Day 142—Custom White Balance

Today I’m trying to catch up on my photography class assignments. Last week, we covered white balance, including custom white balance settings. I’m featuring two completely different shots today, related only by the fact that I used a custom white balance setting for both of them. To set a custom white balance, you photograph a gray card in the specific light that is hitting the subject that you’re going to photograph. The camera reads the kelvin temperature and sets the white balance at that temperature. Custom white balance can be set for any subject and it is quite interesting to me that the custom settings seem to greatly enhance the colors of the photo, improving upon the camera’s preset white balance options.

Both of my subjects have appeared in this blog before so there is nothing new or exciting here. The first, is my English lavender, only from a slightly different point of view. I lay on my back on the patio peering through the viewfinder at the lavender behind my head. I especially liked this shot and the angle of the lavender running diagonally across the photograph.

Focal Length 50mm
ISO 100
f/1.4
1/1600
Custom WB (5081K)
SOOC

The second is Bobo who was a surprisingly cooperative subject because I had just picked her up from a 5 day stay at the vet while I visited Santa Rosa. She didn’t want me out of her sight and when I beckoned her to the opening of her cage door, she eagerly scrambled there. She wasn’t even put off when I held the gray card near the cage door to capture the same light falling on her for the custom white balance setting. The light was from the bay window by her cage and an incandescent overhead light which was overwhelmed by the natural light. Our white balance class assignment required us to take a photo at each of the camera’s preset white balance settings and to set custom white balance as well and determine which of the settings was preferable. I loved the custom white balance compared to the other white balance settings on the shots I took of Bobo.

Focal Length 50mm
ISO 100
f/1.4
1/125
Custom WB (6077K)
SOOC