White Balance setting for indoors

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by pnomanWV, May 31, 2021.

  1. +1 to Rodeo Joe's comment about lighting from bounced flash. One interesting technique--providing that the walls are relatively light and neutral--is to aim the flash diagonally backwards over one shoulder. This can produce a very appealing light, similar to having a high window in that location. It's similar to lighting used in some paintings.I don't do this with candids of kids--they move too fast for me to think about what walls are where--but I've used it with adults, and it's worked well.

    In general, I think a number of the postings in this thread overcomplicated matters for the OP. The fact is that in many indoor situations, simply bouncing an e-TTL flash--ideally with a bounce card--can produce excellent results with mininum fuss and bother. Are they studio-quality? Often not. Are they close enough that people looking at them as family photos won't notice any failings? Yes. I've noticed many times that when I say that I am dissatisfied with one of my candids, I'm the ONLY ONE who is concerned. Unless something is seriously wrong, most people look at family photos for the situation and the memory.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
    steve_gallimore|1 and pnomanWV like this.
  2. Indeed, how natural is it to have flash bounced off a ceiling, overpowering the light sources that you are accustomed to, so it looks more like you arranged your furniture under a glass roof?
    Bouncing off walls may work as well, but you get unexpected shadows and light from strange directions. Not for casual snap-shots.
    Just leave the lighting as found as it is, use that without complicating things further, and correct to taste afterwards.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
  3. Which means you end up with exactly the result the OP is trying to avoid!
    Which requires fairly advanced image-editing skills, and could take many times longer than simply clipping a flash into a hotshoe and pointing it upward.

    I'm not suggesting that the OP just wade in with flash attached and start shooting in a 'spray and pray' style. Because using bounce flash can teach one a lot about lighting.

    It costs nothing to experiment using a digital camera. So just practising to see what works is a valuable exercise, and those lighting skills so gained can then be put into practise later. Photography is all about light, and the more you know about it, and more importantly can have control over it, the better.
    Here's a simple example. The flower was indoors and lit by bounced flash; while the background was a garden seen through a window behind the flower. Without using flash I'd have either got a silhouette of the flower, or an overexposed background.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
  4. No. Trying to change colour balance so that it is 'correct' in all parts of the scene requires advanced editing. Correcting so that the main part of the scene is acceptable (no need to be accurate) is not a lot of work nor difficult.
    All the other options, including adding another light source with its own colour, and what to do to make matters better and not worse, is more difficult, requires a lot of time, and advanced editing skills. All make things more complicated than they need be, because trying to get as close as possible to an overall 'correct' result.

    A flower as an example is a good example of what i meant. You flower is lit as if under a bright, overcast sky. There are not many bright overcast skies indoors. The light there is never that even, is always directional, almost never from straight above., has a distinct fall off with distance, etc.
    Silhouettes of things against the light coming in through a window is the norm. Not good for a photo of a flower in a window, but quite o.k. for an interior in which you are not really interested in what is in the window in the background.

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