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Archive 2012 · How much does WB matter?
  
 
mccallmedia
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How much does WB matter?


I remember my first photo course and the professor drilling into our heads the importance of setting the WB in camera. Of course, he also said not to place the subject in the center of a photo, not to clip detail when bumping up contrast, and all sorts of other rules I love breaking nowadays.

But anyway, I rarely ever take my camera off AWB. I always shoot raw and even if the camera gets the WB way off, it seems like in post I'm able to bring it where I need it to be with no harm. Am I missing something? I don't see an advantage in changing it every time you go from shade to sun to indoors to flourescent, tungsten, etc. I like having less things to worry about especially when tackling a wedding so unless someone can make a good case for setting specific WB in camera I'll just keep doing what I do!

Thanks peeps.



Oct 15, 2012 at 04:56 AM
amonline
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How much does WB matter?


There's "corrected", then there's "corrected". I prefer to one that represents the feeling of the environment; not necessarily "correcting" the color to be perfect. Perfect isn't always the "correct" choice.

If you shoot RAW, there's no need to worry about it. I correct by kelvin in post; then warm to taste.



Oct 15, 2012 at 05:09 AM
NathanHamler
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How much does WB matter?


The only time i set my white balance manually is when i'm using gel'd strobes at a reception...then i set my WB for the ambient light, and gel the strobes to match....even, then, i find i have to do little tweaks here and there.....WB is easily what i spend the most time on in post.....contrast, sharpness, definition, vibrancy, i can basically do as a preset....



Oct 15, 2012 at 05:14 AM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How much does WB matter?


You can certainly fix the WB in post ... however setting the correct WB in camera will help you gauge exposure when chimping.
When you have correct skin tones it is much easier to nail the correct exposure.



Oct 15, 2012 at 05:26 AM
awad
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How much does WB matter?


ill leave it in AWB for the whole day unless i'm using off camera flash, then i'll switch to flash WB.


Oct 15, 2012 at 05:40 AM
mccallmedia
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How much does WB matter?


amonline wrote:
There's "corrected", then there's "corrected". I prefer to one that represents the feeling of the environment; not necessarily "correcting" the color to be perfect. Perfect isn't always the "correct" choice.


This is true. I will often go warmer or cooler than what's technically "correct" depending on the photo and the mood conveyed. Good point



Oct 15, 2012 at 06:52 AM
ShacharLee
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How much does WB matter?


hardlyboring wrote:
You can certainly fix the WB in post ... however setting the correct WB in camera will help you gauge exposure when chimping.
When you have correct skin tones it is much easier to nail the correct exposure.


+1
for example if you are in a situation with tungsten lighting and you got the white balance too warm when you'll try to fix it in post and cool it down you'll end up with severely underexpose image.
Also since WB has such a big effect on the look and feel of the image getting the right WB in camera will help you envision better what your final image is going to look like and this may make you want to change other things in the way you shoot that image.
When I just started I used to put it on auto all the time, then I decide to try to get it right on camera, now I never use anything but kelvin to set WB and all I can say is that I'm never going back!



Oct 15, 2012 at 07:43 AM
Kittyk
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · How much does WB matter?


white balance can affect your preview image but does not affect exposure or ability to correct it later. sensors are linear, any white balance is pure software.


Oct 15, 2012 at 12:36 PM
TomHarmon
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · How much does WB matter?


The only time WB is really really important is getting the correct skin tones. Everything else is second.


Oct 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM
JR PhotoNY
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · How much does WB matter?


I shoot outside a lot using the cloudy setting. Just my preference though. I like warm skin tones.


Oct 15, 2012 at 02:35 PM
 

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Inku Yo
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · How much does WB matter?


AWB all day long. Don't want to think or worry about it.


Oct 15, 2012 at 03:47 PM
TRReichman
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · How much does WB matter?


Why fix something later when you can get it right in the moment? We used to be "fix-it-later" type people but we realized that we were spending time on the back end that could have been saved - efficiency means that we spend less time working. So we just decided to get it right in the moment to cause less work in post. AWB also continually changes so using that tends to mean that batch WB adjustments are less accurate.

- trr



Oct 15, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Mr645
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · How much does WB matter?


I never use AWB. It is a lot easier to correct lots of RAW files when they are all he same WB. I would rather have them all the same and OFF then mostly very close by all different


Oct 15, 2012 at 04:04 PM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · How much does WB matter?


Mr645 wrote:
I never use AWB. It is a lot easier to correct lots of RAW files when they are all he same WB. I would rather have them all the same and OFF then mostly very close by all different


So why not just sync WB across all of the files in post?



Oct 15, 2012 at 04:21 PM
TheGE
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · How much does WB matter?


It's mostly important for pleasing skin tones. I see far too many magenta and orange skinned wedding couples lately. Though to be fair, that's probably more about correcting those shifts in post.


Oct 15, 2012 at 04:44 PM
DavidCZ
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · How much does WB matter?


TheGE wrote:
It's mostly important for pleasing skin tones. I see far too many magenta and orange skinned wedding couples lately. Though to be fair, that's probably more about correcting those shifts in post.


Exactly. WB correction is mainly for pleasing skin tones with a pleasant environment feeling. It is subjective. It takes time to get the correct one.



Oct 15, 2012 at 05:00 PM
ShacharLee
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · How much does WB matter?


Kittyk wrote:
white balance can affect your preview image but does not affect exposure or ability to correct it later. sensors are linear, any white balance is pure software.


yes but the exposure is different for different WB and the preview image with the wrong WB will through off your exposure while shooting.
Just try it, take an image which was shot in tungsten make it BW and play with the WB sliders and see what happens to the exposure, the warmer the WB the brighter the image will look and vice versa. you can do it in color version too but in BW it's just more obvious...



Oct 15, 2012 at 05:06 PM
ShacharLee
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · How much does WB matter?


Inku Yo wrote:
AWB all day long. Don't want to think or worry about it.


When you are used to do it you do not worry about it, it just like setting aperture, shutter speed, iso or anything else, you do it automatically. but of curse you should do what ever works for you.



Oct 15, 2012 at 05:21 PM
ausemmao
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · How much does WB matter?


ShacharLee wrote:
yes but the exposure is different for different WB and the preview image with the wrong WB will through off your exposure while shooting.
Just try it, take an image which was shot in tungsten make it BW and play with the WB sliders and see what happens to the exposure, the warmer the WB the brighter the image will look and vice versa. you can do it in color version too but in BW it's just more obvious...


Maybe it's different with Canons. With Nikons, selected WB has no effect at all on metered exposure whether using live view or optical viewfinder.

What it does have an effect on is the displayed mono and RGB histograms, so if you're using the screen to judge exposure then it is indeed something to look out for.



Oct 15, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Inku Yo
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · How much does WB matter?


TRReichman wrote:
Why fix something later when you can get it right in the moment? We used to be "fix-it-later" type people but we realized that we were spending time on the back end that could have been saved - efficiency means that we spend less time working. So we just decided to get it right in the moment to cause less work in post. AWB also continually changes so using that tends to mean that batch WB adjustments are less accurate.

- trr


Whatever works for everyone... WB is very low on my list of important things to remember. When I'm moving from room to room and from position to position and the scene is changing from front lit to back lit and from flourescent to tungsten to window light, all while trying to capture fleeting moments, I don't really want to stop to change or think about the WB.



Oct 15, 2012 at 05:48 PM
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