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| p.1 #7 · To Canon Raw Shooters - WB Question - Advice |
These settings do not alter the raw file color balance. The raw file, more or less, is just "what the sensor saw"- e.g. the raw sensor data for luminosity from the photo sites.
I adjust in post. There are a few ways to approach this. One is what I think of as sort of the "scientific method." Here you might place a gray card into the scene so that you can get a true gray via adjustments in post. In some commercial applications, where color consistency could be critical, this can be a good approach. But, frankly, it has little value for lots of other kinds of photography, where using your judgment to make adjustments in post is more likely to produce the quality you want.
The second approach is what might be called the "subjective method." There are a bunch of things you can try, depending upon the photograph and depending upon what effect you want. Objective realism is rarely, if ever, your goal. The real goal is something that is effective and believable. (Exceptions noted for highly subjective approaches.) I'll start in ACR by trying various default settings - original, daylight, automatic, etc - just to see what they look like. I will also tweak the color temperature slider a bit to taste. (Obviously, it is critical to have a calibrated monitor!) Once in photoshop, things can vary from simple to quite complex - so I won't try to explain the entire process.
One valuable approach that I and a number of other photographers use is to try to find an area in the image that should be more or less gray and use that as a target point. I like to use a curve layer. I select the gray eyedropper tool and click on various points in the image that are almost any shade of gray besides pure black or pure white and observe how this changes in image. Eventually I usually find something that is close, and I often temper the effect by using the opacity slider on the curve layer.
With many images that contain multiple light sources that you cannot control, it can be necessary to use masks to adjust various areas of the image separately.
Basically, I don't ever even think about camera color settings, much less AWB.