White balance (WB) is basically how warm or cool your image is. You can have your camera on auto white balance and even base that on what sort of light you’re in, or you can manually put in the Kelvin degree and eye-ball it and hope it’s ok. I did the latter option because I thought that’s what all pros did (they don’t), and would spend a long time editing and would constantly have to tweak exposure when editing.
You can adjust white balance in Lightroom, but it’s always better to get settings right in camera. I remember being so frustrated with my images because I couldn’t get white balance just right, and also noticed my images weren’t always consistent due to white balance. Then one day Ryan and Alyssa posted a blog on the ExpoDisc, and soon after I saw Amy and Jordan were promoting it too. I love both their styles and how their images look so natural, so I started looking into it.
The ExpoDisc is a thin round filter that you can screw on or hold (I just hold it) in front of your lens, then stand where your subject will be standing with your camera pointed to where you will stand. This way, it measures the light hitting your subject, rather than the light bouncing off like auto WB does which is less accurate. You can view a detailed tutorial for your model of camera here! Basically put your camera WB on preset, point to where you’ll be standing and press the shutter, and then you can put it away and just pull it out again if you change spots. My camera bag has a little zipper pouch on the outside that it fits in perfectly. It also measures exposure, but I often darken mine a little more before photographing my subject.
It has saved me SO much time editing (I know I keep saying this, but it’s true!), and made my images look so natural and skin tones are a lot more accurate. I’m not too sure how I managed without it!! I have taken it and used it at every single session since I’ve had it.
Here’s an example of before I used the expo disc (I’d manually put in the Kelvin temp number for WB), along with my camera settings. Yes, the end picture looks pretty consistent with my style, but I would shoot underexposed and also too warm constantly, which means more editing time.
(before my edits is on left, after on right)
Here’s examples with the ExpoDisc. The left is before I edited it. Again, I normally make my exposure a little darker than the expo disc reads since I’d rather lighten the image later than darken it or lose detail. I didn’t touch white balance on any of these. It’s helped me be more consistent with my natural, light style.
I hope this is helpful! I’m now flying through editing which has helped me be more efficient and also more consistent! Have a great rest of the week!
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get the guide