Upload & Sell: On
The interesting thing for me is that back when shooting film ... it seemed like the only "magic button" I needed was the shutter (I shot chrome). Now, I've got buttons and sliders galore to contend with.
Now that we have become our own profile engineer/lab tech/finisher, it is much more pliable and akin to shooting negatives regarding the latitude @ finishing, color correction, artistic rendering and creative license/liberty. With chrome "what ya shot was what ya got". With (negative) film, there was always the lab to analyze and interpret WB and/or correct/adjust the print from the negative and you may have to get the lab to change things to how you had envisioned them ... which was part of why I shot chrome (except for weddings @ VPS 160).
Color theory @ CMYK was something that fried my brain back in the day, so I avoided it like the plague by shooting chrome. I had no idea (back then) what really constituted a film profile and its response throughout its range.
Now, we start with a linear response (raw) and get to profile it ourselves (or re-profile the jpgs). This gives us the latitude to render our highlights less sensitive to cyan (for instance) by desaturating the cyans and restricting that restriction to the upper tonal values. Same can be applied to the shadows or we could increase the sensitivity to yellow in the midtones, or decrease magenta, etc.
The engineering that went into the film profiles wasn't something that most of us ever thought about. Mostly, we just "liked the look" we got from Ektachrome vs. Kodachrome vs. Fujichrome (similar applies @ negative color or B&W films). But now that we have been granted the opportunity to be our own film profile engineer, I think it behooves us to garner a better understanding (much still to learn) of how/why light is being captured/recorded the way it is ... BEFORE we start tweaking on things.
Film did not have the latitude to change its profile or WB once it was manufactured, but the lab/darkroom did afford the opportunity for adjustment/correction, both on a technical and/or artistic basis. Now we have the ability for both. Shooting was so much simpler when the only "magic button" was the shutter (ignorance is bliss ) and I was clueless @ color theory and film profiles.
But now that Pandora's Box has been opened in digital, I see things differently than before and continue to try to get better at understanding how we can make our images become what we want them to be. For me, the "well, that's the way the camera captured it" no longer holds a valid excuse for why a bride's dress has a cyan tint to it or why a blonde has green tint to her hair.
I know darn good and well the bride wasn't wearing a cyan dress and she didn't spend $$$$ on "the dress" to have it shown to the world as cyanic. It is a symbolic representation of purity and deserves to be rendered without the impurities of poor color correction. For me, this concept applies to a lost feather as much as it does a $1,000 dress on a $25,000 day. Whether it was the professional lab, or a professional retoucher or ourselves @ DIY ... somebody has been "fixing" these things for a very long time (largely unbeknownst to the masses) and hence some of the $$$ cost for professionally corrected wedding photography,etc. vs. "that's the way the camera recorded it".
Sure, the ambient light is a radial/spherical gradient and because our subjects are three dimensional, AI=AR can pick up differing color/WB/reflections. N/E/S/W vs. overhead orientation can make a difference, particularly the closer the sun approaches the horizon, the greater the difference in light color can be. There is also an intensity and specular variance between the warm direct light vs. the cool indirect light.
Depending on ambient conditions, time of day, orientation and AI=AR involved those differences can be virtually non-detectable or they can be very obvious. What we choose to do with those differences is up to us. Those differences can be the bane of an otherwise wonderful image or we can adjust/modify/correct to remove that distress/annoyance the they generate to detract from the rest of the image. Detecting their existence is necessary to provide the opportunity for such correction. For some of us it comes naturally to a keen, critical eye. For others of us, the use of or analytical editing tools can be of great value. Imo, if we are striving to make "fine art" or works of excellent craftsmanship, this area (but one of many) of fine attention to color detail is part of what embodies the "fine" aspect of "fine art". Likely few will feel it necessary or pertinent to a snapshot, but for critical review I think it is (but one of many) an area that goes largely unattended, citing the excuse of "it is the way the camera recorded it", rather than owing to a lacking of either control, understanding or concern.
However, we can also use that knowledge to harness those differences into more dynamic and dramatic imagery the more we come to understand the nature of natural light and our interaction with it relative to our subject. Sometimes we contend with the lighting variances as they illuminate our subject ... other times the lighting variance can be the subject. Here are a few that I feel illustrate the gradient nature of ambient light. While these are rather extreme examples compared to the subtlety of it that we more frequently encounter, they serve as a reminder for me that the radial/spherical gradient lighting color/intensity is the reason why we see (cyanic, magenta, warm, etc.) cast variance between key/shadow sides when shooting ambient light, iaw AI=AR.
I've rambled much here and my alligator mouth may be a bit larger than my hummingbird skills, but hopefully it has a worthwhile nugget or seed that finds fertile ground in there that might be of value somewhere down the road.