Monday, June 1, 2015

Color Balance - What Do You Think?

Many of you photographers out there know about the AWB setting on your camera, or the auto white balance. It is used for color correction or just to get the colors right in our digital cameras. This is the very short version - you can read way more in depth about it here (and most probably somewhere else as well). I usually have my camera setting on AWB, but sometimes I change it to the other small symbols beneath it. For example, there is a symbol for shade - I used it a lot in the Valley of Fire to get the color of the enormous red rocks correct that were often in the shade.

Yesterday was a very cloudy day here and I took some photos of my flowers. I first used  AWB and then took the same picture with the exact same settings, but changed the color balance to "cloudy". The difference was quite striking.



You don't see it too much in these first two images. The color in the second picture appears to be warmer, more yellow.

But look here at my Agastaches:



Quite a difference, don't you think? All of these photos are straight out of the camera, I didn't edit them except for cropping the following two.



I personally think the "cloudy" setting is completely off. This wasn't at all what I saw.



I do think that if you want a warmer tinted photo, the "cloudy" setting is quite good. However, I do prefer the cooler colors in the auto white balance setting which is also way closer to what the colors really looked like. I think I stick to AWB and use the other settings only sparingly.



I do love my yarrow - especially in the auto white balance setting; the "cloudy" one is too "sweet" for me. Would make a nice vintage photo though.

What do you think? Which setting do you prefer? Do you change your color balance settings or do you mainly shoot in AWB? Please do tell!


Michelle said...

The "cloudy" setting has so much warmth to it!

Elephant's Child said...

Mostly in AWB. Cloudy always looks to me as if I have used a filter. How I would love to wander through your garden though - whatever the weather. You have rather a lot of my favourite plants.

Linda Kay said...

I'm not a fan of the cloudy setting, as I like the bright colors of the regular setting. But fun to experiment, right?

Pamela Gordon said...

There is quite a difference in these two settings. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to check out the links as well as I don't have a clue where the AWB setting is! LOL Your photos are beautiful. Have a wonderful week.

Nancy Chan said...

Beautiful photos!

Unknown said...

Mir gefallen beide Versionen recht gut :)
Gut zu wissen, was die Einstellung macht,
für den Fall dass ich auch irgendwann mal
solche einen tollen Fotoapparat habe :))
Und die Fotos an sich sind wie immer spitze!

Liebe Grüße
Tinna ✐ - endlich aus der Pause erwacht ;)

Cheri said...

I prefer whichever setting will give me the closest to what I actually see!

GreenComotion said...

Hi Carola,
I like both the way both setting have worked on the photographs.
The flowers you have presented are simply gorgeous.
Even if the day was cloudy, such flowers would make it 'sunny'.
Great lesson and presentation!
Have a Wonderful Day!
Peace :)

Anonymous said...

I always use AWB and correct in Lightroom if needed. I agree with you that in your examples the AWB gives a much more real appearance of a cool cloudy day. I think the Cloudy setting would be useful if you were shooting portraits in shade and wanted a warmer, more natural skin tone.

Jeanne said...

It is quite amazing playing with that white balance and it can either help or hinder you from getting the look that you are actually seeing. another choice is setting your own Kelvin setting which is also a lot of fun.

Monika + Bente said...

...hach - ich mag ja immer einen Hauch Wärme im Bild - es sei denn morgens ...

Liebe Grüße - Monika