Daylight White Balance — What works for you?

Started Aug 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 11,592
Daylight White Balance — What works for you?

At midday, in full sun, I usually shoot with my Nikon's Daylight preset, and the white balance of the photos usually look great.

Well OK… they sometimes have a slight cyan cast, and so I will occasionally adjust the white balance in post processing to make them look a bit warmer, or I'll do a manual white balance. But it's good enough.

As I do nearly all my shooting near my home, I've never given any thought to the Daylight preset. It usually works well for me. But the other day I read this thread:

where the OP wrote the following:

I was reading Bryan Petersons' Understanding Exposure for the first time, & was surprised to read that he uses the "Cloudy" setting for the majority of his outdoor photography.

My initial gut reaction was that Mr. Peterson must be wrong, or that his computer monitor must be too blue. But I reconsidered when other folks say that they use high color temperature settings routinely. Although now it seems obvious in retrospect, typical midday color temperatures increase with latitude — the lighting is more blue and less yellow, since the sunlight becomes more attenuated and the coverage of the blue sky is larger.

What works for you? I'd be curious if there is a clear pattern or unusual conditions that greatly alter white balance.

  • What camera do you use?
  • Where do you live?
  • What white balance settings do you use at midday?
  • What software do you use, or do you use in-camera JPEGs?
  • Do you have any other observations on daylight shooting?
 Mark Scott Abeln's gear list:Mark Scott Abeln's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D7000 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +2 more
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