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White Balance

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    tomcat606 e2 Member 597 forum poststomcat606 vcard
    17 May 2012 - 9:39 PM

    White balance if you shot in Raw is there any need to do anything apart from just leave the camera on auto WB and then do any alterations in Lightroom or any of the other softwares. I only ask because of the array of equipment on the market to help set your white balance.

    Just asking Steve Wink

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    17 May 2012 - 9:39 PM

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    ianrobinson e2 Member 41108 forum postsianrobinson vcard United Kingdom8 Constructive Critique Points
    17 May 2012 - 9:50 PM

    very rare do i use custom white balance, i use auto most of the time and use raw, i then adjust if necessary in one of 3 softwares i use, so no i don't personally think it matters at all.
    Auto white balance is probably the best to use although some will state otherwise just to look more pro than you Smile

    Ewanneil  41118 forum posts Scotland2 Constructive Critique Points
    17 May 2012 - 10:00 PM

    Bryan Peterson, author of "Understanding Exposure" advocates setting your WB control once and then leaving alone. But rather than leave it set on Auto he suggests setting it to "Cloudy". He does this because he prefers his images to be warm but acknowledges that if you don't like the result (and you shoot in RAW) you can always change it later using software.

    17 May 2012 - 10:30 PM

    I'm with Ian.
    I have it set to 'auto' all of the time.
    My theory is exactly the inverse of Bryan Peterson's. I also shoot exclusively in RAW but rather than undo a setting to change it I start with a (theoretically, at least) blank canvas.
    Modern DSLR's 'auto' W/B gets it about right 90% of the time anyway.
    The biggest problem that you'll encounter with using different settings in camera (apart from having to alter it later in software anyway) is that you'll forget to change it between shots.

    Last Modified By Jestertheclown at 17 May 2012 - 10:33 PM
    18 May 2012 - 7:04 AM

    I leave mine in auto unless I'm shooting strong colours i.e. Bluebells. Then I set uit to cloudy which gives those colours a little more punch.

    Dave B
    Dave B  12113 forum posts United Kingdom
    18 May 2012 - 7:37 AM

    The Bryan Paterson 'set WB to cloudy' point is interesting.

    I always shoot RAW and then tweak the WB in processing. I had always assumed that whatever the WB was set to in-camera it was ignored in the capture of the RAW data. Bryan Paterson is suggesting then that this is not the case? I've always just left the WB on auto by default.

    The only time I think about the in-camera WB setting is on the odd occasions what I shoot RAW + JPEG (so that I can quickly bung the JPEGs on to a CD and ask the client which RAW files they would like me to work on for them). For this I leave WB on auto mostly, only changing it if there is a definate reasion to do so. Again my assumption was that, whilst the RAW file did not have the in-camera WB applied, the JPEG would.

    Is my thinking correct or have I been wrong all these years?

    Cheers, Dave B.

    steveh5  372 forum posts United Kingdom
    18 May 2012 - 8:19 AM

    I have always understood that in RAW, WB is not used but is recorded in the EXIF data. When viewing on a screen a WB value is needed and the one recorded with the shot is used by default. The choice it then yours if you wish to use it or change it. If WB is critical I take a photo of a Grey card somewhere in the shoot, then if the light doesn't change it can be used as a known reference point in the processing stage. The main point is in RAW the WB can be changed as you wish on post processing without any loss in quality.

    Steve h

    Ewanneil  41118 forum posts Scotland2 Constructive Critique Points
    18 May 2012 - 8:30 AM

    The WB settings are fixed to the JPEGs but only attached to the RAW files, meaning you can alter the settings later in post processing. Try it for yourself. Set your WB to something wholly unsuitable to whatever the prevailing light conditions are; take a few shots and then play with the JPEGs and RAW files on your PC. You will be able to alter the WB on the raw files to achieve the desired result but probably wont be able to to the same with the JPEGs.

    Interestingly, the manual for my Nikon suggests, "Auto white balance is recommended with most light sources."

    geffers7 e2 Member 437 forum postsgeffers7 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
    18 May 2012 - 8:34 AM

    Mine is now set on daylight all of the time although I shoot in raw and can tweak it if necessary. I changed after reading David Noton's book - he uses daylight setting all of the time and I found that if using auto at sunrise and sunset the colour tended to be neutralised. Yes I can change at the processing stage but the less I have to do then the better.

    Nick_w e2 Member 73906 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
    18 May 2012 - 8:44 AM

    I always use AWB in landscapes. If you set WB in camera higher than that suggested it moves the red channel to the RHS, which can often clip in the highlights. Even if you check the histogram religiously it's easy to miss if the red channel has clipped ( and unrecoverable) and impossible to see if you only have the main luminosity graph showing.

    AWB tends to give an equalised graph, it's so easy to set in RAW, you could even set daylight to be apPlied in inport,

    Dave B
    Dave B  12113 forum posts United Kingdom
    18 May 2012 - 9:04 AM

    @ Ewanniel

    Ah, yes, that would seem right.

    I understand the post processing on RAW or JPEG, it was what physically happened in terms of information capture / application that I was suddenly a little uncertain of. I had assumed that whatever the natural colour temperature in a scene is then that is what would be recorded in the RAW file no matter what the WB was set to in-camera. I've never had reason to test it (a task for the to-do list then Wink ).

    There is some interesting rerading over at the Canbridge in Colour web site ....... look for their 'RAW File Format' and 'White Balance' tutorials.

    Cheers for the info, Dave B.

    puertouk  31080 forum posts United Kingdom17 Constructive Critique Points
    18 May 2012 - 10:17 AM

    The thing to do Dave, is take a shot with AWB, then go through all the settings to see how it effects the image

    duratorque  11413 forum posts United Kingdom
    18 May 2012 - 12:31 PM

    If I am shooting without flash, I leave it on auto. If I am shooting indoor with flash, I set up a custom white balance and gel the flash to match. This way I get a good match between the ambient light and people lit by the flash.

    JackAllTog e2 Member 53672 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
    18 May 2012 - 12:46 PM

    I do change mine off of auto from time to time, but only as i want to see the corrected colour on the camera screen, and also as sometimes i give people small jpegs straight out of camera ( I always shoot Raw + small JPG).
    Typically i change it to flash for home studio work and maybe tungsten for in house lighting.
    But as said above for all the really important stuff it comes into LR and get adjusted there anyway.

    I do feel lazy that i've never learnt how to set a custom WB with a grey card.

    sherlob e2 Member 82346 forum postssherlob vcard United Kingdom125 Constructive Critique Points
    18 May 2012 - 1:26 PM

    Colour is a vital part of composition. I do play with the WB setting in camera at the time of exposure - often trying several WB settings for the same scene in order to get a better 'feel' for the possible impact of colour on the composition used. I tend to favour warmer WB settings - and push the WB to be warmer than the scene is in reality. I do occasionally change my composition as a basis of these experiments. I will however then tweak the WB of the resulting RAW file in LR - usually cooling it down a little.


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