Saturday, 21 May 2011

Today's lesson - white balance

It's probably clear by now that I am obsessed with my camera. I like to understand the physics of how the camera works, and I'm hoping to improve my skills prior to travelling to the States. I want *good* holiday photos, darn it!

This morning, I went wandering around Jellicoe Park in Onehunga. I have since realised that the reason many of the photos were unusable is the bright blue sky - everything looked blue! Next time, I'll try custom setting the white balance with a piece of white card. Incidentally, you can't fix those kind of problems with photo-editing software... computers can only help so much.

I took photos of the geraniums from quite a distance, using my telephoto lens. With such a long lens, any minor shakes (or leaves blowing in the wind) will create major blurs. This can be kept to a minimum with a fast shutter speed.

Amazing colour. And I can't believe that I nailed the depth of field so well on the flowers! Manual focus all the way, baby...

While I took photos across the Manukau Harbour to Mt Mangere, a lovely older gentleman regaled me with stories of why Jellicoe Park made such a good fort (yes, it was one). Obviously because it has such good views... and he expressed his sadness that for some reason the first thing the British did was to plant such huge non-native trees and block the view! Very true.

I don't know what this thing is. A marble sculpture of some sort. Mostly, I just liked the lichen.

A view down to the motorway and the new Manukau Harbour Crossing.

What can I say... I'm learning. Today's lesson - white balance!!!


  1. I believe I have another (and somewhat less skillful!) way of fixing that blue sky problem - use a polarised filter. I own one but have not yet had the opportunity to use it because I generally take photos of food! I bought it because my local camera store was closing down, it was 75% off and I thought "why the heck not". The guy there assured me that it takes the glare out of photos, which makes the sky bluer, and sand and snow less owey on the eye.

    I also bought another filter that day, the name of which escapes me, which I also haven't gotten around to using. I think it might be a colour filter, though, and apparently it makes the colours in sunsets and sunrises more true to what the human eye sees than what the camera sees. This means that your sunrise/set photos aren't insipid and washed out like they tend to be.

    I'll let you know when I use them!

    ~* Ness

  2. I think a polarised filter would help with the sky, but it probably wouldn't fix the fact that everything else would still be blue.

    Can't wait to see how your lenses go!

  3. So how do you set whitebalance? Is that the one where you go into settings and then take a photo of the white paper?

    It's been such a long time since I used my camera properly!

  4. Good question! I actually blogged about how to set the white balance, though admittedly I only know how to work my Canon. If you have a different brand, chances are it is a similar process.

    I hope this tutorial helps a little - but please let me know if it doesn't make sense! :-)


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