white balance

1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson in commercial studio in St Petersburg Florida with Marquita

Marquita as the model during her commercial photography lesson in her own photography studio!I met Marquita for a second 1-on-1 commercial photography lesson yesterday, this time at her photography studio in the artisitc Grand Central district of St. Petersburg.  She had been practicing since we first met a few weeks ago in Curtis Hixon Park and was having some white balance issues shooting on a white background using her studio light setup.  Even though she was shooting in RAW using auto white balance, the images coming out of the camera were looking warm, and thus skin tones did not look natural, etc.  To solve this problem I showed her how to set a custom white balance on her Canon T2i which was thankfully not too difficult to figure out just by looking in the menus.  Sure enough, once she used the new custom white balance, her photographs came out looking true to color straight from the camera, not post-processing white balance adjustments needed.  

She also wanted her white background to look more white, such that it was invisible.  I put one of her studio lights directly on the background to essentially blow it out, and that combined with the custom white balance made the subject appear to be on a pure white background, again no post-processing editing needed to fix.  

We concluded the lesson by seeing what just one speedlight off camera with a reflector can do (see the above portrait of Marquita).  Marquita will be investing in a better speedlight for her event photography work, which she can also use in her studio too.  

For the next lesson we will tackle Photoshop and how to add any color background to a subject shot on her white studio background!

For party planning services, visit Marquita's website.

DSLR Photography Lesson with Karin on product shots

A sample incomplete product shot of a Guy Harvey designed pillow in a homemade lightbox.New DSLR Photography Lesson student Karin has a booming pillow and cushion business featuring embroidered designs by Guy Harvey.  She has literally hundreds of variations of the pillows regarding design, color and border and she wants to have photographs of everyone one of those iterations on her business website for customers to browse and buy.  

She setup a very nice homemade lightbox (see my DIY attempt) in her office with multiple hot lights.  However, she was having white balance and overall image quality problems.  Well, I was able to sort out the white balance problem very quickly by setting her Canon XT with a custom white balance.  Thanks to Natasha who had a lesson earlier in the day and also has a Canon XT and showed me how to set the custom white balance on the XT!

After this we spent the rest of the lesson better arranging the proportions of the lightbox and discussing what photography gear Karin should next invest in.  Let's just say she is ready to make a significant investment!  I will be helping her get all her new stuff setup and running during our second lesson already scheduled for next week.  I am looking forward to continuing the interesting photography lesson-project with her! 

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