In-camera "Sunny WB" vs post processing custom profiles

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JimH123 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,187
In-camera "Sunny WB" vs post processing custom profiles

I struggled on just where to submit this thread. It has to do with Infrared processing. I had found that I was somewhat confused as to whether I should take the picture using in-camera white balance such as "Sunny". Or to do a custom white balance with the camera of perhaps a green background. Since I am in California and we are moving into the last portion of September, my grass is not good to use as a source of green with it being brown and crunchy, so I used a green piece of cardboard figuring it would get me close enough.

I will use a 630nm filter for these examples

Image 1: This is taken with the "Sunny" white balance in-camera.

"Sunny" in-camera white balance with 630nm filter

Image 2: This time I did a custom white balance with the green sheet of cardboard. Figured that it would make the scene close enough that I could finish it later with some tweaking. Notice that the custom WB based on green rendered the leaves as light in color.

Custom WB using green cardboard

Now, time to process the images. With a 630nm filter, there is sufficient color in an image to reverse the red and blue channels and to then fine tune the colors with the "temp" and "tint" sliders in Lightroom. And if there is something in the image that is a known white, an auto white balance could be attempted.

Image 3 is a swap of the red and blue channels and some fine tuning of the sliders. I did find the sliders all the way over to the right and did not have much room to perform an adjustment. The is a typical pseudo color IR image, although the colors are dull. The sky is becoming blue and the leaves a pale yellow. Just not sufficient adjustment range to do much better.

Red - Blue channel swap of Image 1

Image 4: Next, I will do a Red - Blue Swap of image two. Sky is darker and there is a faint color to the leaves. But again, not much room for adjustments.

Red - Blue Swap of image 2. Default profile, Temp = 0 K shift

Next, I will use a custom profile using the Adobe DNG_Profile_Editor. I made profiles for temp = 0K, temp = -25K, temp = -50K and temp = -100K. A good place to read about (a watch a good video) on this can be found here:

https://blog.robsheaphotography.com/2020/06/29/lightroom-lut.html

Image 4 is then using the -25K profile. This will offset the Lightroom temp and tint sliders allowing some additional room for adjustments. Looks a lot like the previous image.

-25K offset

Image 5:  Next, I will try a -50K offset. Now the sky is more blue. Note: The color of the leaves is dependent on the filter used. A 590nm filter would be more yellow and a 720nm filter would be close to white.

-50K offset

Image 6:  Finally, a -100K offset. Definitely more color is present. But in looking at the fence and the chimney on the right, I see that I don't have a good white balance. But then again, someone may prefer this choice over the -50K offset. They are just pseudo colors and whatever draws attention.  And I seemed unable to get a good white balance.

-100K offset

From what I am seeing, looks like the -50K profile worked best. I can't control the colors quite as well at Temp = -100K. And I can see that using a custom white balance in-camera and trying to tweak after the Red-Blue Channel Swap does not provide the range of control that I get through through just using "Sunny" white balance and one of the custom profiles.

The next image is my Lightroom Profile menu. Using knowledge from the previous link I provided, I have set up profiles for 0K, -25K, -50K and -100K. Additionally, I have profiles for each Temperature offset to do things like channel swapping and inverting. You can see some of them on the right.

 JimH123's gear list:JimH123's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P1000 Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M5 II Sony a6300 Olympus E-M1 II +3 more
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