Setting a custom white balance

By , January 26, 2010 1:44 pm

Sometimes you can have mixed-lighting scenes and not be sure which preset white balance option to choose. Aha! There’s a good solution. You can set a custom white balance that will work for the exact, specific light or combination of light types in your setting. Here’s how:

  1. Get a piece of white paper or you can elect to buy cards from camera shops that are made for just this specific purpose.
  2. Set the camera to the exposure mode you use the most. (I use Av but you could also choose P, Tv, M, A-DEP exposure mode.)
  3. Set the white balance setting to any setting except Custom.
  4. Get in the light where you will be shooting.
  5. Set the camera to Manual Focusing. Manual Focusing is found on a switch on the side of the lens. You will see AF/MF. Select MF.
  6. Make sure you frame the shot so that your white paper fills the center area of the view finder. The center auto focus pont and the six surrounding points need to fall over the white paper.
  7. Press the Menu button. Turn the Main dial to select the Shooting 2 (red) menu.
  8. Press the up and down cross keys to highlight Custom White Balance, and then press the SET button.  You should see the image of the white paper with a Custom White Balance icon in the upper left corner. If you do not see the image of the white paper keep pressing the left key until you do.
  9. Press the SET button again. A  screen will appear asking if you want to use the white balance data from this image of the custom white balance. Press the right arrow to highlight OK, and then press the SET button. A second  screen appears. Press the SET button to select OK. Press the Shutter button to eliminate the menu. The camera imports the white balance data from the selected image.
  10. Press the WB button on the back of the camera, and then press the arrows to select Custom White Balance. The White balance screen appears. The Custom White Balance setting is identified with text and is labeled by an icon with two triangles on their sides with a black dot between them.
  11. Press the SET button.

AGAIN, this is worth a repeat – you do have to remember to change the white balance when the light changes.

Photo Credit

One Response to “Setting a custom white balance”

  1. Bobby says:

    Isn’t there some way you can do this in photoshop? Like I’ve seen in a photoshoot before where the model will hold a grey card and the photographer uses that image to tweak color balance on a computer.

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