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Using a White Balance lens cap

ckristoff 13 994 Wales
15 Oct 2011 6:35PM
Hello Friends,

humour me please.Smile

I just purchased a White Balance lens cap from Eos Magazine, I'm assuming it's similar to the ExpoDisc, but a lot cheaper.

When I finally use it, should I aim my camera towards my subject, eg a landscape, or point it the opposite direction, like an incident reading?

Basically I just wish to improve the quality of my photos, while attempting to use the correct settings on my camera. I'm completely useless at using photoshop CS the version 8, which is why I've finally decided to purchase 1 of Paul Morgan's DVD.

If I still can't get it right, then I may give up on this photography lark. My camera has rarely been used in anger since June. Recently went walking on the Pembrokeshire coast path by Stackpole Quay, with my wife insisting I leave the tripod home.Tongue

Anyway, I look forward to my 2 new purchases. Everyone here seems to have a version of photoshop, I'm really tempted in buying the latest version of Paintshop Pro X4 ultimate. Would I be wrong in assuming PSP would be easier to learn than photoshop?

It's a long post, for which I apologise, be gentle please.

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15 Oct 2011 7:13PM
Not everybody here uses photoshop. A lot overuse it, your images look great to me.
I use aperture 3 so can't comment
Wales were robbed today !
ckristoff 13 994 Wales
15 Oct 2011 8:27PM

thank you so much for your kind comments, I really do appreciate it. In my opinion, my composition and focusing may be fine, but I don't know nothing about post processing, that makes any sense to me. Which is why I always use any automatic function I can find.

Functions like Curves and Layers are meaningless to me; therefore I'm afraid to touch it. THat is basically where I'm at.

My family think that I should sell my photos - but I says, not a chance.Sad I gotta keep trying I suppose.Smile

15 Oct 2011 8:59PM
Hi frank.
While you enjoy it keep shooting. Ephotozine site is good for tips on processing. I also subscribe to practical photography, it has all kinds of tips on processing. Worth a look for a couple of issues.
lemmy 11 2.7k United Kingdom
16 Oct 2011 11:13AM
I don't see why you'd want a white balance lens cap at all since the cameras make such a good job of it automatically.

It's worth taking the trouble to shoot in RAW, really, since you then set the white balance to how you want it after taking the picture.

To learn about curves and the like, why worry about it? Just make a copy of your picture and experiment with that, then you can do what you like.

In the end it is not a matter of write or wrong but developing your sense of what you want to see. Just because you can mess with images doesn't mean you have to or should. Most pix are better without post processing in my opinion.

We now live in a pictorial world where skies are either beautiful blue or dark and stormy, women's complexions are flawlessly spot and mole free, their teeth and eyes miraculously white....I'm exaggerating of course but there is a sameyness and blandness about much modern photography.

I'm with johnnyboy, keep taking pictures. The problem with post processing is that nothing can subvert the old computer saying, GIGO - garbage in - garbage out Wink
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
16 Oct 2011 11:28AM
Totally agree with the last two posts.

Either shoot in Raw or let the AWB function decide white balance if you shoot in Jpeg. Sell the "lens cap" on eBay and forget about it.

As other have said, your portfolio does not suggest much need for tinkering.
ckristoff 13 994 Wales
16 Oct 2011 3:00PM
Lemmy and LeftForum,

thank you very much for your kind comments.

In general I agree with what you say. I do use raw in most cases. So the white balance lens cap could only useful for jpegs perhaps?

I've always got AWB set on camera. Some people may think it's akin to keeping the camera on green square mode or P mode.

Thank you for suggesting my portfolio doesn't need tinkering with. That's very kind. What I'm trying to get at, is if I ever wanted to sell any of my photos, the post processing and the printing would need to be almost perfect.

Whether or not I would ever find myself in this position, I just don't know. But it would be nice to be able to print a photo at A3 and hang it on the wall and be proud of it.

Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
16 Oct 2011 3:05PM

Quote:But it would be nice to be able to print a photo at A3 and hang it on the wall and be proud of it.

You could print any of mine at A3 and hang them on the wall . . .

. . . in the garage.
lemmy 11 2.7k United Kingdom
16 Oct 2011 4:57PM

Quote:So the white balance lens cap could only useful for jpegs perhaps?

Yes, but pointless unless you have good reason to believe the camera will get it wrong. Which would be rare, in my experience.

After all, if the light is reddish at sunset, you don't want to eliminate the red hue or the pic won't have any sunset atmosphere. Accurate white balance is just a mathematical judgement. Inaccurate white balance can be much more attractive, in, for example, the sunset scene I mention above.

To be honest, setting white balance yourself is a pretty specialized thing for most of us and you don't sound you fully understand it anyway (no disparagement intended, if you are a newcomer, why would you?) .

If you have no special reason for using the WB lens cap, don't bother.
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
16 Oct 2011 5:36PM
Once again agree with Lemmy and would just add:

There are really only a couple of applications where very accurate WB is important:

1. When commercially shooting product photographs, where the colour rendition has to exactly match the actual product.

2. In movie or still sequences where you must have exactly the same WB in every frame.

For one-off photographs, forget it. You will probably want to process in a bit of colour alteration anyway (e.g. to make Lemmy's red sunset even redder).

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