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Foundations of Photography: Exposure
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Adjusting white balance manually


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Foundations of Photography: Exposure

with Ben Long

Video: Adjusting white balance manually

You have seen that white balance is the key to getting accurate color in your images, and you have probably already discovered that auto white balance does a pretty good job most of the time. In bright daylight, tungsten light, several different kinds of fluorescent light--even in mixed lighting situations-- auto white balance can do a good job of figuring out a white balance setting that will give you good color. What can trip up white balance on many cameras is shade. So it's going to vary from camera to camera. You are going to want to check it out on yours. Let me show you what I mean though. I am going to take a portrait of Samara here, and let's start which my exposure settings.
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  1. 8m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 56s
    2. What is exposure?
      4m 8s
    3. A word about camera brands
      2m 40s
  2. 9m 32s
    1. What is a camera?
      2m 53s
    2. The shutter
      3m 53s
    3. The aperture
      1m 33s
    4. Exposure defined
      1m 13s
  3. 13m 50s
    1. Modes
      2m 7s
    2. Pressing the shutter button
      2m 54s
    3. Autofocus
      5m 22s
    4. Light metering
      2m 3s
    5. White balance
      1m 24s
  4. 29m 26s
    1. Shooting sharp images
      1m 58s
    2. Noting shutter speed
      4m 3s
    3. Taking control of shutter speed
      1m 30s
    4. Stop defined
      2m 50s
    5. Shutter priority mode
      4m 34s
    6. Exercise: Shutter speed
      40s
    7. Reciprocity
      3m 13s
    8. Controlling motion
      7m 8s
    9. Shutter speed increments
      2m 21s
    10. Exercise: Go work with shutter speed
      1m 9s
  5. 26m 3s
    1. Depth of field
      1m 53s
    2. How aperture is measured
      2m 42s
    3. Aperture priority mode
      4m 57s
    4. Lens speed
      53s
    5. Shooting deep depth of field
      3m 53s
    6. Shooting shallow depth of field
      2m 50s
    7. The depth-of-field preview button
      4m 24s
    8. How shallow should you be?
      2m 47s
    9. Exercise: Go work with aperture
      1m 44s
  6. 16m 26s
    1. ISO: The third exposure parameter
      6m 27s
    2. Assessing your camera's high ISO
      5m 32s
    3. Shooting in low light
      3m 32s
    4. Exercise: Shooting in low light
      55s
  7. 14m 30s
    1. White balance controls
      5m 37s
    2. Adjusting white balance manually
      4m 25s
    3. Shooting raw
      4m 28s
  8. 6m 3s
    1. How light meters work
      1m 47s
    2. Why are there different modes?
      4m 16s
  9. 33m 59s
    1. Exposure compensation
      4m 0s
    2. Intentional overexposure
      2m 40s
    3. Intentional underexposure
      1m 42s
    4. Controlling tone
      2m 31s
    5. The histogram
      10m 4s
    6. Real-world histograms
      5m 49s
    7. Tone and color
      2m 16s
    8. Auto exposure bracketing
      3m 58s
    9. Exercise: Go work with exposure compensation
      59s
  10. 12m 56s
    1. Dynamic range
      2m 24s
    2. Exposing for highlights
      4m 15s
    3. Fill flash
      3m 11s
    4. Three solutions to the same problem
      3m 6s
  11. 12m 26s
    1. Manual mode
      2m 6s
    2. Manual mode and light meters
      4m 52s
    3. Manual exposure exercise
      5m 28s
  12. 12m 1s
    1. Custom modes and A-DEP
      1m 39s
    2. Program shift
      3m 52s
    3. Exposure compensation with program shift
      1m 58s
    4. An exercise in reciprocity
      53s
    5. Scene modes and in-camera processing
      3m 39s
  13. 8m 16s
    1. Shooting with post production in mind
      3m 46s
    2. Exposure strategy
      3m 51s
    3. Goodbye
      39s

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Foundations of Photography: Exposure
3h 24m Appropriate for all Dec 23, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Arriving at the best exposure for a photo is part science and part art. In Foundations of Photography: Exposure, Ben Long helps photographers expand their artistic options by giving them a deep understanding of shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and all other critical exposure practices. This course covers the basic exposure controls provided by all digital SLR cameras, as well as most advanced point-and-shoot models. Learn how to master a camera's metering modes, how to use exposure compensation and bracketing, and much more. By the end of the course, you'll know how to develop an "exposure strategy" that will allow you to effectively employ your exposure knowledge in any shooting situation.

Topics include:
  • What is exposure?
  • Exploring camera modes
  • Light metering
  • Shooting sharp images
  • Controlling shutter speed
  • Understanding f-stops
  • Controlling motion
  • Working with a shallow depth of field
  • Measuring aperture
  • Shooting in low light conditions
  • Performing manual light balance
  • Working with the histogram
  • Using fill flash
  • Understanding reciprocity
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear Photography Foundations Lighting
Author:
Ben Long

Adjusting white balance manually

You have seen that white balance is the key to getting accurate color in your images, and you have probably already discovered that auto white balance does a pretty good job most of the time. In bright daylight, tungsten light, several different kinds of fluorescent light--even in mixed lighting situations-- auto white balance can do a good job of figuring out a white balance setting that will give you good color. What can trip up white balance on many cameras is shade. So it's going to vary from camera to camera. You are going to want to check it out on yours. Let me show you what I mean though. I am going to take a portrait of Samara here, and let's start which my exposure settings.

I am on auto white balance. I want to blur out the background, so that's going to mean a wide aperture. So I am aperture priority mode. I have opened my lens up all the way to f 4. That's as wide open as I go on this particular lens. When I meter that, I get a shutter speed of a 45th of a second. That's little slow for someone who is just trying to stand there for a long while I talk. So I am going to up my ISO. If I take my ISO up ISO 400, that buys me two stops, which gets me up to a 180th. That's going to be good for really making sure that she is sharp.

So let me take the shot, and here you can see we've got a white balance problem. Now, you may not spot it right away. You may go, "Well, I don't know. That looks okay." Your eye is constantly correcting the color that you are seeing. Let me show you what it looks like if we switch to a different white balance. Right now, she doesn't have a lot of warmth in her skin. She has got a kind of cold pallor that we want to get rid of. So I am going to switch my camera's white balance over to shady white balance and take another shot.

This is already looking much better. Look at the difference. She is much warmer. Her skin actually has some color to it. She is starting to look a little orange though, and that may be because the shade preset on this particular camera just isn't right for this particular type of shade. Depending on how much coverage there is, what time of day it is, we can have a lot of variations from one type of shade to another. So I am going to switch to another white balance preset. And as you have seen already, these presets are simply the camera manufactures idea of what a correct white balance setting is for particular circumstances.

I am now in cloudy white balance. So let's take an example of that. This is better. She is still little bit too orange. So what I want to do now is switch to a full manual white balance. Again, these presets are the factory ideas of what is a good white balance setting for a particular situation, but let's actually just build a white balance for this exact situation. Most cameras, particularly digital SLR, will have a fully manual white balance option. Now the way this is going to work is I have here a white piece of paper. I am going to give this to her.

She is going to hold it up. Now I am getting it to her because I need this white piece of paper in the light where I am shooting. If I was to simply hold it out here, this is no good because this is all lit up. That's not where she is standing. So I am going to give this her and ask her to hold it, and I am going to take a shot of it. It doesn't tell matter what my camera settings are. I am going ahead and just stick it back on white balance for a minute. I am going to zoom in, and I am going to take a shot, and this is all it is. It's a shot of a white piece of paper. One thing to note is if you fill the entire frame with the white piece of paper, you may trip up your camera's auto focus mechanism.

So I leave a little bit of an edge, so I can focus on that. Take a shot of the white piece of paper. Now I am just going to take this out of her hand because we are done with that. Thank you very much. What I do now--and this is going to vary from camera to camera--on this particular camera, what I do is I go into the menu, and I tell it this picture that I took is the source for my white balance setting. It's going to analyze that and say okay. Now on the top of the camera, I dial in manual white balance, and I am ready to take another shot. So let's do that.

Here is the result. It's not dramatically different from cloudy white balance, but it is little bit better. It's a little less saturated. So in most cases, if you can manage to pull off a manual white that's the way to go-- a fully manual white balance of getting a white object out there and focusing your white balance mechanism on it. It's going to particularly be good in shady situations like this. Mixed lighting situations, say you have got sun light streaming into a fluorescently lit office somewhere-- that can really confuse in auto mechanism. There will be other times where it's just not possible to get a white object out there into your scene, because maybe you are shooting a landscape, or it's too far away, or something like that, and for those time there is another option.

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