How To White Balance In a Mixed Lighting Environment?

How To White Balance In a Mixed Lighting Environment?

Hi, welcome to Pixel Viilage and welcome to the part 2 of our video on White Balance. In part 1 of the video, we saw how White Balance is set using the in-camera presets in predominantly very predictable lighting conditions. This one is going to be a little more complicated. In terms of lighting. Solution is pretty simple Lets take a look at it. So Contrary to our, simple st-up this one is uh.. little complicated. it appears like our our director ran away in between the work. Anyway, this is the kind of situations that a wedding and event photographer confronts in his day-to-day working life. We have a florescent light here; we have a blue light, a red light. Then we have studio light, these are yellow, they are not exactly incandescent, but it’s got a dirty yellow cast. It looks nice, but in the images, it creates a dirty yellow cast. We have our working practical lights, you know, they are incandescent. And of course, we have day-light balance light which is also helping us to film the situation. I have seen a lot of photographers in this kind of scenario try to guess the white balance, the color temperature of the situation and heat and using the color temperature. As you walk into a situation like this, your brain has started correcting the color temperature for you already. With that corrected understanding is what you try to key in or try to guess the color temperature of that particular situation, which can be off the mark. We would like to show you four of our favorite ways of achieving white balance in this kind of scenario. My personal favorite in during run-and-gun situations where you don’t have too much time and you are also shooting a little bit of JPEGS and also shooting RAW. My personal favorite is called pre-set manual control. What it allows you to do is to achieve the white balance in the camera, using the, using the scene. It is very similar to let’s say a custom white balance in certain other camera brands. So, go to menu, white balance, and set select preset manual. Now, this white dress has this blue in it, this red in it, this green in it, that white in it and all the other colors. I am telling the camera to balance this white. Okay. Now for which I can’t do it myself, so I am going to ask Nikhil to come over. This time, it’s your turn. Long press the white balance button, do a long press again and it will white balance your image. Second effective method to white balance for a run-and-gun photographer is by using third party product using the ExpoDisc. It’s a color neutral filter. You cant shoot anything through it, what you will get is a color neutral frame. You are supposed to get a color neutral frame if you are shooting against a pure white light. Your RGB values will be same. This filter has two sides. One side has a crystal like structure okay. And the other side is like a plain white milky side. You are expected to keep the milky white portion close to the camera. Shift the camera on the aperture priority auto mode and make sure that your lens is on manual mode. Because if it is on auto mode, it will keep hunting for focus and it will never click, so keep it on manual mode. Now, the most important aspect in this white balancing technique is that you are supposed to shoot your light source not your subject, which means you have to move away from your subject. Now, in this situation , now my light source is this, this, this light and all the other practical lights in this scene. So, standing here I can’t shoot it, which means I need to walk away. Like I said you make sure that you cover the entire light source in your field, make sure that it is covered, cover your lens completely with ExpoDisc, aim to your light source, take a picture. Okay. Then, you go to your, white balance set-up. For a Nikon user, select the preset manual. For Cannon, Sony and the other brand users, go to their custom white balance set up. Select the image and select the last shot. Say OK And your camera is ready to shoot the next, grab the next frame with all the necessary corrections done. For a Nikon user, there is another way which is relatively easier. way which is, white balance, select PRE, preset manual is selected; long press the white balance button, and you will see the white balance button blinking. At that time, keep the filter in front of the lens, do a long press again and it will white balance your image. So, I have the camera white balance using the ExpoDisc. Now, Nikhil can you take this camera and do a similar shot. This is available in India for about 4000 odd Indian Rupees. I understand America its about $50 or much cheaper in America. Do check this out, it’s a superb product. Our third recommended technique for doing white balance is by using a grey card. All you are expected to do is to take a shot like this in the lighting conditions that you are in. I am going to make sure that all the light fall on this card and I take a shot. Nikhil, why don’t you take a shot of this? Now, you can continue shooting, if when you move to the next lighting situation, take another shot. And till the end of the day, you can continue shooting, without worrying about the white balance. Once you have finished the shoot and in your back in the studio, you can take all those raw images on to your computer, open it up in your favorite raw processing software, Lightroom, Capture1 pro whichever you like. Use your white balance picking tool, avoid picking the grey, because the grey is for reading incident light, not correcting white balance. So, click on the white, it will correct your image automatically for that lighting condition and that correction can be applied to all the other images. It’s an effective way for a pro photographer. Well, this is available in various sizes. You don’t need to carry such a big one. You know there is something called QP card, which is like a small card. You can buy a bunch of it, keep it in your bag. An effective way to white balance your image on location, in your studio wherever you are. The fourth way is you use not only for white balancing but also for calibrating your camera. We use a tool called the ColorChecker Passport from Xright. . It’s a very powerful tool, we have already done a video on how to use a ColorChecker Pasport. You can find a link for that video in the description below. Please do spend sometime to use that link an watch that video too. So wasn’t that simple? Now that you know it, why don’t you pick your camera get some of those products and practice it for yourself and you will actually see the difference that is going to make to your image. While I say this, let me also tell you that you are talking about perfect white balance you are not talking about absolute white balance So, there is nothing absolute in photography, for that matter art, okay. Perfect again is a very relative term Relative, because it relates to what you want to achieve. If what you want to achieve is ‘White’ as white in every situation, you know how to get it. If you want to retain some cast, you know how to get that too. So, use this understanding to your advantage, to create better looking, more interesting, more satisfying image, because what is more important is to satisfy yourself than satisfying the world. At-least, in photography. uh.. we get tons of comments and requests and questions in our comments column and its our endevour to answer each and every one of them personally. But, due to the limitations under which we work here in our studio, we are not in a position to answer everything. We may have missed out a few. So due apologies. Let us tell you that we will try our best, we’ll continue to try our best. So, it goes without saying, if you like this video, give us a thumbs-up, subscribe and share our channel and continue to interact with us in the comments column below. Bye for now.

100 thoughts on “How To White Balance In a Mixed Lighting Environment?

  1. hello sir , i am from Bangladesh working as a wedding photographer , i have some query about lightroom color grading ,, sir i will be very grateful if you kindly give me your mail address please , thank you sir ,, its always been a pleasure to watch your video

  2. Sir I bought D 7500
    If I want to use 4 k it's showing black and collecting only voice
    Can u pls tel me what thing s I have to change
    Thank u in advance

  3. Hi sir. Great info. Getting WB correct is great and pretty straight forward.. my biggest challenge is counter environment lights AND plus flash to get the perfect WB.

  4. I'm addicted to your videos Radhakrishnan!! I worked support for a particular camera company many years ago and I gotta say, I didn't explain white balance half as good as you in this video. Mixed lighting was actually a common question from customers, new or customers who were actually professionals

  5. So before I capture the grey or white paper for white balance. Which White Balance should presets should I set first? Daylight, tungsten, AWB…

  6. I'm not sure that you're using the Expodisc correctly.You're photographing the subject. You're supposed to photograph from where the light hits the subject, pointing towards where the camera will be so that the lihtt sources hit the lens. Otherwise you're correcting the colours in the scene not the lights. Also, you can use the grey card to white balance – all you need is for the RGB channels to align – and it doesn't matter whether it's genuine 18% grey or white that you use

  7. So the grey card image for custom balance has to be taken under auto mode or manual mode? I need to whitebalance my videos as I make beauty related videos so the actual color protection is a must for me.

  8. I never comment on youtube videos, but this is an Exception. Your content and explanation is as beautiful as your videos. Teaching is also an art like photography and you sir have mastered both… Thanks for these exceptional videos. Continue the good work and keep inspiring us to be better photographers.

  9. Guruji, Eureka. I never had such a clear explanation of balancing white for different incident lighting conditions. Thanks for your effort.

  10. Such well made videos sir! Happy to have come across your channel. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge with us.

  11. Nicely Explained…Thank you… can you put some thoughts for top-head light and Camera setup for Youtube shoot..

  12. very simply explained, I prefer the grey card 🙂
    I loved ur studio setup, your art director did a good half job 🙂

  13. Great tutorial, thanks. You mentioned we should click the white for white balancing. However with the color checker from x-rite or the SpyderCube from Datacolor, we actually click the illuminated grey. I understand there might be no right or wrong as it depends on what we want, but in a practical situation which is the right way?

  14. Great video!! I do have a question: Is White Balance and Colour Balance the same thing? If an image is correctly white balance, doesn’t that mean that the colours will be correct as well? Also, are colour balance, colour correction and colour calibration all the same thing? Thank you!

  15. Although I had all these gadgets (white card, ExpoDisc & Passport) but I preferred using a color meter in many situations. Just like using incident meter, spot meter, flash and Lux meters.

  16. an image with yellow cast known as warm temperature ,and image with blue cast known as cool temperature….but white balance in camera is telling camera to consider what color to consider as white, there for if we set warmer temperature (lower k value) it considers yellow cast as white and final images comes with cooler temperature, and if we set cooler temperature (higher k value) camera considers bluish cast as white and final images comes with warm color…..actually this is setting there in camera to get normal color tone in images when having bluish or yellowish tone in lighting condition by setting its color temperature then camera considers that color as white and normal picture comes, i e in lighting condition like candle light , daylight,flourcent light, tunguston light and flash if we set corresponding white balence we will get normal color tone by telling camera to cosider that color temperature as white…….but for creative photography if we will set warmer temperature in normal lighting here we are telling camera to consider warm tone as white so final image will be of bluish tone( cooler tempterature}, llly if we set cooler temperature in normal lighting condition here we are telling camera to consider bluish tone as white so final image will come out as yellow(warmer temperature),,,,,in nut shell to get warmer temperature in images we use cool temperature setting in camera and to get cooler temperature in images we use warm temperature setting in camera…..

  17. Why shoot a grey card and not a white card for white balance? Your explanation is not clear. You say at the studio click “white” and not “grey” for white balance. Could you please explain clearly what’s the purpose of shooting a grey card when it’s for recording incident light and not for white balance? In other videos by other people, the reverse side of the grey card is a white card.

  18. Man, this is crazy, excellent knowledge which is really precious, being a beginner I did not get some points but I will do once getting used to. This is what we face in our daily life. Thank You

  19. This is too good. I did not know how to use preset WB in camera… have always heard about the grey card, but that has been difficult for non pro photo enthusiasts as we shoot more for hobby than profession – hence do not wish to carry the 10% grey cards or similar things. But this preset manual was the best solution to people like us

  20. Is there some color settings difference between Nikon and Cannon dslr? Im a Nikon D5500 user, but whenever i shoot photos with it, i got some yellowish tone in the pictures. But when my friend shoot it with his Cannon dslr with auto WB, its show balanced colors. Or its just a WB correction issue with my cam on auto mode?

  21. Great 👍🏾 perspective on perfect vs absolute. beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Keeps the stress down when we keep that in mind

  22. Love your videos! I have a question about white balance. Last week I shoot icehockey and the lighting was terrible. I use the expodisc, but it didn't work correctly, because the arena had on several places different lighting. Do you have a solution for this or should you measure every time when the lighting differs. Thanks for advice!

  23. I dont think you are using the expo disc the right way. You supposed to shoot with the disc from where you or your subject is standing to register the custom white balance.

  24. Another excellent video! Is the preset white balance a feature that is present in only some cameras? I can't find it on my Canon 70D. Is it the same thing as custom white balance?

  25. I have question, I've being interested on the Expodisc 2.0 for quite awhile now, I was nice to see how you shoot in mix lights and got great results, however, how about if you had all that mix lights and plus, you would add a speed light on your camera? That's a very common scenario on weddings, sometimes there is this crazy amount of mix light and plus we need to use a speed light, how would you meter for that with Expodisc? What would you suggest?

  26. What is the difference between a white balance card like you demonstrated, and a piece of white copy paper.

  27. Outstanding. I feel like I have wasted 4 years watching the Junk on Photography on YouTube. This is a great insightful lesson.

  28. Great video!

    What post processing can be done to correct white balance if the photos were already taken in mixed lighting?

  29. Just watched your two videos on white balance & another on colour matching. You made a difficult concept easy to understand. Thank you.

  30. I think the expodisc is supposed to be aimed at the incoming light at the place of your subject, not aimed at the light reflected from the scene at the position of the photographer.

  31. I found a useful trick – simply put flash on camera and shot do Custom white balance by shooting a gray card it works very well most of
    The time.

  32. Sir great really
    I m a new commer in photography..i alway confused when want bridel shot in evening time when found light nearly dull(near 6pm)
    At this time i alway confused for white balance(l love kelvin)plss advise that what kelvin is best(i was use 5000 but result was bad)

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