Comparison of three versions of Yucca, Red Rock Canyon, Nevada shot as jpg files. The camera's auto white balance resulted in colors that are too cold (toward cyan-blue), mainly because the quality of late afternoon light and the bright reddish rocks fooled the camera's interpretation of a proper white balance. Daylight white balance mode gave excessively warm colors, saturating the subtle shades of green in the Yucca with too much orange. Using the ClearWhite white balance filter to obtain a custom white balance gave a very clean rendition of colors - true greens in the yucca, correct blue sky and subtle browns in the hillside and rocks. See the testimonials page for user comments and more images. Click here to order. Fast Worldwide Shipping!
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Simplify your digital workflow and get superb color balance
ClearWhite white balance filters and
neutral gray cards - the ClearWhite white balance system.
The Perfect White Balance Tool for
Landscape Photography, Interior Photography, Precision Studio Photography,
Photojournalism, Event Photography and creating LCC profiles for your lenses
Why use a white balance filter?
Traditional photographers who use color film are concerned about the quality of the color that the film is capable of reproducing. With film, we had a wide choice of materials: Fuji Velvia (for brilliant, very saturated colors), Fuji Provia (good clean colors, very neutral color rendition), Kodak Ektachrome (perhaps slightly cool colors, moderate contrast and good detail in highlights and shadows), Fuji Astia (low contrast color film with great highlight detail, clean but not overly saturated colors) and much more. Basically we could choose a film that is well balanced in terms of the color and saturation that we like and that matches the types of images we shoot.
In digital photography however, we use a sensor built into our camera to capture an image, instead of film. Although different kinds of sensors and processing algorythms will yield slightly different color results, we are pretty much locked into our equipment and we must yield to the results that our particular camera/sensor are manufactured to produce. Fortunately, digital cameras have various settings and capabilities which allow us to capture and output images with varying color balances and, to some extent, various degrees of contrast or dynamic range. The usual camera settings are, however, based on an "average" range of images taken under specific lighting conditions. More often than not the built-in camera settings do not yield good color results over a wide range of different light sources (daylight, twilight, sunset, tungsten, etc.).
The use of a good white balance filter is an enormous help to the photographer who is concerned with producing images with the proper color balance right from the moment of capture, streamlining the digital workflow and reducing the amount of destructive manipulations. If we are shooting JPG files in our camera (and a huge majority of commercial photographers do) we must be even more concerned with getting the right color at the moment the shot is taken. Any color manipulations in programs such as Photoshop will be a destructive process - you'll lose delicate nuances of color with each color-correction that is done to the file. In addition, disturbing color-crossovers can and will occur with JPG or TIF files that have not been properly white balanced from the start. Add to that the workflow issue and the possible need to show clients the images immediately after a shoot. If the client sees images that are overall clear and cleanly saturated with the proper colors, the benefits are obvious.
Even if we shoot RAW files in our camera, the use of a good white balance filter assures that the color of our images will be very close to perfect right from the start, with little, if any, time required to color-correct the images in our preferred RAW software developer (such as Adobe Camera Raw, Photoshop Lightroom, Bibble Pro, Capture One Pro or ACDSee Pro). Aside from the time-saving factor, there are other benefits to getting the proper balance of colors right from the start. As Ansel Adams once said, "I am content to be precise". That was a philosphy that shouldn't be lost even in the digital age, where we can so easily turn to a multitude of methods for manipulating images and overlook the basic essentials of starting with a good concept and clean execution right from the start. Using a good white balance filter to obtain the correct color balance for the particular lighting situation is like loading our camera with the perfect film every time!
Auto setting ClearWhite filter
Images courtesy of Jeff Steinwand. www.sportruck.com . White balance tests performed with a Nikon D70s digital camera using (L to R) the camera's auto white balance preset, the ClearWhite filter color balance, and the shade preset. In this example, the ClearWhite filter gives the most neutral and accurate color by far. The Auto and Shade settings were useless here as the colors are far from correct. Actual color of truck is beige-tan, closest to the ClearWhite rendering. Actual color of the dirt was very slightly warm gray. See user comments on the testimonials page. View gallery images at: Digital Color Photography Gallery | Death Valley Color Gallery | San Francisco Color Gallery
ClearWhite filters are individually hand-crafted, hand-dyed and calibrated for use in any lighting condition, even tricky indoor lighting. Every ClearWhite filter is tested "on camera" against a calibrated master standard to assure that the color transmission is within a tight tolerance of +/- 50 Kelvin. ClearWhite white balance filters are made from extremely durable, impact-resistant satin-surface acrylic in 4" x 4" squares. These 4" x 4" (100mm x 100mm) square filters will fit any lens filter size from 25mm to 95mm and all sizes in between. It does not matter if your lens filter size is smaller or larger than the circular opening of the ClearWhite filter's black foam coating. Larger 5" x 5" (126mm x 126mm) size ClearWhite filters (for very large wide angle lenses - and for creating LCC profiles in Capture One Pro software with very large lenses) are also available. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more details.
Extremely easy to use, the ClearWhite filter is simply held up in front of your lens and pointed at the predominant light source when setting your camera's custom white balance. You don't even have to remove your lens shade! The highly diffuse nature of these filters takes into account the actual color of light hitting your subject. The surface on one side of the filter is coated on the perimeter with non-reflective, soft pure black foam, so that there is no danger of scratching your lens, or obtaining an inaccurate color balance due to reflections from behind the camera. You can also use these filters to accurately determine the amount of lens vignetting (darkening toward the edges of your image) and to detect dust or problems with your digital camera's sensor (something that can't reliably be done with white balance cards or cheap white balance filters). The ClearWhite filter can also be used to perform accurate zone system calibrations (film speed and development times) for any film format. Other methods used to obtain custom white balance, such as those found on many photography forums, may be too cumbersome, inaccurate, non-uniform or unequally responsive to different spectral qualities of light. Using a plain sheet of diffuse plastic to set your custom white balance will not be as accurate as the ClearWhite filter under a variety of lighting conditions and can easily be off by as much as 1,000 K or more! Tests by major photography publications comparing the ClearWhite filter to other white balance filters (some costing from 2 to 3 times as much) show the ClearWhite white balance filter is the winner with more neutral colors (better balanced colors) in nearly all lighting conditions.
Now included in every ClearWhite System is the new ClearWhite neutral gray card. These superior quality cards are custom made with durable polystyrene material and guaranteed to be within very tight color tolerances (measured as Red, Green and Blue) to a known standard, the GretagMacbeth neutral gray patch. Every card is coated on one side with a neutral gray color-fast finish. The opposite side is white allowing easier white balance calibration for dimly lit subjects such as night shots. Every ClearWhite neutral gray card is calibrated to an approximate reflection value of 18% gray, similar to Kodak neutral gray cards, and can be used for accurate white balance and exposure in all kinds of photography - landscape, interior, portrait, product, etc. Photographers who prefer to use gray cards for certain types of photography such as portrait or product work will appreciate the accuracy and convenience of the ClearWhite neutral gray card. These cards can be used to achieve precise custom white balance and exposures both in-camera (on the scene) or in post-processing (on the computer). ClearWhite neutral gray cards can also be used as a print-matching color and Zone V middle-gray standard to assist the photographer in determining neutral color and gray values as well as subtle color casts in his or her prints.
These premium quality gray cards are unique in the extremely flat, dull surface qualities compared to many other gray cards. That means placing the cards at a specific angle to avoid error-causing reflections is no longer a major concern, making these cards easier to use and generally more precise than smooth-surfaced cards. Every ClearWhite neutral gray card is approximately 4 x 6 inches in size - large enough to take good accurate white balance readings yet small enough for convenience. These 4" x 6" cards will fit 100mm filter pouches, along with your assortment of filters, making this a convenient size for photographers.
Includes the ClearWhite white balance filter with neck strap, ClearWhite neutral gray card, premium quality soft fabric bag and in-depth instruction manual
Every ClearWhite white balance system comes with complete instructions for use, including charts, white balance strategies, a simple Quick Guide to start getting perfect color results immediately, a ClearWhite filter with premium quality fabric bag and removable soft black neck strap, and a ClearWhite neutral gray card with quality verification label. The complete 4" x 4" (100mm x 100mm) system is now available at the new low price of $49.95 (plus shipping), and the complete 5" x 5" (126mm x 126mm) system is now available for the new limited time low price of $69.95 (plus shipping). Click here to order. Worldwide shipping! Every ClearWhite system is guaranteed to meet or exceed your expectations or your money will be fully refunded (minus shipping) if the filter and gray card are returned in perfect condition within 30 days of purchase. Speed up your digital workflow! ClearWhite white balance filters and neutral gray cards - the ClearWhite white balance system. The easy to use, versatile, low cost solution to achieving accurate, clean color from your digital camera.
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