How do you Color Balance your shot?

Discussion of architectural photography in general, plus postings for participating photographers in the Artifice Images licensing pool.

How do you Color Balance your shot?

Postby JarredStanley » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:47 pm

I was wanting to ask the Architectural Photographers in the forum the different ways they correct for color in both interior and exterior shots.

I learn most of what I do by trial so i'm not sure if my method is the right way but I typically use a 18% grey card for RAW balancing interior shots and manually adjust for color in RAW for sunny exteriors.
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Postby Pbartf64 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:19 pm

I mostly do my color balancing in the RAW converter. If I'm dealing with a complex interior I often use a white balance card. This gives a good reference because the card is neutral and allows the use of the color balance dropper in Adobe Camera RAW.

One major issue with balancing to neutral color, it tends to lack a feeling of the environment. I often like things a little warm especially for residential interiors so I move the color temperate slider till it looks right.

For both interior and exterior photography the idea is to have something to reference color. Sometimes the exterior may have something white to sample from and this helps get things close enough to fine tune by eye.

Color balance can be a pain sometimes but it gets easier as you learn. The great thing about shooting RAW files is the ability to adjust and redo images later on.

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Postby Inprintimaging » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:47 am

Set colour balance for the dominant light source in the room using grey card or colour temperature meter. Gel any addittional lights in the room to match the dominant light source so that everything is more or less the same.

It becomes more awkward where you have light sources that it is not possible to gel easily, so in that situation, yes I would result to messing round in raw, but out of preference I would avoid that where at all possible, because it wastes time later on in the computer.
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Postby JeffW » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:36 pm

I completely agree with the idea of gelling your lights at the time of shooting to get them all to the same kelvin temperature. I am more careful now than when I was shooting 4x5 negative films. Even though digital is more forgiving in some respects fixing later has become to time-consuming not to do it right in the beginning.
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Re: How do you Color Balance your shot?

Postby Philip Kang » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:41 pm

The most commercially profitable images of interiors are those devoid of people. Shelter magazines like to enable their readers to project themselves into a pictured dream house. That projection isn't possible if the rooms are already filled up with strangers. Nonetheless, many of the pictures of interiors that are the most successful as photographs are those that show people relating to what the architects have built.
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