White Balance, or why your pictures never look quite right.
9 Aug 2008
The "Lally Cap" for better White Balance and better pictures.
The boring mind numbing techno info.
All sources of light emit a range of different wavelengths, which determines the color of the light. Light composed of short wavelengths, within the visible spectrum, will appear blue or (cool). Whereas, light composed of longer wavelengths, within the visible spectrum, will appear red or (warm). This coloring of light is usually expressed as color temperature or units of Kelvin. For example, many daylight films are balanced to a color temperature of 5400K or 5400 Kelvin. However, this is somewhat arbitrary value since many factors influence the color temperature of daylight such as time of day, time of year, altitude and atmospheric conditions. While the color temperature of film is generally fixed at 5400K many digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras can have their sensors balanced for a variety of color temperatures. This sometimes not so simple process is called setting the White Balance.
The problem as I see it.
The difficulty with setting the White Balance, in my opinion, has always been the need for a calibrated grey card which you are supposed to hold with one hand while holding the camera with the other while at the same time performing the calibrate White Balance thumb dance of button pushing. I don't know about you, but I only have two hands and I don't multitask so this method of setting the white balance has always been a real pain in the. The other problem, in my opinion, is the grey card. These things are made of cardboard or plastic they are rigid and never want to fit into any pocket you may have available in your camera bag and what happens if you get the card dirty or accidentally put a crease in the card. I cannot tell you how many grey cards I have had to toss out for any of the reasons listed above. There has to be a better way?
The better way is here.
I have some good news in the form of a wonderful little, light weight, easy to carry, easy to use, brilliant invention from www.lallyphotography.com called the "Lally Cap". This wonderful little device can be wadded up into a ball it fits in your pocket or camera bag weights nothing is easy to use, you never have to worry about putting a crease in it and if you get it dirty you can toss it into the wash. This almost sounds too good to be true. It's not!!!!!!
How it works.
The "Lally Cap" stretches over any lens. It presents a calibrated test target for the image sensor to evaluate and to "set" a custom White Balance from.
Scene specific light combined with reflected light is evaluated through the "Lally Cap". The result is an accurate custom White Balance "set" to produce correctly balanced colors.
No time consuming color balance corrections are needed in image editors to remove color casts.
One size fits most DSLR lenses
The price is only $29.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling (U. S. & Canada)
I have been using this wonderful little tool for a few weeks and all I can say is it is incredible. Not having to carry a grey card and treat it with white glove care has returned some of the fun to photography. Using the "Lally Cap" has simplified my workflow process, decreased the amount of time I spend editing pictures and increased the amount of time I spend taking pictures. I can find nothing wrong with this little piece of portable genius.