What is the correct way to use a White Balance filter?

Started Jun 18, 2014 | Questions thread
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makeshift New Member • Posts: 1
What is the correct way to use a White Balance filter?

Hey folks, first post!

I bought myself a white balance filter cap recently because from the tests I've seen done the results are roughly the same as using a grey card, and the filter is much easier for me to use seeing as I shoot solo, often in windy conditions and only have one set of hands.

I'm just trying to work out the correct procedure for taking a custom white balance using a filter - information I've been able to find online tends to be inconsistent and contradictory.

Almost everybody agrees that you basically just stand where your subject is and face the spot where your camera will be so you get a proper reading of the light as it will be falling on your subject.

The points of confusion seem to be:

1) Whether you point your camera directly at the source of the light that is hitting your subject (the sun, or a lightbulb on the ceiling, for example), or whether you point the camera towards where your camera will be set up for the shot. I've heard somebody argue that it's the latter, because sometimes (like when you shoot a bride in a green field of grass) the colour of the light is affected by what it reflects off in the scene (the grass, making the bride's white dress green-ish).

2) Exposure - I'm always told that you should only take a white balance after you've set your exposure...but if you use the filter method and set your exposure for the shot first, then turn around to face the light hitting your subject directly, in many cases this will mean your reference image will be overexposed if you just use the settings you'll be taking the shot with (assuming the light is not directly in front of the camera for your planned shot). I hope that made sense..?

If anyone can clarify these points for me that would be awesome!


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