camera Cleveland Photographer

Setting a custom white balance

Saturday, May 21, 2011Morgan

Using a gray card sounds scary, right? Custom white balance sounds even more scary when you're first starting out....and that's if you know what they mean.
You could always just crank your camera into auto white balance mode, but what happens if you have dominant color that throws the whole thing off like this....

Not exactly what colors it should be...imagine trying to fix that white balance in post OR you could just take a quick picture and set your custom white balance to get it right in camera and save you time later when you're trying to edit those 20+ images.

So how do you do it? First get a gray card.

My grey card from Digital Image Flow has an 18% gray 5x7 on one side

and a color reference on the other

You go into your camera's menu and choose your white balance options, it will have a preset option that you want to look for. You will need to fill your frame with the gray side of the gray card and take a picture (I have to lock focus or set my lens to manual focus) and record the gray card in the light you will be using.

Once you have your custom white balance set you are good to go...until the next lighting/location change!


All of the images in this post are SOOC (straight out of camera). My way of doing things does not mean they are the only way or even the correct way, the way I do things is the way that works for me. 
Vroom! Go shoot something and make it custom :)


Features of the DKC-Pro Multifunction Color Chart from Digital Image Flow
--- Multiple neutral gray targets for performing white balance in all lighting conditions
--- Large calibrated 18% gray patch and 6-step gray scale for performing exposure setting
-- 18 scientifically prepared color targets for performing color correction in cameras, displays, and printers - includes software for creating custom color profiles using Adobe Camera Raw (CS2 or higher)
Whats in the Package:
- DKC-Pro card 5" x 7"
- Quick-start guide 3-fold card
- Resource CD with additional guides and color profile software

The color patches are now 100% coated with our new n-Chrome process. This new system has allowed us to achieve a much higher level of color saturation, luminance, and accuracy, while eliminating metamerism.
The new DKC-Pro will provide photographers with all of the color, white balance, and exposure tools they need in a compact and economical package, and now with a new, unprecedented level of color accuracy and color fidelity.

The DKC-Pro card is a 5" x 7" color chart (chip chart for those in video and film) with 18 color patches on one side and a large 18% gray color chip on the reverse. We have build a lot of features into this one little card, including:
--- One the front side, there are 18 scientifically prepared color patches that represent the primary colors, process colors, and natural colors such as human skin, sky, flowers, fruit, and foliage. These color patches (chips) are 100% n-Chrome coated. The card creates an objective reference you can use in the studio or in your post-production work to compare and analyze any color differences or errors that may have occurred. In this way you can be assured of perfect digital colors every time from capture to display to print.
--- The DKC-Pro can also be used as an 18% gray target for digital, film, and video white balance. The card includes a large calibrated 18% gray target for accurate and uniform white balance under all lighting conditions. Our new n-Chrome coated 18% gray chips are the most accurate available.
--- The DKC-Pro has a 6-step grayscale that can be used to adjust and control for proper exposure using the histogram function of DSLR's and HD video cameras.
--- When used with color profiling software (free download) and Adobe Camera Raw, the DKC-Pro can be used to create individualized precision camera profiles and insure optimum color reproduction for critical applications.
For more information, please visit this products webpage.

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2 Comments

  1. So, that's it? It's that easy? After I follow all of the steps, then all of the pictures I take in that lighting will have the correct white balance? Great!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, another question: Why do they have the side with all the colors?

    ReplyDelete