"Correct" White Balance

Started Nov 8, 2005 | Discussions thread
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Darren M Veteran Member • Posts: 4,365
"Correct" White Balance

This is just something I thought I would throw out to the good folks here. What is your impression of getting the correct white balance? I find that more and more often, I don't want the white balance to be correct, as a quite severe color shift often is more pleasing and realistic to me than what a true WB reading would be. I find this to be especially true when shooting at higher ISOs and in artificial lights. Too often, if the white balance is correct in such cases, the photo looks to sterile to me and too out of context. I have thought about this before, but was reminded after taking this shot a short time ago.

Here, it is definitely shifted to the red, but if I use the picker to give an accurate white balance, the shot just does not look right. the lighting in this case was a mixture of diffuse light on a cloudy day and flourescent tubes.

This is from Sunday, and would be another example of the best looking and most appropriate white balance being far from "true". Much of the light here was produced from candles, causing it to be very warm, but also outside sodium lights would be producing indirect light too. This is way closer to the scene as your eyes see it than an "accurate" white balance would ever be.

Anyways, just thought I would ask the other members here about their preference in white balance. Very often, in difficult circumstances, I find the camera is way off, but produces really pleasing results. Do the other good people here agree with me, or do you just want "accurate"?
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http://www.trekearth.com/members/Darren/photos/
http://www.darrenmelrose.com

Have camera, will travel

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