Why You Should Use Custom White Balance

While I try to be consistent and do a custom white balance all the time, I confess I sometimes get sloppy and choose to try and fix it in Lightroom.

Here is a photo I shot with my Nikon Z6 shooting with Auto White Balance.

Temp: 3,350 Tent: +26 [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 10000, 1/200, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 300)]

When the camera is seeing this scene it is factoring in the projection screen behind the speaker which was a different color temperature than the speaker.

I realized all the photos on the stage were off, so I selected all of them and did a color balance based on my calibrated monitor. Here is the result.

Temp: 3,250 Tent: +4 [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 10000, 1/200, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 300)]

I had used the eye dropper on a microphone. Well it is close but not perfect.

Then the next day I got there early and asked the lighting guy to turn the lights on so I could go on the stage and get a custom white balance using the ExpoDisc. Here is another blog post on using the ExpoDisc.

Temp: 3,650 Tint: +11 [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 11400, 1/200, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 150)]

This is shot with the custom white balance. Big difference in nailing the skin tone.

Moral of the Story: Get A Custom White Balance

I recommend using the ExpoDisc. You can use it to help you 1) White Balance, 2) Set Exposure & 3) Dust Mapping. Here are the instructions for doing all this if you didn’t already know how.