For this exercise I had to study my camera manual to make sure I was able to change the white balance settings.
On my camera it is rather easy to change the settings as there is a secondary display on the rear of the camera as shown:-
It didn’t take long to find the section in the manual that I needed and to have all the settings I needed.
The following symbols are used to assist you:-
The K stands for Kelvin. The Kelvin scale is named after the 1st Baron Kelvin , William Thomson. (1824–1907). He devised the scale which is a measurement of temperature. How does the scale represent the light as it changes during the day in relation to both natural and man-made light?
If you take no notice of the white balance setting on your camera then you will only see the results when you see the images on your computer. There will be a blue, green or yellow cast to your images.
You can alter the white balance in post production , but I think it is more professional and will save you time if you check the settings before you take the images. Of course it means that you have to shoot raw images. This is where I have an advantage. I can shoot raw and jpeg at the same time, saving the images to two different compact flash cards.
It was helpful for this exercise that I had the reading material sent to me a few months ago as there is not much bright sun-shine around as winter closes in. Some of these
images were taken months ago with this exercise in mind.
As I am trying to do before each exercise I do a little research on the subject, both on-line and in the library, Dorking’s new library looks as though it is nearly finished by the way. Two books caught my eye.
Understanding exposure, by Andy Stansfield
Mr Stansfield talks at great length on this subject on page 38.
He gives his readers an excellent tip, shoot a few images in raw and “play” with them on your computer.
For the first part of the exercise I had to take four types of setting and shoot 16 images with the following white balance settings:-
- Open shade on a sunny day
I then had to examine and compare each of the images to see which one I liked.
Here are my images for Sunlight.
Here are my images for cloudy
Here are my images for open shade on a cloudy day
For my next set of images , using auto white balance , I went to a book shop to catch light from the outside falling on the books that were also illuminated by electric lights.
Images Auto setting
Well after looking at the above images which do I like best. It would be very easy to say that the auto setting has enabled the camera to take the best images, but I do not think that this is the case.
In the first set of images, of the Sea-King I like the image with the sunlight setting. I like cloudy setting in the second set of images and also in the third. However in the last set of images I do like the auto setting the three other settings are not to my liking.
In relation to the first image I did a further test in light room and produced the following image.
Here is my chosen image , next to the computer selected image
This last image made me really think of how much improvement there can be with a little work on the computer, the lower image looks washed out. What do you think ?
As I said earlier the importance of shooting raw files is brought home here, if I had only shot jpegs then I would not have been able to create the second image.
For the second part of this exercise I had to shoot three images using white balance settings of
In the last three images I think that the Auto WB setting has captured the image more to my liking. This is especially true when you look at the house across the road.
Another interesting exercise, which has helped me get to know more of the features of my camera.
What are the main things that I can take from this exercise.
- Read the course notes well in advance.
- Again always have the camera with you, images that I had previously took came in handy.
- Shoot RAW and Jpeg.
- Have extra memory cards with you as shooting both formats takes up more space.
- All is not lost if you forget the set the white balance, just leaving it on auto though is not to be recommended, unless you’re after a quick shot that would be better than no shot!