Portland, Maine Photographer :: Custom white balance – why it’s important to me!

Tonight’s post is all about white balance. It’s going to be a pretty straightforward and simple post, since I don’t know all the technical information about white balance. But, I can give you an overview and why it’s so important to me!

First of all, white balance is what we use to get rid of funky color casts in photos, because digital cameras can’t always figure it out – especially with indoor lighting. Different colors can look different in various lighting situations.  Not having the right white balance can make things look blue, orange, or some other strange color. It’s what helps figure out what’s white, what’s grey, and makes all the colors in your photos true. Having the white balance makes the photo look the way it should.

Before I knew how what white balance was and how to create a custom white balance, I would have to play around with the various white balance settings on my camera and hope it’d come out okay. Then I purchased a grey card, (though not that exact model, but they all do the same thing) to learn how to set my own white balance and spend less time worrying about how to make the photos come out looking natural. However, after a while, it became harder and harder to use the grey card. For anyone who has used one before, they can be tricky to get the camera to read the lighting coming off the card. Eventually, I just stopped using it because it stopped being as effective. Not soon after, I somehow misplaced it. Don’t get me wrong – a grey card can be a great tool to help you figure out how white balance works.

Not too long ago, I finally bought an ExpoDiscWhat. a. lifesaver. This little baby saves me SO much time in post processing. I literally have not had to fix my white balance in post processing yet. I imagine I will sometimes in the future during weddings when I don’t necessarily have the chance to change my white balance for fear of missing something totally awesome! Using an ExpoDisc is also incredibly easy to use! I love it. I bought the biggest one that I feel like I’d ever need, so that it can be used with larger lenses. All you do is hold it up to your lens and click the shutter while in the mode to set your white balance.

Ideally, you want to change your custom white balance with every new lighting situation that you encounter during a session. Once you’ve figured out how it works, it really just takes like 5 seconds to change it. Sometimes, depending on the lighting situation (mostly when I’m outdoors) I can leave it on auto white balance, because the D700 does pretty well with it, but I really like getting my white balance right IN camera. It just brings me one step closer to have a super quick turnaround with my photos!

Every camera has a different method of setting a custom white balance, so it’s important to read your manual and see how it is done on your camera. It was the first thing I looked for in the manual when I got my D700 😀

The photo on the left was taken with auto white balance. The photo on the right was taken with a custom white balance, using my ExpoDisc. Can you see why I stress the importance of setting your own white balance!? Especially when using icky indoor lighting!

I hope this helps some of you see why correct white balance can really make or break a photo! I challenge you to try doing it on your own cameras! If you can’t shell out the money for a grey card or an ExpoDisc (which would be totally understandable!) you can just use a blank white sheet of paper.

Also, here is an article that explains white balance more in depth!

<3 Linda

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  1. […] while back, I created a blog post about white balance, and why its important. In that blogpost, I expressed my love for an ExpoDisc for setting my white balance. However, […]

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You can usually find me adding books to my never-ending “to read” list; challenging myself to do things like not shop for a year; sneaking crispy m+ms from my secret hiding spot so I don’t have to share them with my daughter; and melting over seeing my children smiling at each other.

Oh and I guess I should mention - I’m a seasoned Portland wedding photographer who provides not only kick-ass wedding photos, but also a meaningful and laid-back experience from the time you book to the delivery of your final images. 

I share all things personal, business, tips, and life as a mom and business owner here on the blog!

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