A White Balance Trick For Tricky Situations

I got this question this week, and I thought I’d answer it with a simple answer, but also a cool trick just in case. First the question:  

“If I’m shooting in direct sunlight but am using a diffuser to soften the sunlight, do I set my white balance to shade or sun? “

Softening the sunlight shouldn’t change its color, so I would leave it set to Daylight. This is different than shooting in the shade where the sunlight is blocked and the color of the light captured by your camera turns blue, but with a 1-stop diffuser (btw, that’s the best $20 a photographer can spend for better outdoor portraits — that’s one in use shown above), it lets the sunlight thru and so I wouldn’t change the white balance unless the subject looked bluish. Luckily, this is an easy thing to test next time you’re out shooting. Take one shot with your white balance set to Daylight, one set to shade, and compare the color. Easy enough.

Now, that being said, below is a quick video, I made to show another method — using your camera’s Live View to nail the white balance in tricky lighting situations. Take a look:

Now, before you ask, “Scott!!! What!!! Are you switching back to Nikon?” Nope — I recorded that video a few years back when I was still shooting Nikon. Just thought I’d nip that one in the bud now. LOL!! :)

Hope you found that helpful. :)

I saw this quote in our KelbyOne community this week. It said,

“I rejoined K1 6 months ago after being away for several years. I can honestly say, I’ve learned more in the past 6 months than I have in the past 15 years”

That so made my day! If you’ve been on the sidelines, we’d love to have you back with us. Head over to http://kelbyone.com and start learning again today.

Have a great weekend everybody. :)



1 comment
  1. I have a colorchecker clamshell do-dad on a lanyard to use to nail the white balance in shots.
    The problem is, models hate wearing it and it takes hours to photoshop it out of all the shots.
    Maybe I’m not using it correctly ? :)

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