buy into a camera system just so because they think it's the best? do people set their cameras to a fixed setting (such as a certain white balance setting) and don't think much further than that, why they should be using it?

sure feels like i'm writing a tutorial for newbie dslr users tonight. interesting indeed! by the way, i'm still experimenting :bsmilie:
 

Zerstorer

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#2
You might want to confirm and firmly establish some of your facts before starting anything again.

The premise of your "article" is correct but I question your motives and agenda. The way you have presented this is design with a delibrate slant in mind.
 

sehsuan

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#3
nah. let me include some of the photos i took today with the wrong white balance settings...


Cloudy WB - bad choice, thought I should use this since the sky was overcast. tried to reduce saturation of yellows, but still cast heavily in yellow. not sure if i can revive the real colours or not, certainly not with my current skill level.


Auto WB - more correct, but generally still greyish.
 

Zerstorer

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#4
sehsuan said:
has anyone encountered the apparent odd yellowish cast on photos produced especially using nikon's digital slr's? it's not the fault of the camera in anyway - nikons are indeed one of the better camera brands out there with a large user base - there have been a few interesting shots i've seen before, but possibly ruined by a severe colour cast. watcher did mention to me it's possibly a scenario of some nikon dslr users blindly following the settings used up in the northern hemisphere by nikon users - setting their cameras to cloudly +3 (or was it, cloudy -3?) for their white balance.
this is apparently what happens - the cloudy white balance is meant to remove the slight blue/greyish cast in the scene and adding a little missing yellow in the frame, which is apparently great for temperate region users, because for some muggy climated regions (think: grey skies aplenty), it's always cloudy! but when this approach is adopted in singapore, due to the our excessive sunlight most of the time throughout the year, factoring the sun's own yellowish cast, plus the cloudy white balance's extra addition of yellow (accentuated with the +3 setting), skin tones are unrealistically jaundiced! in fact, everything looks skewed! so if one enjoys inflicting a bout of jaundice on their photographic subjects, don't say i didn't help to enlighten you! for the uninitiated, the white balance setting on your camera is one of the most important, the function it serves is to correct the entire scene to show its true colours under white light. if it's for what i call, bringing out the atmosphere or the mood/feel of a place, you can try to use some funny white balance mode. but most of the time, you would want to see the real colours of the scene, that's why you can select the mode. and that's also why there's daylight and tungsten white balanced film on the market.


auto wb


daylight wb


shade wb


cloudy wb


tungsten wb


fluorescent wb


flash wb

for your information, auto white balance works best in this case, of a shot of my room. my room walls are white. see what cloudy white balance does to it? the big question is, do people buy into a camera system just so because they think it's the best? do people set their cameras to a fixed setting (such as a certain white balance setting) and don't think much further than that, why they should be using it?

sure feels like i'm writing a tutorial for newbie dslr users tonight. interesting indeed! by the way, i'm still experimenting :bsmilie:
.............
 

Zerstorer

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#5
An informed person would also state the limitations of auto white balance.
 

sehsuan

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#6
Zerstorer, would you be able to assist me in correcting the first picture to remove the yellow cast? The skies were really heavily blocked with grey clouds (not white clouds), you know, those rain clouds? :(
 

Zerstorer

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#7
sehsuan said:
Zerstorer, would you be able to assist me in correcting the first picture to remove the yellow cast? The skies were really heavily blocked with grey clouds (not white clouds), you know, those rain clouds? :(
The question is, do you want to recreate what you saw with your eye or do you want to have reproduce white as white?

WB settings are determined by intent.
 

sehsuan

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#9
I'll opt for White for White. :)

Tried to use the highlight pointer on the white area on the back of a player in the first picture, but to no avail. The photo now seems so... aged... :embrass:
 

Zerstorer

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#13
sehsuan said:
I'll opt for White for White. :)

Tried to use the highlight pointer on the white area on the back of a player in the first picture, but to no avail. The photo now seems so... aged... :embrass:
Why do you want to reproduce white as white in this case? I need to know your needs and intentions for the shot in order to fulfill your request.:)

Is it to be true-to-life? Or to show colours as they should be in an absolute sense, or to render them in a pleasing manner?

Each motive has a different setting.
 

sehsuan

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#14
to bring out the true colours of the scene. last time i'd thought reproducing what the eye sees, and i couldn't understand why people were telling me my photos were heavily cast in yellow, when in real life the lighting in the indoor hall was all yellow! :D

the purpose of the first thread was to mention, if one decides to shoot with an intention of "showing true colours", the white balance setting is very important, because i'd thought it was pretty impossible (with my level of PS) to revive the actual colours for editorial/report publishing. now it seems to solve a BIG problem i've faced for a long long time! :)

many thanks to Twilo and vonvonz who both show me the Photoshop panacea for the problem! :thumbsup:
 

Zerstorer

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#15
sehsuan said:
to bring out the true colours of the scene.
Still doesn't answer my question.

What do you mean by true colours?

1. Having white reproduced exactly as white and all others in relation.
2. What the eye would see in that exact situation.
3. What pleases you,
 

Zerstorer

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#17
sehsuan said:
oops. choice number one there, true white as white. :)
Was that also your intent when you used Auto WB? Do you always use autoWB when you desire this?

Ok. I'll be posting my corrections in a while.


Then in that case, do you know what was the intention of those nikon users that you mentioned who used the Cloudy WB?
 

sehsuan

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#18
Yup, I use AWB because I still face this hit-or-miss white balance. To prevent my "white" from varying, i'll usually try to use one of the preset modes, and skip using a white card to set Custom WB. where got time in sports, with all the action? :p

regarding the nikon part, that question beats me too. however, Watcher did demonstrate to me when we met up in Starbucks, while chatting over the WB modes, the +/- 3 adjustments. that's where i learnt the extra flexibility of the nikon system :)

by the way, Zerstorer, does Color Balance in PS work on the principle of Complementary Colours, and Colour Wheel?
 

Zerstorer

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#19
What you would see under actual heavy overcast conditions(i.e true to life)

Rendering white as white (assuming the number tag highlights are pure white)

The original shot with Cloudy WB(Intent unknown, but it does give a euphonic/pleasing colour rendering.)


At times, strict colour accuracy may not be warranted or desired. Unless one knows the intent of others when taking a shot, it may not be justifiable to assume that having white reproduced as white is the most appropriate course of action.

As a photographer, you can be trying to create art, document something accurate or simply to inspire and move the human spirit. Each motive may require a different tonal balance to achieve that.

On a further note, autoWB in most systems are limited to a restricted range, ambient colour temps skewed too far in either direction cannot be adequately compensated by the system. Moreover, AutoWB is similar to Evaluative/Matrix metering, i.e camera guesswork. Yes it may work in most easy situations, but its nothing that you can rely on unlike what you alluded to in your first post.
 

sehsuan

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#20
thanks for the edits, Zerstorer. let's say, i want to show the real colours - white as white, and not white as yellowish-white under direct sunlight, theoretically, Daylight WB should cut off some of that excess yellow cast?
 

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