White Balance

Started Dec 4, 2012 | Questions thread
Sailor Blue
Senior MemberPosts: 6,384Gear list
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Re: Simplicity
In reply to Graystar, Dec 6, 2012

Excellent points Graystar.

The point about ambient light color, i.e. sunrise/sunset/candles, being a part of the image is an important one many photographers forget.

I agree with you about how valuable a Custom WB is for getting accurate colors, including skin tones.  When you set the Custom WB it means that for post processing all your images will be starting off with a standard WB - no guesswork or judgment calls to make.  Of course you can set an accurate WB in post if you include a WB device in one of your images but I find it is usually easy to just go ahead and set the Custom WB.

Sometimes I like to change the tones, including skin tones, in post processing for special purposes, but I always want to start with a standard WB so that I can apply the same changes to every image in the set at once instead of having to do it to each image one at a time.  Always starting with a standard WB simply makes post processing easier and that alone is sufficient reason to do this.

I can't remember if using Auto WB has been mentioned in this thread so let me add this comment.  Never use it.

Try it with a sunset sometime and you will see why Auto WB is a bad idea.

Every time you change the ratio of subject to background you also run the risk of the WB changing when you use Auto WB.  This ratio change happens almost every time you change the angle at which you are shooting or whenever you zoom, either with your lens or your feet.  Just think what would happen if you had a subject wearing blue against a yellow background.  The WB would be all over the place if you used Auto WB. What a post processing nightmare.

The above are extreme examples but they illustrates the point.  If you can't set a Custom WB then make a guess at which one of the camera's built-in WB choices will work best and use that.

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Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

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