Unexplainable colour shift when shooting almost the same scene

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
Enders Shadow
Enders Shadow Veteran Member • Posts: 3,604
Re: Unexplainable colour shift when shooting almost the same scene

dp62 wrote:

To all, thank yoy very much for the replies. To be honest, this was the last thing I expected. Indeed adjusting the white balance whilst shooting may solve the issue to some extend. OTOH it takes a while trying to come close to the actual colour one is seeing.

@tom no interior lightning. It was sunny outside.

Just because it was sunny outside doesn't mean much. You can be outdoors on a clear sunny day, but if you shoot a subject in deep shade, it can have a blue cast. That's because being in the shade means there is no direct light from the sun and is dominated by light from the open sky, which has a cooler color temperature.

The same can happen indoors, but can be even more complex. The interior light falling on your subject probably reflected off other surfaces and further influenced the color temperature. Auto white balance can correct to some degree, but it's hardly foolproof. Introduce deep saturated colors (such as flowers) to a scene illuminated by unbalanced lighting can trip up AWB. Some cameras can analyze complex lighting situations and somehow produce a decent white balance. But even the best AWB systems have their limits.

It is a bit 'frustrating' (and strange) when simply taking a shot of a bunch of flowers gets me such disappointing results. Anyway, seems nothing can be done about it.

There's nothing strange about it. Photography is as much science as art. Today's cameras automate much of the complex exposure process. But it's still up to the photographer to recognize complex lighting situations. As has been mentioned, you can use one of the fixed white balance settings. But that can be a bit of trial and error. My own preference would be to create a custom white balance using a grey card. Usually takes me less than 30 seconds to register a custom value. Even when shooting RAW, having a white reference often makes color correction in post a 1 click process.

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