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Author Topic: AWB versus other manually selected White Balances  (Read 3142 times)

Offline loranfrfr

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AWB versus other manually selected White Balances
« on: July 22, 2013, 07:38:32 AM »
I have been complaining for some time now that my indoor pictures (but in natural light!) are ALWAYS yellow unless I use AWB, which pretty much nail the white balance everytime. Yesterday I took several pictures of a frame hanged on a white wall, in natural light inside of my house. AWB balance was spot on (of good enough for me), however the three shots I took under Daylight, Shade and Cloudy (5200, 7000. and 6000K, by the way, how come they are not in  order of temperature in the menu?), and they have all various degrees of yellow.

Is the "right temperature" somewhere in between those preset temperatures?

I know, some of you are going to say "if AWB works, just use AWB, or be a grown up and shoot raw!", but I still would like to know.

LaurentinMichigan


Offline Ochotona

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Re: AWB versus other manually selected White Balances
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2013, 08:55:37 AM »
I thought this threat was going to be about the Average White Band, you know "Pick up the Pieces"!  Anyone?   ;D

I think for indoor work the recommended settings are Tungsten (for incandescent bulbs) or Fluorescent settings.  Did you try those?

You may be right about AWB selecting some middle zone between the presets too.

You said you didn't want to hear this, but with RAW shots you can fine tune the WB in post and in my opinion WB is one very good reason to shoot RAW (along with preservation of data in the bright and dark regions of your photos).  I use Canon Digital Photo Professional and you can select a white balance from a color map or you can select a point on your photo that should be a neutral white and it will set WB from that point.

Offline Doodle

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Re: AWB versus other manually selected White Balances
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2013, 09:26:38 AM »
A couple of those settings that you used actually DO increase the yellow because that is their intent.  Cloudy, or example, increases the "warmth" of the photo by adding a yellow tint or cast to all photos.  Basically, the same applies to "Shade" too.
Daylight setting is actually meant for outdoors in the sun.  It will give you your best looking shots in direct sunlight.
If you are not having luck with the individual settings (like tungsten or fluorescent), then AWB would probably be a good one to stick with.

*And Average White Band is pretty good too.  ;)
Take your camera with you dammit. You can't take your next "best photo" if your camera is sitting at home in the bag, now can you?

Offline bgray

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Re: AWB versus other manually selected White Balances
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2013, 11:13:13 AM »
be a grown up and shoot raw!", but I still would like to know.

LaurentinMichigan

I think that this is a critical part of your problem.  If you are not shooting RAW, then you are not going to have flexibility in post-processing.

I have yet to find a white balance issue that I could not fix in post with curves, levels, or a simple white balance slider.  And these working well hinge upon having a RAW file.

The only time that I customize my white balance is when I'm shooting my products.  And the only reason that I do this is that I shoot a lot of product every day (sometimes 30-40 every day), and adjusting the white balance will keep me from doing lots of post-processing in that case.  Time saver.  But this is under a controlled situation.

When I'm doing landscape, sports, anything besides product in my light-controlled environment, Auto White Balance and my post processing skills have never failed me in correcting white balance, and I find the need for this to be rare.

If you are not familiar with adjusting levels, curves, skin tones, or white balance in post, I'd suggest googling some tutorials on this.

And I realize that you preemptively mentioned this, but yes.....shoot in RAW.  :)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 11:16:04 AM by bgray »
5Dii, T2i, EOS M.  EFM 18-55, EFM 22, 17-40L, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye, 28mm 1.8, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 70-300mm 4-5.6, 580EX  http://briangrayphotography.blogspot.com/

Offline loranfrfr

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Re: AWB versus other manually selected White Balances
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2013, 12:06:47 PM »
I have tried Tungsten, but not fluorescent bulb, simply because I was in natural light. Tungsten was definitely too blue.

I guess I will have to learn the raw processing....might as well do it now!



Offline Ochotona

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Re: AWB versus other manually selected White Balances
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2013, 12:19:34 PM »
I have tried Tungsten, but not fluorescent bulb, simply because I was in natural light. Tungsten was definitely too blue.

I guess I will have to learn the raw processing....might as well do it now!

Don't be intimidated by it.  It's not much different than tuning your JPEGs.  Most controls are the same but you'll have a few more to play with (like WB!).  When you get one shot looking the way you like it you can copy the settings you used to the other shots you took in the same shoot, so time wise it doesn't really add anything.  The biggest drawback to RAW for me, and it's a minor one, is that the file sizes are big.

BTW, I use the aforementioned Canon DPP that came free with the camera (make sure you update it through the Canon website first, there have been some significant improvements in the last year) and find it meets my needs 90% of the time.  I'll be getting Lightroom one of these days for the other 10%.

Offline Doodle

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Re: AWB versus other manually selected White Balances
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2013, 12:38:39 PM »
I have tried Tungsten, but not fluorescent bulb, simply because I was in natural light. Tungsten was definitely too blue.

I guess I will have to learn the raw processing....might as well do it now!

Like Ocho said, it's not really hard.  But it will definitely be worth your time.  I promise you.
Take your camera with you dammit. You can't take your next "best photo" if your camera is sitting at home in the bag, now can you?

Offline bgray

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Re: AWB versus other manually selected White Balances
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2013, 02:01:07 PM »
I'm not sure if you use Aperture, LightRoom, or Photoshop, but if you use Aperture, here is one of the absolute best resources...

http://www.apertureexpert.com/

And then he also offers training.  His teaching style is second to none.
http://www.apertureexpert.com/livetraining-catalog/

If you look at these courses, you'll see that #9 is White Balance, #10 is Levels, and #11 is Curves.  All three of these will apply heavily to your current needs.  I took all three of these, and many many of his other courses.  They are very worth it.

And even if you don't use Aperture, these lessons will apply to all other photo editing programs, just different formats.  The lessons that you learn in WB, Levels, and Curves will all be the same in concept....just a different interface if you use a different program.
5Dii, T2i, EOS M.  EFM 18-55, EFM 22, 17-40L, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye, 28mm 1.8, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 70-300mm 4-5.6, 580EX  http://briangrayphotography.blogspot.com/

Offline LeadinghamPhoto

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Re: AWB versus other manually selected White Balances
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2013, 10:57:22 PM »
If you were using natural light, ie light coming in through a window, then tungsten and fluorescent aren't going to help you there. 
I shoot jpeg for all my racing shots.  I need to because I need the fastest burst mode possible.  But I always shoot in AWB simply because the lights change around the track.  When I edit, I leave it on "as shot" for my white balance setting and fine tune it as needed.
Couple of questions:
You said you are shooting in natural light.  But are there any lights on?  That will certainly throw things for a loop. 
The other question I have is what are the colors of the walls?  Keep in mind that the light coming in, while it may be natural coming through the window, the light will be reflecting off the walls.  And that color will come through in your pictures as well.  Its just like using a reflector dish when taking photos. 
The poster formally known as Pineconetreehouse