Frequently Asked Questions
What is White Balance?
White balance (WB) is the process of removing strong color casts from photographs. In the days of film photography, white balance (color balance) was controlled by the film type and by the film lab. The photographer’s role was limited to choosing the best film type for the conditions. Film for daylight and for tungsten (indoor light) was available. In addition, color balance filters could be placed over the lens. In most cases, WB happened at the mini-lab. The photo printing machine applied automatic WB, and the lab technician might also check the prints and correct the colors. As a result, most film photographers were completely unaware of the whole process of WB. Today in digital photography, there is no special film and no lab technician, so WB is the sole responsibility of the photographer. To make things easy, digital cameras have automatic white balance (AWB), which works well under ideal conditions.
However, AWB performs poorly under some conditions, even in the most advanced DSLR camera. Once a photographer moves beyond phone cameras and simple point and shoot cameras, she will notice color balance problems in some of her photographs. This is the reason she needs a DGK color tool.
What is a Digital Grey Kard?
DGK Color Tools Digital Grey Kard (DGK) products are simple, easy-to-use, ultra-portable, and economical WB tools. Each DGK is formulated to be spectrally neutral under all lighting conditions. As a result, the light reflected from the DGK is a true and accurate representation of the physical qualities of the light illuminating the card. Nothing is added, nothing is distorted, and nothing is taken away. To perform a WB operation, the photographer uses the camera’s controls to register the light reflected from the DGK as a reference. Using this reference, the camera or the post processing software can then perform a precision correction of all the colors in the photograph.
How Do I Use the Color Patches on the DKK and Other DGK Color Calibration Tools?
The 18 color patches on the DKK and other tools such as the WDKK and DKC-Pro include primary colors, process colors, and natural colors such as human skin, sky, flowers, and foliage. These scientifically prepared colors reflect the entire visible spectrum of light in a consistent, accurate way. You can use the charts as an objective color reference in the studio or in your post-production work to compare and analyze any color differences or errors that may occur.
How Do I Use DGK Color Tools for In-Camera Custom White Balance?
To use the DGK Color Tools products, such as the DKK, WDKK, and DKC-Pro, as the basis for an in-camera custom WB, you will need to review your camera’s manual and become familiar with “custom white balance” operations. Set the camera to the custom WB setting. Place the DGK Color Tools card so that it is illuminated by the same light as your subject and take a photo of it. Make sure enough of the center of the frame is covered by the card. Consult your camera’s manual to see how much should be filled. Go through the menu to select the photo of the card to set your custom WB. You can save the WB shots and re-use them at any time. You’ll need to shoot a new custom WB shot each time you go into a different room, the lights change, or the sun goes behind a cloud.
Can I Get DGK Color Tool Instructions in a Language Other Than English?
In the Color Correction 101 section of our website you’ll find a full array of user guides and other instructions to help you get the most out of your DGK Color Tools product(s). We have provided translation of our “Quick Start User’s Guide” in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Hebrew, and Arabic. For additional languages, or to translate other information sheets on our website, try Google Translate.