White Balance

White Balance is a critical part of photography. If you shoot Jpeg even more so. In this weeks post I will go over how to adjust your white balance and the products and tricks that I use. There are a couple ways to adjust your white balance. The most simple way would be to use one of the settings in your camera. For instance if you are shooting in shade use the shade white balance setting. If you are in florescent light use the appropriate setting on your camera. You get the idea. To figure out how to change your white balance settings refer to your almighty manual.

There are also several products on the market that will help you set a custom white balance, again refer to your cameras manual on how to set a custom white balance. I use a product called the WhiBal gray cards. I hold this up in the scene, in the same light as my subject, and set the custom white balance. The important part is making sure you set your white balance under the same conditions as your subject. There are products on the market that you attach to the front of your lens to set custom white balance, but those are only useful when the light is consistent throughout the scene.

For example, if your subject is in the shade and you are in direct sunlight when you use a product that attaches to your lens you will be measuring the white balance of the sunlight not the shade. There fore your subject which is in the shade will have an inaccurate white balance.

The thing that I do being that I shoot in RAW, is I have my subject hold the card, or I set the card up in the scene, and take a photo. Then in post processing I use my white balance tool and click on the grey card that I photographed. My photo will then always have the proper white balance. I can then proceed to batch process all the images I took under the same lighting conditions. Easy peasy!

My WhiBal card saves me time and frustration, along with giving me the results that I am looking for.

Baeolophus Bicolor


What's a Baeolophus Bicolor? Well it's the scientific name for a Tufted Titmouse. Ok so what's a Tufted Titmouse? It's a bird! In Cherokee legend the Tufted Titmouse are regarded as messengers. They live in areas with a decent amount of rainfall approximately 24 inches or more a year and most live their entire lives within a few miles from where they were born. This weeks post picture was taken at my home here in Michigan.

We finally got some snow this last week and after the storm rolled through the birds where out at the feeder quite a bit. This guy was sitting in the tree waiting for an opening to get to the seed. Many other bigger birds where occupying the feeder and he was waiting his turn.

I took this photo using my 70-200 2.8 II with a 1.4 extender III. I used a 580 EX II  for fill flash and a catch light.



What's Your Shooting Percentage?

I was talking with a beginner photographer the other day and I was asking about her recent trip. She said it was good but she took twenty or so photographs and only one was "good enough". She seemed upset or down on herself for only getting one keeper after twenty or so photographs. I told her that was an excellent "shooting percentage". On a typical day for me I might take 200 photographs of a sunset. If I get 2 or 3 out of those 200 that meet my standards I am pretty happy with that! Sometimes I will even go out on a shoot and not even get one photograph that meet my standards. Just wasn't my day. We all have those days! Don't be hard on yourself, it happens, it's part of the craft.

With time and practice your shooting percentage may improve, but the great thing about the digital age is that we don't have to buy film. Shoot away! People don't know that the one photograph I display took me 200 tries to perfect, nor do they really care. All they know is that they like the photograph. I have never had anyone ask me how many tries did it take to get that photo.