White balance question

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White balance question

Post by krismunk »

Question from a terrible photographer sadly lacking in technical understanding:

When I look at my photos on my camera they look fine.
When I upload them to my desktop and look at them on my screen they look horrible. The temperature is completely messed up.
When I look at other people's pictures on my desktop they look fine.
What happens and what can I do about it (as any bad photographer I shoot in jpeg - not by conscious choice, just by default)?

Example: This looks good on my camera (wish I could show you...)


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Re: White balance question

Post by MonarchzMan »

I use an X-Rite Colorchecker Passport which basically allows me to color correct in Lightroom. You can either take representative under various lighting conditions (full sun, cloudy, forested, etc) or take photos with and without the passport with the subject to get exact lighting conditions with the subject. I use the former scenario because it will create a lighting profile that is specific to my lens and body combination. Then all I have to do is select the profile in Lightroom and the photo will be color corrected. Sometimes, I tweak the white balance after doing that, but in general, I'm happy with the change.

Just be sure you're taking photos in RAW. If you do that, you can shoot with auto white balance and correct in post, if necessary.

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Re: White balance question

Post by chrish »

A couple of suggestions. Don't try to remedy this with herp photos taken out of doors, remedy it with photos taken under controlled conditions.

Take a photo of a multicolored object that has some white and some black with a flash indoors from pretty close.
Look at it on your camera LCD (zoomed in)
Is the white white? Is the black black? Do the colors match up with the real object?

Now look at the same picture on your computer monitor.
Is the white white?, etc.

This way you can figure out where the problem is (i.e. the camera or the monitor).

As for how to fix it, there are several options.

1. Adjust your monitor using an online comparison tool like http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/
2. Check your camera's auto white balance setting. Try using flash and use the flash white balance setting. Any improvement.
3. Shoot raw. That way you can get the white balance adjusted perfectly on the computer with no loss of image quality.

There are too many variables unknown to pin this down, but do the test of a known color object in a known white-balance setting first and that will at least help you understand where the problem is.

Once you get comfortable with your camera's white balance accuracy, you can shoot herp pictures without worrying about it.

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