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Exposure and White Balance Targets

EzyBalance, XpoBalance and TriBalance

These three products are produced by Lastolite, and their functions overlap.

EzyBalance is a collapsible replacement for an 18% grey card with a white reflector on the reverse side. It is produced in three sizes 12, 20 and 30 inches. The 12 inch version is convenient, in that when it is folded down in its case it is pocket sized, under 6 inches across.

Lastolite page - www.lastolite.com/ezybalance.php


You can click on smaller images to see larger versions.

XpoBalance is a collapsible target with three sections on each side. On one side you have black, white and 18% grey and on the other 18% grey and grey shades representing one stop over and one stop under.  Triangular with rounded off corners it's just under 15 inches across. Folded down in its case it's just over 6.5 inches across.

Lastolite page - www.lastolite.com/xpobalance.php


 XpoBalance reverse

TriBalance is a triangular silver reflector, with 3 patches, black, white and 18% grey on the reverse. It is the same size and shape as the Lastolite Trigrip reflector range being 30 inches in its longest direction.

Lastolite page - www.lastolite.com/tribalance.php

Use of these targets

Exposure - use the 18 % grey with spot meter on your camera to get the equivalent to an incident light reading with handheld metre, this is where a metre is used with a diffuser intercone to measure the light falling on rather than reflected from a subject. You can also use it with spot or centre weighted metering to get a good reading in many situations. The other two grey scales, where present, allow the equivalent of a stop under and over exposure. Using the darker grey makes the image lighter and the lighter grey makes the image darker.

Using  these for white balancing the camera. The 18% grey is used as a target when setting PRE. The use of PRE, white balance and more can be reached from the links at the bottom of this page.

Post capture (in editing) exposure and colour balancing

You take an image with the 18% grey target in the shot, and with the camera set the same, then go on and take a series of photos. In editing in Photoshop, Capture NX2 or some other package you use the levels or curves adjustment option and use the grey dropper to set the grey point to the 18% grey on your target image. You then save this change as a new action in Photoshop or select the change in the edit list and uses the batch 'save to file' or 'clipboard' options on Capture NX2. You can then apply this action in Photoshop or use batch changes in Capture NX2 to apply this change across the remainder of the images taken in the series.

Instead you can take an image of the black, white and 18% grey version, and continue as above using the black, white and grey droppers.

The advantage of this technique is that you can edit a batch very quickly allowing proofs to be produced without a lot of individual editing. So with a wedding, if the colour balance was set with PRE, and then the post capture method used to set colour, and contrast, you can see proofs can be available at the wedding reception, using  a laptop and a printer to print them out.

Please note

These techniques can greatly speed up the work flow and do work reliably as long as nothing changes, i.e. light, colour, or brightness, but you should experiment with all of these effects before using them in a live situation, as you will find that when using the different grey colours in particular you may have slightly different colours. Some also like to add to the batch process a slight warming and a small amount of sharpening, and all of this can be done in one operation across the pictures in the series. I would always suggest that you back up the originals unaltered. As long as you still have them on your card you can do this later if you are in a hurry to produce results to show people.

See also

White Balance

So what is white balance and why won’t auto white balance do.  The foundations of what white balance is and why we should use it, expanded with other articles.

Choosing the white balance setting to use  how to use the camera settings 

Setting and using PRE   The PRE setting within white balance allows us to get the most accurate colours - we look at how to use it.

Other steps we can take on white balance Other ways to manage colour and other approaches.

The K values of light  a table of colours of different types of light.

Photographing sunsets - Technical Tip. How to get the full effect.

Colour management outlined  


Aperture Defined.

Coping with high contrast

Exposure Masterclass Training course. run by Photography Skills. The object is to be able to manage exposure in just about any situation, coping with challenging situations and extremes, as well as being in creative control at all times. This, like several others, may at first seam like a simple subject but is an interesting and exciting range of knowledge and skills that allows you not only to get the right exposure in more situations but to understand why problems arise and how to overcome them. You take away with you both the understanding and skills as well as an exposure aid that is exclusively produced for clients of Camera  Images and Photography Skills.

Camera Images ‘Short’ 3 hour course that can be taken on its own or combined with others on Exposure Control and Graduated Filters, and we have also covered a little on this. In under half the time, the same ground cannot be covered as in the Masterclass but the basics and areas that are either of most interest or most relevant to your photographic interests can be covered. 

Filters-ND graduated filters   - the most essential filters, looking at hard, soft, reverse, strengths and how to decide what to use, setting exposure and more.

Graduated filters    - coloured graduated filters allowing images to be.


By: Keith Park Section: Photography Key:
Page Ref: exposure_targets Topic: Accessories Last Updated: 03/2009

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