The Wedding Dress White Balance Dilemma

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by plunar, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502

    plunar

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    #1
    Okay, usually not a dilemma, as the bride's usually dictate that the dress be pearl white in every shot.

    But from a photographer's perspective, i'm not sure. i often really like the white balance that paints a soft, warm ambient tone over the composition. it has atmosphere. i find the plain white balance that comes with a pearly white dress to be..... sterile.

    what do you think?
     
  2. macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #2
    I think most brides will be focused more on the people than the tone. You can choose to shoot with a real white or gray card balance and produce "as it actually was" pictures, or you can shoot the way your vision "sees" the scene. Either your clients will like your vision or not- or they'll like reality or not. I think that varies from shot-to-shot and person-to-person. Finally, you can shoot either way, adjust for the other, print both and ask a neutral third party.

    Personally, i think most of the time pure whites and blacks preserve the "fairy tale" look most folks want in a wedding, but a warmer tone is more of a vision thing. There's room for both, so long as they're not side-by-side.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    plunar

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    #3
    Take the two attached here. One metered for a white dress, the other warmer to accommodate for the natural lighting.

    This particular bride prefers the off-white in all the shots, as do i. but most of the brides i know want the white dress. it's frustrating, but i've learned to shrug it off and give them what they want.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    I'd probably have just rebalanced the dress for the second shot, the carpet looks horrid to me with that cast, but you have to give them what they want- that's either the fairy tale look or your vision, whichever sold them on choosing you.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #5
    What about a happy compromise? I suppose you could also make the offwhite dress with the other colors from the white dress pictures as well.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Wow, that's cool.

    Now I'm curious how you did that, Jopling. If you could explain, that'd be great.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #7
    Slapped them on top of each other in photoshop, then erased the dress in the top layer to expose the dress on the bottom layer.
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #8
    Changing the white balance just for the dress could become very time consuming...

    I would pick somewhere in the middle for something like that. For people, I try to go for warm skin tones without giving the rest of the room too much color cast.
     
  9. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #9
    The warm photo is too warm. Give them what they want by giving them a warmer photo, but don't overdo it. The carpet, their skin....it all looks bad. I mean, yes the carpet probably looks bad in real life, but you don't need to accentuate it. :p
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #10
    Did you use any flash in these photos?

    The heavy shadows under the chins and in the eyes lead me to believe that you didn't.

    A soft bounce flash would make all the difference in the world of "having" to color correct the dress.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    plunar

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    #11
    yeah i used a flash, but it was like a 50 foot high ceiling. the flash really struggled just to get what you see here. I replaced the sb-600 i used with an sb-800 literally the day after. nothing sucks more than not getting the shot you want because you're underpowered.

    but this is a more extreme example of the white balance, just to make a point.
     
  12. Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    #12
    That sounds like allot more work than it needed to be.

    I just did a quick tone edit in iPhoto to achieve similar results. Also did a touch on sharpness and contrast.

    attachment.php.jpg

    LOL!
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #13
    A bounce flash does not have to bounce off of the ceiling. You can use a simple index card and a rubber band around the top of your flash gun to give some soft light to your subject.

    I've used LumiQuest products for years, but a couple of weeks ago someone handed me a camera with this wierd thing on top I had never seen before. Check out the Light Sphere @ http://store.garyfonginc.com/liiido.html

    I've used it one time for one shot and will be checking it out more this week.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #14
    You can do a better/cheaper job with some foamy stuff from Wal-Mart and still get a wide bounce and not look like your mom's Tupperware collection got fused to your flash.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #15
    literally took under a minute
     
  16. DonaldStevens, May 17, 2013
    Last edited: May 18, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    #16
    Very nice thought. But in my opinion it should be more colorful than just white dress. It would make occasion more special :)
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    #17
    Your images just need a little bit more 'pop' in my opinion. The first looks typical for out of camera. But don't try fix that with the white balance. Instead use vibrance, saturation, contrast & levels (depending on the software these may have different names). This way, the dress will stay white.
    This is my suggestion:
     

    Attached Files:

  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    #18
    You do know that you just revived a 6 y/o thread?

    I might as well put my 2 cents worth. White balance for the skin and then tone the picture, it just looks weird if the dress is always perfectly white. Also why bother correcting this shot when the ladies aren partly looking at the camera and said camera is at a 20º angle?
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #19
    The use of software like Photoshop does indeed come in handy.

    From days of yore, one always shot for making the bride herself look best and the dress took a distant second. A good photographer can find often a happy medium and often the use of filters were used during the shoot on camera, flash or tinted reflectors etc.

    With Photoshop, it is very easy to get the ideal - create two layers that are identical on top of the original. On the newest layer, colour correct for best skin. On the layer beneath, adjust for the dress. Show all layers and then subtract out the top layer where the dress exists. This is much akin to evening out tones or special dodge/burn techniques but in this case, it is for colour balance.

    Interestingly enough, in the days of film, often shooting with Kodak pro films and printing on Fuji papers gave the best of all worlds. Skins were beautiful and the dress often had its own quality that was not an overdone static white but just a tiny hint of tint.
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    #20
    And I fell for it... :(
     
  21. macrumors demi-god

    DirtySocks85

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    #21
    HAHAHAHAHA That is great! Was skimming through this thread in all seriousness and then suddenly I lost it at that one. Thanks.

    Also, apparently I didn't notice that this was a 6 year old thread either. Oops.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #22
    As I read this thread the only name I recognized was "compuwar", I thought "wow, a lot of new people here in the photog forum". Then I saw 2007 and realized it was before I even got back into Photography Nov-2009.

    So. "DonaldStevens", why did you revive a 6 year old thread?
    As a test to members to see who is paying attention?
     

Share This Page