A question for you photography and textiles types.

OK I need some help here in regards to white balancing digital cameras. This is job related, but due to the NDA I can’t go into too many details. Suffice it to say that we currently white balance digital cameras using a large piece of white foam board (20” by 30”) and we currently white balance each camera individually. We want to be able to white balance two cameras at a time, but that would require double the white foam board and it has to be able to fold down the middle without having an obvious seam as that stops the white balancing from taking place (no, I can’t tell you why). It also helps in storing the white balance sheet as we would fold it up to put it on a cart.

We’ve tried using white paper, but that invariably creases when folded thus ruining it for the purpose of white balancing. So our next thought was to use some form of white cloth. The question is: is there any kind of cloth out there that won’t develop a serious crease that may interfere with a white balance? Is there anything that photographers make use of that may work in this instance? Any suggestions you guys have would be much appreciated.

4 thoughts on “A question for you photography and textiles types.

  1. Les, could y’all use something similar to the shelf liners people put down in their cabinets?  It’s kind of foam like, but rolls up easily.  It usually is “slightly bumpy” but you might be able to find some that has a smooth texture.  Also, I’m not sure if they make it in 20” width, but they might.

    Just a thought.

  2. The even bigger problem is that a lot of things that “look white” really aren’t, and will screw up your white balance.

    I would use a large sheet of white Styrofoam insulation.  Styrofoam is (unless deliberately colored) just about perfectly white with a perfectly matte finish.  The liners of light-mixing chambers in the Durst color enlargers I used to use were made of Styrofoam.

    The boards are cheap enough you can keep one at each location.  If you want to make them foldable, cut and fracture, then put matte-finish clear tape on the front (visible side) of the break.

    Remember to ‘overexpose’ slightly when photographing predominately white subjects, if metering the subject by reflected light.  If you meter by reflected light off an 18% gray card, you can use the exposure setting recommended by the meter.  If metering by incident light, you can use the setting recommended by the meter. 

    More details if you want ‘em.

  3. Have you all thought of using a small projection screen?  It would roll up when not in use, wouldn’t have a crease, etc.

    I’m a little confused, though, because on my Canon S3 the white balance is sampled from a small section in the middle.  I use a small sheet of 98 whiteness paper.  Or I’ve been doing it wrong.

  4. These aren’t your standard digital cameras like you’d find at Best Buy. Very niche and permanently mounted. Can’t go into too much detail, but Jimmy James did suggest in an email that we check out these custom lens caps called Expodisc that just might fit the bill.

    Expensive, but possibly worth it.

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