Learning the Effects of White Balance

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by Hawkman, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    I've been starting to learn a lot more about my camera and what it (and I) can (and cannot) do.

    Having shot more recently with native AF lenses like the SEL 50/1.8 and the kit 18-55, I've learned the pitfalls of Multi spot AF - i.e., the camera picking a very wrong focus point - and started to use more Flexible Spot when I can. Also, I've begun to use more varied white balance settings, starting with Daylight (which a thread on this forum suggested), and then Cloudy (for the very cloudy days we've had the past month), and even Fluorescent or Incandescent for indoor stuff (I wish there was an "LED" white balance setting for the increasing use of LED bulbs in our house).

    But I've also been bitten by forgetting to change the settings after a previous usage. And here is an example.

    The other day I was shooting a bunch of shots in the morning around and outside the house. And only when I shot a few shots of some fall color leaves on our deck did I realize I had the camera still in "Fluorescent" mode the whole time. So I switched to "Cloudy", which I thought would match the conditions, and then again back to "Auto" (AWB). In this case, I think I liked the Auto the best... or maybe the Cloudy one. Hmmmm....

    Can you tell which is which?

    15620040605_3425b506dd_k. Fall White Balance 3 by SRHawk64, on Flickr

    15433396429_7943a1f149_k. Fall White Balance 2 by SRHawk64, on Flickr

    15617363461_75bbd0c60f_k. Fall White Balance 1 by SRHawk64, on Flickr
  2. GabrielPhoto

    GabrielPhoto TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jul 3, 2013
    My guess is Auto then cloudy then Fluorescent. :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  3. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Last one must be fluorescent, can't tell for sure on the others, but I like #1 the most ;) 
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  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ

    I too have been bit by the "forgot to change the settings."
    • Like Like x 1
  5. southy

    southy TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Feb 5, 2014
    Auto WB and RAW!!!!!. I have no idea when it comes to white balance so I just shoot in RAW and play in PP till it looks the way I want. Sometimes I think I'm wasting the potential of my Sony cameras and all the jpeg setting but I kind of enjoy the PP regime. I see it as time better spend than watching TV.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Legend

    Oct 8, 2013
    My only frame of reference is what my images look like using legacy Canon FDn lenses on my NEX-7...so if I had taken them I'd guess:

    The first one looks like the dull / lifeless looking results I got so much of using my AWB (Auto White Balance);
    2nd one...most favorite...looks like what I get using cloudy / daylight type WB settings;
    Last one...least favorite... seems cold / bluish so I assume it's fluorescent;
    • Like Like x 1
  7. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    I also primarily shoot in RAW and can easily fix WB when I screw up or when I want to be creative. I usually use the "custom AWB" and set it that way.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    I don't think the auto white balance and the presets on the 5t are good. Conversely, my Canon sx50 is almost spot on. I find the best thing to do is shoot raw or customize with a gray card. That later is much easier than I originally thought. Plus it saves time in post.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Well, that was easy. Yep, it was AWB, then "Cloudy", then "Fluorescent".
    While I think the AWB is closest or most accurate w/r/t the actual colors of our composite decking, I think I like the "character" of the colors from the "Cloudy" setting.

    I do use Raw from time to time, but as I haven't decided on a PP solution in the aftermath of the iPhoto and Aperture end-of-life announcement, I'm not ready to commit to it. Plus, the a3000 doesn't offer Raw only, but rather just Raw+JPEG.

    Sent from TalkEmount app on iPad
  10. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    I forgot to add, if you don't have a gray card, you can set the white balance by choosing custom and shooting something neutral in the scene. This did wonders when I was shooting in my daughter's school gym. I couldn't use raw because I needed CIZ which only works on jpeg.
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