Unexplainable colour shift when shooting almost the same scene

Started Jun 15, 2022 | Discussions thread
Enders Shadow
Enders Shadow Veteran Member • Posts: 3,612
Re: Unexplainable colour shift when shooting almost the same scene

Michael Fritzen wrote:

As such I've noticed that almost every time when a scene is dominated by one colour the AWB is likely to get it wrong.

Yes, that's sort of worst case for AWB. Even the best will usually tone down the colors and weaker ones can produce a pronounced blue or amber cast. Best to use a preset reflecting the dominant light then fine tune in post.

Have seen this with the shown wooden floor (yellow-brown) as well as for example strange AWB compensations on a rising moon under yelllowish-red light of a sundown. The way to go is shooting RAW and getting the desired WB at home on the computer.

The problem is what is the correct WB value. Last year I photographed a large wall tapestry that a neighbor and her sister started during the 2020 COVID scare. It had quite a range of colors with both subtle and abrupt transitions. I initially shot it illuminated by indirect sunlight. There's zero chance I'd remember what the correct colors were while processing the RAW file in post. But I took a reference shot with a color chart held against the tapestry. The white reference on the chart was used to provide a accurate WB. The resulting JPEG pretty much nailed the tapestry colors, even when viewed on their iPad.

A RAW file provides a great deal of flexibility in adjusting WB and color correction. But it doesn't guarantee correct results. It wasn't until around 2010 that I got my first photo grade monitor and calibration tools. Pretty much everything previously processed on my gaming oriented monitors had slightly exaggerated colors when viewed on the calibrated monitor. The whole color management process can get pretty involved. I try to keep it fairly simple as you quickly reach the point of diminishing returns.

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