Advice for Flash and WB settings

Started Dec 26, 2006 | Discussions thread
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mesposito Regular Member • Posts: 185
Advice for Flash and WB settings

I made a WB mistake with my the new D200 over the weekend. I was shooting a relative's Wedding Anniversary in a smallish hotel conference room for 60 people.

I fixed the problems in PP, but would like some hand slapping and advice to make sure I think through this better next time.

Setup: D200, P mode at 1/15th second @ f5.6. 18-200mm VR. Matrix Metering, SB-800 on the shoe, TTL BL. -1/3. Gary Fong Diffuser angled up one click, and white balance set to Flash. Low ceilings. Cool ceiling and warm walls.

Problem: When I looked at some test shots in the viewfinder trying WB settings of Auto and Flash, I decided to go with Flash because they looked warmer, and that seemed better for the occassion. That was a mistake. At viewfinder size the warmer shots looked nice. However, on the (calibrated) computer screen I could see that they were way too yellow.

The lighting was very even with the diffuser, (really nice) and everything was slightly underexposed, so easy to fix that. I ended up running everything through a Cooling Filter 82 in Photoshop, and that straightened out the WB. I couldn't get the white balance eye dropper to work. Not sure why.

It did prove to me that even JPEG WB problems are fairly easy to fix in non-extreme cases. Still, I should have shot RAW+JPREG for this occassion.


1. Did the Gary Fong mess with the Flash WB setting by softening it, or was my shutter speed too slow - letting in too much ambient light?

2. Seems like setting slowest flash shutter to 1/15th is problematic, even with the VR. It surely messed up a couple of shots where people where walking.

3. Should I have gone Auto (which were cool) and then just warmed them very slightly if needed?


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