Phil Tughan’s White Balance tech tip for May

Phil Tughan found us these  great videos on white balance:

  • Mike Browne on the basics of white balance
  • Mike Browne on dealing with mixed white balance
  • Phil Steele (uses grey card as reference)
  • Mark Wallace from Adorama TV (uses grey card as reference, but mentions that there are other more accurate tools)
  • (says grey or white can be used but uses white)

and a new twist from Marlene Hielema who says:

  • I’m not talking about White Cards – but White Balance cards. Very big difference. The Canon manual is wrong. 18% Grey cards are for exposure, not for White Balance. In my classroom, I have lined up several 18% Grey cards in a row and they are visibly different colours, because that is not their purpose. Their purpose is to reflect a certain amount of light for metering purposes. You might think they are neutral and maybe you’ll get lucky once in awhile, but they are not exactly neutral.
  • Yes. But 18% grey cards vary the most as they were not designed for colour, but for exposure. So in one of my classes I got all my photo students to bring in their grey cards and we shot them all in one frame and there were many “colours” to choose from.
  • It will be close, and for most people close enough. You really need to do a side by side comparison with a proper calibrated WB card to get the true custom WB. Try the Xrite color checker passport and you’ll see the difference. The 18% Grey cards are printed on paper and will fade quickly over time. Actually all of the calibration cards will.