Remember our talk about white balance last week? I discussed the WB presets that are in your camera, which you change to best suit your light. Another option is to “custom” white balance and that can be done one of two ways.
- Actually set a white balance for the light you have at that moment, then all the pictures you take after that use that particular WB.
- The second way is to put a gray card in the first image in that setting, then remove it and take other shots. You use the image with the gray card in it as the WB standard when post processing and sync the other images to match that one. I cover that technique in the next tutorial.
A quick word about gray cards – I have two, a small one and a big one. Small one is great, fits in my bag nicely, BUT it is not the best to use with all my lenses because with a few I end up shadowing the light in order to fill the frame. So, I bought the big one, which works much better, BUT it doesn’t fit in my camera bag. So, when at home, I use the large gray card. When I way I use the small gray card if it works with the lens I’m using, if not, I do the tissue trick I share in the video.
Below is a series of pictures I took with different WB settings. All images are SOOC except the first one, which I ONLY did an adjustment tweak to because it was a little underexposed.
Please note that if you move out of that light, you need to change your white balance because your custom WB is only for the light in that one spot.
Below are steps that may help you to custom WB if you have a Nikon. Canon users (and other brands) I am sorry I do not have specific steps for you. But, I can say that I know for certain that Canon users can all custom WB and it is similar to how Nikon does it except that after you do it, you have to go in and choose that particular image.
For a Nikon D90, D300, D300s, D700 do the following to custom white balance:
- Hold down your WB button (on D90, D7000 it is on the back, on left hand side, says WB) and turn the scroll wheel at your thumb until the top display screen says PRE in the bottom right hand corner. Let go of WB then push it again and hold it down until the PRE starts blinking.
- While it is blinking, fill your frame with the gray card (or tissue) and release the shutter. Your camera does not need to be in focus.
- Look to see if it says “GOOD” or “NO GOOD,” if good, then start shooting. If no good, then redo.
For a Nikon D40, D60, D3000, D3100, D5000, D5100 do the following to custom white balance (or close to it):
- Press Menu on back of camera and go to icon of a camera, the Shooting Menu
- Move down to White Balance and enter that menu item
- Move down to PRE (preset manual) and hit Okay button
- Hit okay on Measure option and yes to “overwrite existing preset data?”
- Follow the steps I gave above (and in video)
The video below is NOT great, but it was the best I could do yesterday, which was a very crazy day for me. As soon as I make a better one I will replace it. Sorry for all the closed-eye talking I did; I think it was the nerves.
Oh, one more thing – I set the ISO to 800 because the light wasn’t great and I knew Georgia would not be the stillest subject and I wanted to make sure the shutter speed stayed fast enough to keep her in focus.