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13 Jan 2021 10:14AM   Views : 249 Unique : 195

Yesterday I was shooting the sample shots for the new Sigma 65mm f/2 lens, and for once, amidst all the gloom, it was a gloriously sunny morning. In fact, it lasted that way almost all day and it's only this morning that the steady patter of rain has returned. So off to Tyldesley Cemetery it was, a bit of work for the review and a bit of exercise to get the cobwebs blown away. I passed by one of my favoured spots for detail and texture and decided to make a couple of images to illustrate a point about white balance.

The first picture is shot using AWB, and the camera (Sony A7R III) has done a fine job in rendering everything as pretty neutral. The only problem with that is the lighting on the scene was not at all neutral, it was bathed in gloriously golden light from a low winter sun. There are different ways to deal with this. One way is to use Photo Filter in Photoshop and just add the default warming effect. This turns out very much like using a warming filter on colour film. I would have used an 81A or Cloudy filter. The other alternative is to change the white balance to Daylight. The warmth of the scene then returns and we get the true colour as seen. If the wish is to exaggerate the effect then Cloudy or Shade options will give even warmer results, but it wasn't necessary to go that far.

As I enjoy the quality of natural light I tend to use Daylight as my default white balance setting. I would use AWB for theatre shots as the lighting colour is all over the place, constantly changing. I might use Cloudy on very dull days. I might use Shade in the deep shadows where I was looking for fungi perhaps, as often these places see the overall colour turning easily to purple.

Here's yesterday's scene using AWB.

And using Daylight white balance.

The second picture is much closer to what the human Goldeneye sees.

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