(Perfectly) White Balanced Portrait Photos of Cynthia at River Hongbao

Cynthia loves this picture the most, not sure why ...

Though I have received one good suggestion from a good friend of mine that I shall host my photo albums elsewhere until I am good enough to have them hosted here in my website, I thought it is good to show y’all my journey thus far.  Besides, I treasure constructive feedback from the seasoned photographers on areas that I can immediately improve upon.

Almost immediately.  As I do have to wait for the White Balance Reference Card to arrive from US.

One of the (many) tips my (mentor) Mathew has shared with me is that the white balancing is off in my photos.  What it really means (I think) is that the white color is not quite white from the photos I publish.  Fair enough.  Getting the properly balanced white color in digital photography can be a challenge under different lighting conditions.

Especially at the River Hongbao where there were lots of yellow and red and strange color cast onto the lovely face of my model.

You know, it took me a while to convince Cynthia to be my model at the Floating Platform.  I was there just days before this shooting session doing a media coverage for the opening ceremony.  I know all the angles and backdrop.  And I desperately needed a model to fulfill my dream.  Below are the photos taken to demonstrate the white balancing effect.  For high quality photos, visit my photography page.

This is extreme white balancing in action.  All but one photo showcased above or in my photography sub-site are individually white balanced.  See if you can tell which one is the odd one out.  Most of them are shot as-it-is with standard touch-up.  A rare few I have used a film effect to accentuate a certain artistic viewpoint.

Here is how I did it.  Because it was pretty crowded, I have to be creative in finding a right spot to take photo.  Having a wide angle lens help because the distance between my camera on tripod and my model can be pretty close.  Noticing the direction of the human traffic helps too.  Need not to say, it is better to align with the flow and not perpendicular from it.  The last thing I want is to have someone knocks onto my tripod or get in between my camera and my model accidentally.

Composition with tripod is hard.  Some say that shots with tripod is pretty boring.  It is of course not as flexible as hand held composition.  But hey, if I want to expose the photo for up to 1/2 second, I don’t really have much choice, do I?  I would take one photo with Cynthia posing in front of the camera and another one with her holding a White Balance Reference Card close to her face.  That latter photo I would use to take the reading for white balancing.  Extreme white balancing in action, why?  Because I did it for every photo – one for real and one for the card.  I keep the first one and throw away the second one.

I reckon I can still do a much better job with better flash lock for off-centered composition and perhaps a faster shutter speed (1/8 sec or faster?) compensated with higher ISO sensitivity.  Oh well, till the next time I guess.

PS. This is not a sponsored post on WhiBal.

Related Links: High Quality Photo Album of This Entry, WhiBal Card (external link)