Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fooling Your White Balance

When I see a guy in long hairs talking confidently about photography in Nikonian Academy, that must be the workshop facilitator, Andrew. While greeting him, I quipped that with the rugged long hairs, he now looks like a famous rock star. Examining my face for a moment, he said that I look like another rock star, Steven Tyler, one of the judges in American Idol. I quipped that if only I could keep long hair too.

I was at Nikonian Academy to attend a snappy workshop called "Fooling Your White Balance" in the evening of 15 February 2012 (Wednesday) at The Strand, Kota Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. The last time I came, I was attending a full-day workshop on flash photography also conducted by Andrew – exactly two years ago.

Cooler colour temperature (Kelvin)

Warmer colour temperature

Andrew is an outstanding orator who is passionate in photography. He is able to present the topics clearly with lots of witty expression that is entertaining to the participants amidst his high-energy presentation.

In this White Balance workshop, according to sifu Andrew, the important skill is to shoot at the correct Kelvin – colour temperature – overriding the commonly used "Auto White Balance" to ensure optimum colour casts for the end results.

Apparatus for the workshop

Half way into his workshop, it was related to flash photography; I was surprised that Andrew could remember what I wrote two years ago about taking photos with flash during daytime; flash guns pointing in all directions other than at the main subject; about eating "yea chok" (in Cantonese, the direct translation is eating porridge at night; the actual meaning is one has undergone pro training or excel in practical situations). Yeah, excellent memory!

 Cooler colour temperature (bluish)

Warmer colour temperature (yellowish)

White balance (WB) is the process of setting realistic color casts, so that the colour of the objects appears as close to what we see minus the unsightly blue or yellow casts. Proper camera white balance has to take into account the "color temperature" of a light source, which refers to the relative warmth or coolness of white light. [This paragraph is fine-tuned from internet]

Karen Ho, staff of Nikonian Acadamy, who was attending the workshop and double-up as model for the evening. 

In most of the situations, we just set it to Auto White Balance and let the camera chooses the best colour temperature to handle in a diverse range of lighting conditions. Other than the pre-set colour temperature represented by the various icons in cameras, another method is to pre-set the colour temperature manually using a White Balance card which is taught in this workshop.

The workshop facilitator, Andrew. The blue background in this photo is actually white by fooling the white balance.

A check in my blogsite about eating “yea chok” ... do click here.

Check out the happenings in Nikonian Acadamy ... do click here

Posted by KC Leong

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