Monday, July 12, 2010

White Balance

White balance was not much an issue before the digital still come into play.  Or just that it was there, but because not much can be done so people live with it, or just leave it to those real professionals.  The people who works on motions picture or videos has to deal it by applying gel to their lighting equipments to balance it, and careful to use the right type of film, lots of crafts there.
And digital still capture changes it. Adobe, the company who introduced the Photoshop change the landscape of still photography and continue to shape it, introduce the so called DNG - digital negative, introduce the white balance idea into a household awareness, or at least with the advanced users. It is a shame that many years later, the DNG were still not adapted by most camera makers.  This is a question I always have.  Camera makers must think they hold onto their proprietary raw file format will continue to help them develop specific knowhow; possible, but they can do that with DNG as well.  However, I am not working for Adobe, I am not selling the idea for them, I only bring this up for my subject here - the white balance.
The white balance has a profound impact on how we see an image.  There is really nothing about whose right or wrong. It is all preference, and most times, how photographer wants how their images to be seen. This image, taken at my studio using Canon 1Ds III with EF Macro 180/3.5L.  It has a golden color on the final image that was enhanced in the raw processing.  Canon, among those stubborn makers who stay with their own CR2 format, I am a long time EOS users, I am OK with CR2, except I don't use Canon's software to develop the CR2.  Get the picture?  The camera maker does not even make their own raw developer good enough, why not just adapt an open standard?  Anyway, this is not my subject.
This shot was made on a setup I needed for both still and video, so the WB control is important.  The still can't show the effect, but on video, it will clearly show that the golden background was a canvas, golden color, with a 3,200K ARRI for the highlight, and a fan on the back, so the canvas is not still, it is constantly moving, makes the video image really nice. The model has a very fair, fine, Caucasian skin, her skin was added a touch of gold from the raw conversion for the overall atmosphere.

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