Author Topic: How To: Custom White Balance (Or shoot cars in carparks under orange lights!)  (Read 17511 times)

Offline Horney

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Ok so this all about getting those shots at No-Rice or SoVAG or any other meet which takes place in a dark carpark that always come out orange. Most cameras these days are set to automatically adjust themselves for which ever light you are in. The problem is the old sodium lights used in a lot of these car parks really do outwit the camera and it tries it's best but fails. You therefore need to tell your camera exactly what should be white and this is where some custom settings come in!

A couple of examples:

Camera set to Auto


Custom White balance set



What you need:

* A camera which allows you to adjust the White Balance.
* A tripod.
* A remote shutter release would be handy.

The theory:

The idea with this is to tell your camera what should be white by using the custom White Balance feature of your camera. How this works differs from camera to camera so you will have to refer to your specific manual to find out how to do it.

Once you know how it's pretty easy. Simply find something white that is under the orange lighting you will be shooting the cars under and fill at least 75% of the shot with it and use that shot to tell your camera that that area should be white. Then set the camera to use custom White Balance and bobs your uncle no more orange. Your shots will appear a bit "colder" I.E blue but that's a good trade off for not having any orangeness and you can then tweek them a bit on Photoshop if you have it.

When taking the actual shot your probably going to have to use a slightly longer shutter speed than you can manage handheld regardless of the white balance so take a tripod and use it so your shots are crystal sharp. A shutter remote is always handy to to elimante any possible camera shake.

Tips:

* Carry a sheet of white card (or 10% grey) in your camera bag to set the balance with.
* No card? Find a car with a white bonnet!
* Don't forget to change the white balance back to auto once you've finished or you'll find the next set of shots you take in daylight will look frickin weird (trust me, I know this one well!).

Nick
« Last Edit: 23 April 2009, 10:59 by Horney »

Offline Shady Pioneer

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I'm going to be trying this tonight, and light trails :)

Offline Horney

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Cool, post up the results in the relevant threads :grin:

nick

Offline Shady Pioneer

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Cool, post up the results in the relevant threads :grin:

nick

Will do :) I want to take my car to a dual carriageway bridge and get all the cars below lights on there :)

Offline bobbarley

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Cool, post up the results in the relevant threads :grin:

nick

Will do :) I want to take my car to a dual carriageway bridge and get all the cars below lights on there :)
Quality, it's like light trails 101 :)

Offline Shady Pioneer

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Bit annoyed, my cam wouldn't read a reading at all? Took a white piece of paper with me, put it directly under the orange light and a bit further away from it and it wouldn't register.... :cry:

Offline Horney

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What do you mean wouldn't register? Couldn't focus?

Nick

Offline Shady Pioneer

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What do you mean wouldn't register? Couldn't focus?

Nick

Well it says it can't read the info, I did manage to get it to do it twice but I'm not sure what I did for it to do that. It's hard to explain :(

Offline Horney

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I'll have a fiddle with it tomorrow, make sure you bring your manual :-)

nick

Offline Guy

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I'll have a fiddle with it tomorrow, make sure you bring your manual :-)

nick

see shady... what did i tell you!  :grin: