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Old April 2nd, 2008, 07:08 AM   #1
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white balance on a sunny day

I'm off to Italy with my XHA1 and i hear the weathers very nice at the moment.

A couple of questions:

When white balancing on a sunny day, should the balance be done in the shade or in direct sunlight?

Is it ok to white balance with a polariser on?

Thanks for your time.

D
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 09:11 AM   #2
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When white balancing, use the dominant light source. If it's more cloudy than sunny or you're shooting in the shade, I'd go for shade. The caveat there is that all bright sun lit objects will then be overly orange. It depends on whether you prefer warm or cool image temperature. The other option, if you have colour correction gels with you, is to white balance in direct sun on a white object with an 1/8 or 1/4 day gel over it. That will split the difference between direct sun and shade.

If you have access to a field monitor, use it. If you avoid shooting a subject under shade and direct sun in the same shot, you have some latitude in post to colour correct.

With cameras with an A/B switch for white balance, I program A with direct sun and B with overcast/shade and switch back and forth as necessary.

And yes, white balance with the polarizer on.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 01:51 PM   #3
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White balance to lighting situation of your main subject. If they will be spending most of the time in the shade, then balance to that. If it's 50/50 then I tend to balance for the shade since I find the warm glow in the sunny areas more pleasing than the cool blue of the shady areas when you balance to the sun.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 04:58 PM   #4
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Ok, thanks guy's . I enjoy sorting out stuff in Apple's Color so i'll be ok either way.
I agree a warm sun is preferable to a cold shade so i'll bear that in mind too.

Cheers

Dom
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 11:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
And yes, white balance with the polarizer on.
I don't have a scientific reason why, but I would have said to balance filter neutral--whichever filter you might be putting in front of the lense.

To me, balancing with a filter on always tends to remove most of the effect of the filter. With the vast difference a circular polarizer can make as it rotates, I'd be reluctant to trust the WB.

I'd also recommend a shade balance if there is much of a chance of cooler color temps in the shot. If your camera reads more than about 6500 degrees on the color balance, though, the sunshine will be very warm looking. I'd try to find a bit more direct daylight to add in to the color balance. If you're trying to make the early morning sunrise, or late in the day sunset really pop with color, look for something in the 8000 to 10,000 degree balance range.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 02:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ward View Post
I don't have a scientific reason why, but I would have said to balance filter neutral--whichever filter you might be putting in front of the lense.

To me, balancing with a filter on always tends to remove most of the effect of the filter. With the vast difference a circular polarizer can make as it rotates, I'd be reluctant to trust the WB.
A polarizer works differently than, say a warming filter, in which case you should indeed remove the filter first before white balancing. The polarizer works by "aligning" streams of light, not changing the quality of the light. If the polarizer is not truly without colour cast (as an ND filter is), it may impart a colour cast, which should be negated by white balancing.

HOWEVER: this is purely an academic discussion. Try it both ways and see if you can see a difference or not. If you have a quality polarizer, it shouldn't make a difference. If you paid $15 for it brand new... well...
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