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Author Topic: Why WhiBal?  (Read 4511 times)

Robert Spoecker

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Why WhiBal?
« on: November 11, 2006, 02:23:18 pm »

Hello all,

Lately I have been shooting portraits of people in a modest studio setting. I use a Canon 5D two photofloods, background hanger and colored backgrounds. The photofloods have 3200K bulbs in them, not the daylight balanced type.

A while ago I bought a set of WhiBal cards. I found out that I do not need to use them in my shoots as the auto white balance option on the camera produces excellent results. If I were shooting a commercial photo of a Kellogs corn flake box and the yellow box comes out slightly orange I could understand the customer not being very pleased. If in my work the flesh tones are pleasing but a yellow scarf gets a slight orange tint no one would even notice.

I was wondering who uses the Whibal cards. Do some of you wedding photographers, for instance use them on a shoot?

From those who  use them I would like to hear for what purpose and under what circumstances.

Thanks

Robert
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Josh-H

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Why WhiBal?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2006, 05:17:49 pm »

Quote
Hello all,

Lately I have been shooting portraits of people in a modest studio setting. I use a Canon 5D two photofloods, background hanger and colored backgrounds. The photofloods have 3200K bulbs in them, not the daylight balanced type.

A while ago I bought a set of WhiBal cards. I found out that I do not need to use them in my shoots as the auto white balance option on the camera produces excellent results. If I were shooting a commercial photo of a Kellogs corn flake box and the yellow box comes out slightly orange I could understand the customer not being very pleased. If in my work the flesh tones are pleasing but a yellow scarf gets a slight orange tint no one would even notice.

I was wondering who uses the Whibal cards. Do some of you wedding photographers, for instance use them on a shoot?

From those who  use them I would like to hear for what purpose and under what circumstances.

Thanks

Robert
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I have a couple of complete sets of WhiBal cards and I use them under a variety of different situations - as you point out its very situation dependant.

If I am out shooting sun rises - then I leave them at home as I want to interpret the scene in my own vision.

If I am shooting portraits I always use them - wether in the studio or environmental. Its just a safe guard for me more than anything else. Quite often I will just use the auto setting - but I always want a reference point if I need it. If I am doing any street shooting I dont use them as it removes the spontaneity element for me.

A few weeks ago I shot a catalogue for this company [a href=\"http://www.hartman.com.au]http://www.hartman.com.au[/url] and color was very critical given the images were to be used for their website, their product brochures, and the brochures of their retailers. Needless to say I shot all these with a WhiBal card and studio lighting.

I am shooting a wedding next week and I will probably take around 10 different WhiBal shots throughout the course of the event - I may use some, none or all of them for white balance correction. But.. I want them in case I need them.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 05:18:39 pm by JHolko »
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Robert Spoecker

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Why WhiBal?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2006, 05:27:22 pm »

OK JHolko

You have a very legitimate reason for using WhiBal cards. I also wear both suspenders and a belt.

Most of the time you do not need both but if you do it is imparative.  
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 05:27:58 pm by Robert Spoecker »
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Josh-H

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Why WhiBal?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2006, 05:30:06 pm »

Quote
OK JHolko

You have a very legitimate reason for using WhiBal cards. I also wear both suspenders and a belt.

Most of the time you do not need both but if you do it is imparative.   
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84679\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Wonderful analogy  
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jimhuber

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Why WhiBal?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2006, 11:09:17 am »

I find the WhiBal generally unnecessary for weddings, as there is white everywhere that can be used. But I've only ever shot two weddings, and many things that appear white, especially dresses, aren't always really white.

I do use the WhiBal for studio portraiture, just in case.

I also carry them with my tripods for landscape and closeup use because a few times I've known in advance a color would be difficult to remember and reproduce later. Sometime the WhiBal helps me get the tint adjustment correct. Closeups of flowers are a common case for me.
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DarkPenguin

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Why WhiBal?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2006, 11:34:06 am »

I really want a whibal for use under the forest canopy.  My expodisc is pretty useless there.
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larryg

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Why WhiBal?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2006, 11:40:08 am »

I am starting to use them in landscapes more.   If your images are all shot under same conditions This really takes some guesswork out of it.

Before I start shooting a scene (with camera on tripod) I pull out card and shoot the gray or white card.  This then will be a reference for the series I am getting ready to shoot
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howiesmith

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Why WhiBal?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2006, 03:00:29 pm »

Quote
If I am shooting portraits I always use them - wether in the studio or environmental. Its just a safe guard for me more than anything else. Quite often I will just use the auto setting - but I always want a reference point if I need it. If I am doing any street shooting I dont use them as it removes the spontaneity element for me.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=84676\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sometimes the correct skin tone is not desirable.  If a client says my skin looks too red, then "But your skin is too red and the prints are perfect." is not the right answer.  I always try to make the subject look "good," even if I have to stretch the truth a bit.  Ever erase a zit or a wrinkle?
« Last Edit: November 13, 2006, 03:02:02 pm by howiesmith »
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Ron S

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Why WhiBal?
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2006, 07:03:12 am »

Won't a cardboard grey card do the same thing for a lot less money than the WhiBal card?
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Ronny Nilsen

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Why WhiBal?
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2006, 07:27:23 am »

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Won't a cardboard grey card do the same thing for a lot less money than the WhiBal card?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=85107\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No, as you can't be sure of the neutrality of the cardboard you migth as well go along with the cameras guess in the first place. But I guess it migth be better than nothing in some situations and at least get you closer to the correct value.  
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