White balance: Manual or auto?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JClishe, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. JClishe

    JClishe No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    106
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm just curious, do the more experienced photographers always manually set their WB, or just leave it on auto? I've been getting into the habit of using the cloudy / shady preset whenever I'm in those situations, but just leave it on auto the rest of the time.
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    2
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Auto almost all the time, the D90 is really good with it so I have no problems letting it decide.
     
  3. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    US
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I will use auto outdoors for the most part. I am so used to WB adjustments in Bridge before I send to CS3 that I do any corrections needed there. When I am indoor, I always custom WB off a gray card.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I usually use Auto but I shoot in RAW so it's easy to adjust afterward.

    I almost never use the presets (sunny, cloudy, indoors etc). If I'm not going to use auto, it will be when I set a custom WB.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,330
    Likes Received:
    10,643
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Depends; if I'm working under conditions where I have the luxury of time and the light is not changing rapidly (ie alternating cloud and bright sun) then I'll 'Expodisc' it, but if not, or in changing light, I always leave WB on auto.
     
  6. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    3
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Most conditions it stays in Auto.

    Some times I will set a custom white balance with the WhiBal card.
     
  7. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I leave my cameras set to AWB and shoot in RAW. I will stick a gray card out there for a set and shoot it which helps me to properly set the WB later in Lightroom.
     
  8. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rain City
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I just learned how to manually set my white balance for a scene (not just rotating the dial but actually tuning it to the light), but I still use it on auto for the most part. I do use the flash setting when I'm using flash though and I mostly shoot RAW so it's easily adjustable in post if it's not quite right.
     
  9. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I leave mine on Daylight all the time.

    I find that I rarely have to change it, and if I suspect that daylight would not be right I take a picture of a WhiBal card.


    I seem to get better, and more consistant results with Daylight than Auto.


    (Of course, it helps that I mostly shoot with available light.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
  10. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,527
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I alternate between flash for indoors, and cloudy for outdoors. I use the cloudy setting even on sunny days since it gives a warmer tone. In unknown or mixed light situations, I will set it on auto, bracket the white balance, and pick the best one & correct in PP.
     
  11. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I always use the presets to get close to the lighting conditions I'm expecting. Shooting RAW, I can go back and tweak things later, but I don't trust my camera to make such decisions for me (it's messed-up royally a few times). I find that having a bad WB the first time I look at a shot in LR throws off my creativity, and at best just means more work; I'd rather take the split second in the field to set the camera to the approximate WB I'm expecting. I also think shooting neutral all the time is over-rated. Hell, sometimes I've shot a grey card and used it to set a custom WB that I know is technically right...but it looks aweful, and I revert to the preset that I used in-camera.
     
  12. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I do the same... Auto and RAW so I don't have to worry about if it's off. Though, occasionally I get extreme cases where using a specific white balance and raw would have been a better choice because the color spectrum is SO skewed that I likely lost some data... that's pretty rare though.
     

Share This Page