White balance adjustment

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JerArdra

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Tom,

Great description and picture show.  Here is a tip I found in my monthly DIGITAL CAMERA Magazine.  They say if you're taking photos when the sky is completely overcast do not use the auto White Balance feature in your digital camera.  Change the white balance to cloudy which is usually depicted by the CLOUD SYMBOL in the camera's menu.  The experts at the magazine say this will make the colors more true to life.

Thanks for the nice blog.

JerryF
 

Tom

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Thanks for that tip Jerry. I'll certainly try that. I was really dsiappointed with the photos I took on those cloudy days.

Edit:  I split these messages out from this topic where I posted a number of photos. Jerry was kind enought to pass along some advice on how I could have achieved better results from some of the disappointing shots.
 

Tom

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JerArdra said:
They say if you're taking photos when the sky is completely overcast do not use the auto White Balance feature in your digital camera.  Change the white balance to cloudy which is usually depicted by the CLOUD SYMBOL in the camera's menu.

Jerry, since you wrote that comment, I've been doing some reading on digital photgraphy. With a good book in one hand, my camera's owner's manual in the other and my camera sitting next to me, I've been correlating what the book says with the capabilities, features and available settings of my camera. One thing I discovered, almost by accident, is that the auto white balance range on my camera doesn't extend to cloudy. So I obviously need to manually set the white balance on a cloudy day. Meanwhile, we've had clear skies since I read that, so I haven't been able to try the manual override under cloudy conditions.
 

DougJ

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So I obviously need to manually set the white balance on a cloudy day. Meanwhile, we've had clear skies since I read that, so I haven't been able to try the manual override under cloudy conditions.

But if it were coming on to evening, or even if it wasn't, and you wanted to warm up the pic, then set WB to cloudy in your clear skies condition.

Ciao,

Doug
 

Tom

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Thanks Doug, I'll give it a try.

As you can probably tell, I've always been a point-and-shoot photographer (is that an oxymoron?) Jim Johnson's recent comment in another topic describes me well: "I am not a photographer - - - I take pictures", but I'm attempting to learn.
 

DougJ

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I've always been a point-and-shoot photographer (is that an oxymoron?) Jim Johnson's recent comment in another topic describes me well: "I am not a photographer - - - I take pictures", but I'm attempting to learn.

I think point-and-shoot is probably where we all start--certainly that's where I started with my Brownie box camera.  And some of us get bitten by the bug of trying to capture better images in the camera and then post-processing them to get the best possible image, usually for printing.  The bug bit me and I went further getting into the chemical post-processing of b/w silver images.  And with the advent of digital technology I switched from the wet photo lab to the software photo lab.

So, may be you'll get bitten by the bug as others on this forum have.

Ciao,

Doug
 

Tom

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DougJ said:
So, may be you'll get bitten by the bug as others on this forum have.

If I have the time and patience Doug. More recently I'm realizing how bad many of my photos really are, especially the ones taken with my two Panasonic cameras. Neither of them are really point-and-shoot and neither of them have given the results I've seen with my prior cameras. So now I'm somewhat motivated to at least improve my photography skills and maybe the post-processing bug will come later.

When I was a kid I watched my Dad do all his own processing for weddings and other semi-pro work. I processed some of my own, but I really didn't get the processing bug. I also lost patience to some extent when my Dad used to use his light meter and do all the other necessary prep work.
 

Jim Dick

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Tom said:
Thanks Doug, I'll give it a try.

As you can probably tell, I've always been a point-and-shoot photographer (is that an oxymoron?) Jim Johnson's recent comment in another topic describes me well: "I am not a photographer - - - I take pictures", but I'm attempting to learn.

Tom,

I read somewhere, once, that a professional photographer went on a shoot with an amateur. The amateur had a fancy SLR and the pro had a point and shoot. Guess who got the better pictures?? I thought Jim's photo was framed perfectly. Lighting is uncontrollable but can be fixed, if desired, in the darkroom.  I will have to go back to the other thread to see your photos.

The local photo shop owner in Titusville told me the challenge for a photographer is to go out into the field with just one lens.
 

Tom

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Jim,

One of the "bad habits" I have to drop is the tendency to see a shot, grab the camera and just click. I was able to get OK photos doing this with several of my prior digicams, but not these two. I'm definitely having many "ah ah" moments as I'm reading the excellent book and the owners manual while trying things on the camera. I also need to get out and start experimenting, taking multiple shots of the same scenes with my new-found knowledge. The hardest part is going to be remembering what to do and when  ;D

I bought my first Minolta SLR camera while travelling in the far east 30+ years ago. At first I merely clicked away in Program mode, but then I started to patiently write down every setting I made for every shot. When I got home from the trip and had the films developed, the best shots were the ones I took blindly in Program mode. There ended my creativity in photography.
 

Jim Dick

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Tom,

My first SLR was the Minolta SRT-101. Really loved that camera. The lightmeter finally gave up the ghost and it wasn't worth fixing. I then got the Minolta X700 but didn't like it as much as the 101.
 

Ron from Big D

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The local photo shop owner in Titusville told me the challenge for a photographer is to go out into the field with just one lens.

Jim:

      It is a challenge alright, but I don't understand its purpose other than the challenge itself.  Now, if a photographer could only carry one lense, then that's different.  Why not take full advantage of the equipment that you have?  Most of the point and shoot cameras have telephoto and macro capabilities.  Rather than one lense, you carry one unit.  I'm afraid that shop owner is an old timer who doesn't want to take advantage of the new technologies.
 

DougJ

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The amateur had a fancy SLR and the pro had a point and shoot. Guess who got the better pictures?? I thought Jim's photo was framed perfectly.

And now we ask, why?, Jim.

IMHO the answer is that the pro's "technology" is the capacity "to see" the image he wants when it is in its final format;  the amateur but would-be pro goes just with the technology.

Ciao,

Doug
 

Tom

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DougJ said:
IMHO the answer is that the pro's "technology" is the capacity "to see" the image he wants when it is in its final format;  the amateur but would-be pro goes just with the technology.

IMHO that's exactly right Doug. One thing I've wondered is if there's a correlation between a photographer's ability to see the desired end result and that of an artist or an artistically inclined person. Art was definitely something I've never done well at - creating my own, copying or appreciating the finer points of the works of others. My wife OTOH comes from a very artistically inclined family and she is always able to see a final product. She's not an artist per se although she can draw and paint but, for example, when we first looked at this dark, dingy house, she immediately had a picture of what it could/would look like after remodelling. I OTOH couldn't see beyond the front door. I've observed this "seeing what it could be" phenomenon with Chris for years and can only sit back in admiration and awe.

Technology OTOH is something I've embraced over the years, but Chris has zero interest in anything involving technology. Heck, she fights with the TV remote every evening.
 

Jim Dick

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Doug,

Exactly. Seeing the desired end result ahead of time makes it much easier to obtain rather than try to "fix" it in the darkroom. Again there's no control over natural lighting which does make a difference in the result.
 

Karl

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Tom,

Being artistically challenged myself, I can appreciate those who are able to envisage an end result and put it into a audible, visible or readable form. I like to think of a camera, piano or paintbrush as nothing more than a tool. Like a hammer, in the hands of a craftsman, beautiful and functional things can be created. In others, it can wreak havoc. A technologically advanced camera will not make an Ansel Adams (who never used anything but large format sheet film cameras) out of a Homer Simpson. Like is often said of computers, they enable the average person to make millions of mistakes in a very short period of time. Same with cameras. With digital media, you're no longer hampered by the cost of film and processing; you can take as many bad pictures as you want for very few dollars. Professional photogs do shoot the same scene many times, but that's because they are reaching for that 'one' perfect one. Concert musicians don't have that advantage; one wrong note and it's caught immediately by everyone in the audience. The electronic cameras of today serve to eliminate or reduce the number of common exposure, contrast, focusing, and other errors, but it's still up to the picture taker to choose the subject, framing, and a host of other variables, wisely.
 

Tom

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Understood Carl.

Karl said:
The electronic cameras of today serve to eliminate or reduce the number of common exposure, contrast, focusing, and other errors, but it's still up to the picture taker to choose the subject, framing, and a host of other variables, wisely.

I used to believe that, especially given the "decent" results I've had with several digicams (aka DSCs), until I purchased my current two Panasonic cameras. Another forum member posted a similar disillusionment with photos he was taking with the same brand of camera.
 

Ron

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I have a Jerry F camera, a Panasonic FZ30, and IMHO it is an outstanding camera.  I find this camera has opened up a lot of photo opportunities.
 

Tom

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Ron,

For clarification, I'm not knocking Panasonic or any of their cameras. I'm also not about to go out and buy another camera, having already passed on the FZ30 before buying what I have. However, I have acknowledged in a prior topic that the FZ30 is a great camera.

Both the Panasonic cameras I've been talking about are cousins to the FZ30, but each model has a slightly different subset of the Panasonic software. (The main difference between the cameras is the lens, although there are other functional differences, some of which were discussed in a prior topic.) Would you mind checking your FZ30 owners manual to see what the range of auto white balance is? It may be that they made it a slightly wider range in the FZ30 than in the FZ7. In both my FZ7 and FX9PP owners manuals it's under 'auto white balance' and shows ranges for auto and various manual settings, but I had to look closely at their table to realize that the auto range stops at 7000K, just before the 8000K top end of cloudy. I'd completely missed that on casual reading of both owners manuals.

I'm not sure this is what my problem was with those photos I previously posted, but I'm currently experimenting with manual white balance and light metering settings.

BTW which mode do you normaly use the FZ30 in? When I talked with my daughter the weekend (she also has the FZ7 camera), she told me she's only used it in 'Simple' mode, whereas I've mainly used mine in 'Program' mode.

Thanks.
 

woodartist

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Art is in the eye of the beholder. ;) Personally I think the picture is great. I have a Nikon digital camera and really like the old 35mm better. More control and sharper pictures. Digital is the way to go, but I don't think the versatility is there yet....at least in my price range :D I've experimented with my digital ( I do professional work) and it really is lacking in certain areas. Also Photoshop still doesn't have the pleasant odor of developer, stop bath, fixer, etc. ::)
 

Tom

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woodartist said:
hotoshop still doesn't have the pleasant odor of developer, stop bath, fixer, etc.

LOL that takes me back to when I was a kid in my Dad's darkroom. It actually brought back the smells.
 
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