White balance questions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wannabestar, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. wannabestar

    wannabestar Guest

    Good evening all,

    I have recently been given a Kodak DX6490 camera for Christmas and am
    still getting use to most of it's settings. Now my question, when exactly
    does the camera set it's white balance ?, is it something that it does
    continually or at start up ? I took a few quick snaps tonight from my front
    door of a brilliant orange sunset, even the car in the foreground which is
    white was glowing orange but the shots I took came out showing only a small
    amount of orange detail and the car was totally white. I'm assuming that it
    has something to do with the white balance. Am I wrong ?, should I change
    from auto to daylight ?

    Thanks for any advice ......

    Yes I know George, I should have a SDx

    Dave.
     
    wannabestar, Jan 20, 2004
    #1
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  2. wannabestar

    Alan F Cross Guest

    In message <400d0792$0$14485$>, wannabestar
    <> writes
    >Good evening all,
    >
    > I have recently been given a Kodak DX6490 camera for Christmas and am
    >still getting use to most of it's settings. Now my question, when exactly
    >does the camera set it's white balance ?, is it something that it does
    >continually or at start up ? I took a few quick snaps tonight from my front
    >door of a brilliant orange sunset, even the car in the foreground which is
    >white was glowing orange but the shots I took came out showing only a small
    >amount of orange detail and the car was totally white. I'm assuming that it
    >has something to do with the white balance. Am I wrong ?, should I change
    >from auto to daylight ?
    >
    >Thanks for any advice ......
    >
    >Yes I know George, I should have a SDx
    >
    >Dave.
    >
    >


    Your camera will default to auto white balance, which will find the
    "whitest" thing in the image (as it thinks) and sets that to white - and
    everything else theoretically falls into place. So it's really
    compensating for the over-redness of the scene, which actually you do
    not want it to do! If you really want a sunset to look right, the auto
    white balance will not be right. As the light is very warm, try tungsten
    setting.
    --
    Alan F Cross
     
    Alan F Cross, Jan 20, 2004
    #2
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  3. wannabestar

    Jim Townsend Guest

    wannabestar wrote:

    > Good evening all,
    >
    > I have recently been given a Kodak DX6490 camera for Christmas and am
    > still getting use to most of it's settings. Now my question, when exactly
    > does the camera set it's white balance ?, is it something that it does
    > continually or at start up ? I took a few quick snaps tonight from my front
    > door of a brilliant orange sunset, even the car in the foreground which is
    > white was glowing orange but the shots I took came out showing only a small
    > amount of orange detail and the car was totally white. I'm assuming that it
    > has something to do with the white balance. Am I wrong ?, should I change
    > from auto to daylight ?


    White balance is always working and changes with the scene. As you've
    noticed, it's trying it's hardest to make white, white..

    On the cameras I've used, I've found 'auto' works well for most scenes,
    but it can't do everything.. Thats why they throw in the other modes,
    'sunny', 'tungsten' etc.

    It doesn't hurt to experiment. (And it certainly doesn't cost anything :)
    Try take the same shot several times, changing the white balance each
    time and noting the results. For sunsets, I've found the 'cloudy'
    setting works best.
     
    Jim Townsend, Jan 20, 2004
    #3
  4. wannabestar

    gr Guest

    "Alan F Cross" <> wrote
    > If you really want a sunset to look right, the auto
    > white balance will not be right. As the light is very warm, try tungsten
    > setting.


    No. If he wants the reds and oranges, he should use the daylight setting,
    not the tungsten setting.
     
    gr, Jan 20, 2004
    #4
  5. wannabestar

    Alan F Cross Guest

    In message <buj7ov$ibfk6$-berlin.de>, gr
    <> writes
    >"Alan F Cross" <> wrote
    >> If you really want a sunset to look right, the auto
    >> white balance will not be right. As the light is very warm, try tungsten
    >> setting.

    >
    >No. If he wants the reds and oranges, he should use the daylight setting,
    >not the tungsten setting.
    >
    >


    You're right, of course. My thinking was back to front!
    --
    Alan F Cross
     
    Alan F Cross, Jan 20, 2004
    #5
  6. wannabestar

    Neal Matthis Guest

    I'm getting white balance and exposure confused. If I set the exposure mode
    to center-weighted and I point the camera at a very bright white object, the
    resulting image will be exposed so that the bright white object is neutral
    grey.
    Now, if I also have the white balance mode set to Auto, it doesn't reset
    that white object to white. It's still neutral grey, right?

    The only thing I can imagine is happening is that even if the auto-exposure
    makes the bright white object neutral grey, it will make other brighter
    objects white. Then the white-balance is applied like a filter to the final
    exposed image, cooling it or warming it. Or, whatever pixels are exposed as
    white by the auto-exposure (whether they are part of the brightest object in
    the scene or not), the auto white-balance filters them, making them warmer
    or cooler.

    Neal


    "Alan F Cross" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In message <400d0792$0$14485$>, wannabestar
    > <> writes
    > >Good evening all,
    > >
    > > I have recently been given a Kodak DX6490 camera for Christmas and am
    > >still getting use to most of it's settings. Now my question, when exactly
    > >does the camera set it's white balance ?, is it something that it does
    > >continually or at start up ? I took a few quick snaps tonight from my

    front
    > >door of a brilliant orange sunset, even the car in the foreground which

    is
    > >white was glowing orange but the shots I took came out showing only a

    small
    > >amount of orange detail and the car was totally white. I'm assuming that

    it
    > >has something to do with the white balance. Am I wrong ?, should I change
    > >from auto to daylight ?
    > >
    > >Thanks for any advice ......
    > >
    > >Yes I know George, I should have a SDx
    > >
    > >Dave.
    > >
    > >

    >
    > Your camera will default to auto white balance, which will find the
    > "whitest" thing in the image (as it thinks) and sets that to white - and
    > everything else theoretically falls into place. So it's really
    > compensating for the over-redness of the scene, which actually you do
    > not want it to do! If you really want a sunset to look right, the auto
    > white balance will not be right. As the light is very warm, try tungsten
    > setting.
    > --
    > Alan F Cross
     
    Neal Matthis, Jan 25, 2004
    #6
  7. wannabestar

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    On 24-Jan-2004, "Neal Matthis" <> wrote:

    > I'm getting white balance and exposure confused. If I set the exposure
    > mode
    > to center-weighted and I point the camera at a very bright white object,
    > the
    > resulting image will be exposed so that the bright white object is neutral
    > grey.
    > Now, if I also have the white balance mode set to Auto, it doesn't reset
    > that white object to white. It's still neutral grey, right?
    >
    > The only thing I can imagine is happening is that even if the
    > auto-exposure
    > makes the bright white object neutral grey, it will make other brighter
    > objects white. Then the white-balance is applied like a filter to the
    > final
    > exposed image, cooling it or warming it. Or, whatever pixels are exposed
    > as
    > white by the auto-exposure (whether they are part of the brightest object
    > in
    > the scene or not), the auto white-balance filters them, making them warmer
    > or cooler.


    White balance and exposure are unrelated.

    White balance should more properly be called color balance. Every light
    source has a color bias, known as color temperature (at least for continuous
    light sources.) For example, incandescent lights are more red/orange than
    daylight. Daylight is more blue than incandescent light. In film cameras you
    use filters to compensate for the color of the light source. If you are
    shooting indoors with daylight film, you would use a blue filter to
    compensate for the red/orange incandescent light.

    With a digital camera the same things are happening, but the camera can
    compensate for the color temperature of the light without the use of
    filters. It does this by adjusting the colors it 'sees' as it processes the
    image. (This can also be done in post processing particularly if you are
    using camera raw files.) In auto white balance mode, the digital camera
    looks at the scene and tries to determine what color correction it should
    apply to correct for the color of the light source. If you shoot a color
    neutral card (white or gray, it doesn't matter) the camera will be able to
    find the colors that need to be added or subtracted from the image to make
    it color neutral, that is the white balance.

    For example, if you were to shoot a white card in incandescent light the
    card would appear red/orange to the camera. If you were to use this same
    card to set the white balance, the camera would know how much red/orange to
    subtract from the image to make it color neutral. Now when you shoot the
    white card, the camera's exposure meter will try to make the overall image
    18% gray, so you will get a poorly exposed but correctly colored image.



    --
    Tom Thackrey
    www.creative-light.com
    tom (at) creative (dash) light (dot) com
    do NOT send email to (it's reserved for spammers)
     
    Tom Thackrey, Jan 25, 2004
    #7
  8. wannabestar

    Neal Matthis Guest

    Thanks. That explains a lot. I talked with someone at work and when he told
    me that with film you adjust for white balance with filters, it started to
    click. It's strange though that it doesn't matter whether you use a gray or
    white card. Seems like the result should be different.

    Neal


    "Tom Thackrey" <> wrote in message
    news:QzKQb.5732$...
    >
    > On 24-Jan-2004, "Neal Matthis" <> wrote:
    >
    > > I'm getting white balance and exposure confused. If I set the exposure
    > > mode
    > > to center-weighted and I point the camera at a very bright white object,
    > > the
    > > resulting image will be exposed so that the bright white object is

    neutral
    > > grey.
    > > Now, if I also have the white balance mode set to Auto, it doesn't reset
    > > that white object to white. It's still neutral grey, right?
    > >
    > > The only thing I can imagine is happening is that even if the
    > > auto-exposure
    > > makes the bright white object neutral grey, it will make other brighter
    > > objects white. Then the white-balance is applied like a filter to the
    > > final
    > > exposed image, cooling it or warming it. Or, whatever pixels are

    exposed
    > > as
    > > white by the auto-exposure (whether they are part of the brightest

    object
    > > in
    > > the scene or not), the auto white-balance filters them, making them

    warmer
    > > or cooler.

    >
    > White balance and exposure are unrelated.
    >
    > White balance should more properly be called color balance. Every light
    > source has a color bias, known as color temperature (at least for

    continuous
    > light sources.) For example, incandescent lights are more red/orange than
    > daylight. Daylight is more blue than incandescent light. In film cameras

    you
    > use filters to compensate for the color of the light source. If you are
    > shooting indoors with daylight film, you would use a blue filter to
    > compensate for the red/orange incandescent light.
    >
    > With a digital camera the same things are happening, but the camera can
    > compensate for the color temperature of the light without the use of
    > filters. It does this by adjusting the colors it 'sees' as it processes

    the
    > image. (This can also be done in post processing particularly if you are
    > using camera raw files.) In auto white balance mode, the digital camera
    > looks at the scene and tries to determine what color correction it should
    > apply to correct for the color of the light source. If you shoot a color
    > neutral card (white or gray, it doesn't matter) the camera will be able to
    > find the colors that need to be added or subtracted from the image to make
    > it color neutral, that is the white balance.
    >
    > For example, if you were to shoot a white card in incandescent light the
    > card would appear red/orange to the camera. If you were to use this same
    > card to set the white balance, the camera would know how much red/orange

    to
    > subtract from the image to make it color neutral. Now when you shoot the
    > white card, the camera's exposure meter will try to make the overall image
    > 18% gray, so you will get a poorly exposed but correctly colored image.
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Tom Thackrey
    > www.creative-light.com
    > tom (at) creative (dash) light (dot) com
    > do NOT send email to (it's reserved for spammers)
     
    Neal Matthis, Jan 28, 2004
    #8
  9. wannabestar

    Alan F Cross Guest

    In message <>, Neal Matthis
    <> writes
    >Thanks. That explains a lot. I talked with someone at work and when he
    >told me that with film you adjust for white balance with filters, it
    >started to click. It's strange though that it doesn't matter whether
    >you use a gray or white card. Seems like the result should be
    >different.
    >
    >Neal


    In terms of colour content, a grey and white card have the same zero
    'colour'. They are both neutral, and you can think of them as having all
    colours in equal measure. When your camera looks at a white card, it
    turns down the exposure till it looks grey, but does not change the
    colour it sees. So white is just a very light grey! As it's usually
    easier to find an unbiassed white card than a neutral grey card, white
    is usually the most practical thing to use.
    --
    Alan F Cross
     
    Alan F Cross, Jan 28, 2004
    #9
  10. wannabestar

    Neal Matthis Guest

    Ah. That makes sense. I really haven't been paying attention to white
    balance, especially since I capture all my images as RAW. I'm definitely
    going to start playing around with it now that I know a little more about
    it. Thanks.

    Neal


    "Alan F Cross" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In message <>, Neal Matthis
    > <> writes
    > >Thanks. That explains a lot. I talked with someone at work and when he
    > >told me that with film you adjust for white balance with filters, it
    > >started to click. It's strange though that it doesn't matter whether
    > >you use a gray or white card. Seems like the result should be
    > >different.
    > >
    > >Neal

    >
    > In terms of colour content, a grey and white card have the same zero
    > 'colour'. They are both neutral, and you can think of them as having all
    > colours in equal measure. When your camera looks at a white card, it
    > turns down the exposure till it looks grey, but does not change the
    > colour it sees. So white is just a very light grey! As it's usually
    > easier to find an unbiassed white card than a neutral grey card, white
    > is usually the most practical thing to use.
    > --
    > Alan F Cross
     
    Neal Matthis, Jan 29, 2004
    #10
  11. wannabestar

    Crownfield Guest

    Neal Matthis wrote:
    >
    > Thanks. That explains a lot. I talked with someone at work and when he told
    > me that with film you adjust for white balance with filters, it started to
    > click. It's strange though that it doesn't matter whether you use a gray or
    > white card. Seems like the result should be different.


    grey is equal parts of red,green,and blue.

    as they go from 0 to 100%,
    the color goes from black to white.
    greys are just in between.

    >
    > Neal
    >
    > "Tom Thackrey" <> wrote in message
    > news:QzKQb.5732$...
    > >
    > > On 24-Jan-2004, "Neal Matthis" <> wrote:
    > >
    > > > I'm getting white balance and exposure confused. If I set the exposure
    > > > mode
    > > > to center-weighted and I point the camera at a very bright white object,
    > > > the
    > > > resulting image will be exposed so that the bright white object is

    > neutral
    > > > grey.
    > > > Now, if I also have the white balance mode set to Auto, it doesn't reset
    > > > that white object to white. It's still neutral grey, right?
    > > >
    > > > The only thing I can imagine is happening is that even if the
    > > > auto-exposure
    > > > makes the bright white object neutral grey, it will make other brighter
    > > > objects white. Then the white-balance is applied like a filter to the
    > > > final
    > > > exposed image, cooling it or warming it. Or, whatever pixels are

    > exposed
    > > > as
    > > > white by the auto-exposure (whether they are part of the brightest

    > object
    > > > in
    > > > the scene or not), the auto white-balance filters them, making them

    > warmer
    > > > or cooler.

    > >
    > > White balance and exposure are unrelated.
    > >
    > > White balance should more properly be called color balance. Every light
    > > source has a color bias, known as color temperature (at least for

    > continuous
    > > light sources.) For example, incandescent lights are more red/orange than
    > > daylight. Daylight is more blue than incandescent light. In film cameras

    > you
    > > use filters to compensate for the color of the light source. If you are
    > > shooting indoors with daylight film, you would use a blue filter to
    > > compensate for the red/orange incandescent light.
    > >
    > > With a digital camera the same things are happening, but the camera can
    > > compensate for the color temperature of the light without the use of
    > > filters. It does this by adjusting the colors it 'sees' as it processes

    > the
    > > image. (This can also be done in post processing particularly if you are
    > > using camera raw files.) In auto white balance mode, the digital camera
    > > looks at the scene and tries to determine what color correction it should
    > > apply to correct for the color of the light source. If you shoot a color
    > > neutral card (white or gray, it doesn't matter) the camera will be able to
    > > find the colors that need to be added or subtracted from the image to make
    > > it color neutral, that is the white balance.
    > >
    > > For example, if you were to shoot a white card in incandescent light the
    > > card would appear red/orange to the camera. If you were to use this same
    > > card to set the white balance, the camera would know how much red/orange

    > to
    > > subtract from the image to make it color neutral. Now when you shoot the
    > > white card, the camera's exposure meter will try to make the overall image
    > > 18% gray, so you will get a poorly exposed but correctly colored image.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > --
    > > Tom Thackrey
    > > www.creative-light.com
    > > tom (at) creative (dash) light (dot) com
    > > do NOT send email to (it's reserved for spammers)
     
    Crownfield, Jan 29, 2004
    #11
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