Photography: Finding beauty in life through the view of a lens
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Learning Custom White Balance
This last week I met someone who has a little gadget that helps you set the WB in the camera by measuring the actual light for a given shot through the use of the custom WB feature of most DSLR cameras.Since I have struggled in overcast conditions to get a proper WB,I was intrigued so I went to my local camera store to see one and see what the difference was for myself.The item looks like a filter to be put at the end of your lens,and through special glass layers accurately gives the camera a 18% grey scale to set the WB off of.It is called the expodisc.I compared it to using a grey scale card that cost $7.The difference was noticable in the lighting of the store.Besides with a grey card you have to hold the card next to your subject and shoot the photo to set the WB,making it a bit difficult unless you have a helper.w The expodisc is held right up to your lens while focusing at your subject.
Since I could not afford the expodisc at the store, I went online to check out what was available.I found the same company made a expocap,wich is similar,only made of opaque white acrylic.It too is held to the front of the lens while setting a custom WB.(There were some cheap plastic knock offs too,but they looked too cheesy to really work the same)At half the stores price for the expodisc I decided to give expocap a try.
It arrived today,and I went out in the shade of the lilacs this afternoon to attempt to do custom WB settings on the sweet autumn clematis just starting to bloom as well as a pink single rose.I was amazed at how bright and crisp the pink came,and how closely it appeared to what I was seeing,I was equally surprised at the quality of the white in the clematis bloom. With the custum WB feature you have got to adjust to any different light making it something you have to change if you move locations or the ligt changes,But when I am doing macros on subjects that are not going anywhere time is not an issue, and I can't tell you how much time I have spent struggling to find a decent WB only to give up when I could not get what I thought was a decent color no matter how hard I tried. Under indoor conditions you should be able to set it once and have consistant results from that point forward unless someone turns off a light.