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03-16-2016, 10:58 AM   #1
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Help me out in my white balancing on the K-3II

I've gotta get my WB in order. Up till now I've sorta been winging it, but with my last batch of photos it kinda got outta hand. These were shots taken out in the desert under some very bright sunlight with reflected light off bright surfaces, dusty skies, and both high and low clouds.

First off, I have used a Colorchecker Passport to set up outdoor sunlight and outdoor cloudy presets and also a dual preset that I can use on all DNGs imported. That seems like it would take care of inherent camera bias for colors and makes for a sort of baseline, but of course doesn't account for the lighting conditions of the photos themselves. I have been shooting in AWB and RAW.

I notice that whenever I choose "auto" in Lr it shifts everything to a warmer level, especially in these desert shots. Or if I measure what I think is something neutral, like my white vehicle, clouds, etc. All consistently shift to the blue. I've wondering if as a quick and dirty starting point I could just use that "auto" in Lr. Seems to make stuff a bit more warm, but I notice it does the same with my Olympus RAWs. I'd like to say I could do it by eye, but in the desert conditions I was in things do look a bit weird, so it's easy to get fooled. Or, instead of using "auto," should I use something like the clouds for a neutral to measure? I'm not sure how much I could trust that, but we're talking post processing here where my eye, "auto," a custom measurement and the preset I shot at home with the Passport are all compromises.

For future reference, and considering outdoor landscapes and such, I obviously should start carrying around the Passport and using it. Duh. I'm wondering whether it would be preferable to use and save an in-camera custom WB for say a bunch of morning shots, or just take one photo and synchronize from that target in Lr later? I'm not gonna do it shot by shot in most cases.

And as a practical matter, how durable are WB measurements when say travelling around? Obviously completely overcast vs sunny would matter, but how much? And obviously evening vs morning vs mid day matters, but would one measurement suffice for say a week in roughly the same place?

Obviously I haven't been as attentive to this as I should be. I happened to be looking at shots in woodlands/greenery near home at the same time as the shots in the open desert, and the camera's "as shot" using the AWB seemed to be very different based on the terrain, not the sun or clouds. I would have thought that wouldn't have mattered as much (and I'm assuming "as shot" in Lr means it uses the AWB parameters).

Anyway, any idea on how I can (finally) improve my practice would be appreciated.

03-16-2016, 11:58 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oakland Rob Quote
I notice that whenever I choose "auto" in Lr it shifts everything to a warmer level, especially in these desert shots.
I think this happens pretty much always with LR. I don't like its AWB.

QuoteOriginally posted by Oakland Rob Quote
Or, instead of using "auto," should I use something like the clouds for a neutral to measure? I'm not sure how much I could trust that, but we're talking post processing here where my eye, "auto," a custom measurement and the preset I shot at home with the Passport are all compromises.
I would say just use Daylight WB. Using the in-camera set custom WB option is only good if you have a greycard with you and know how to use it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Oakland Rob Quote
I happened to be looking at shots in woodlands/greenery near home at the same time as the shots in the open desert, and the camera's "as shot" using the AWB seemed to be very different based on the terrain, not the sun or clouds. I would have thought that wouldn't have mattered as much (and I'm assuming "as shot" in Lr means it uses the AWB parameters).
AWB just analyzes the colours in the photo and tries to guess what would look natural, good. Different cameras and software use different algorithms to figure this out.


But I suspect the problem isn't just WB. Could you maybe post a sample photo, with the original WB?
Why I think you have another problem is because you are mentioning colour passport, which is actually a camera colour calibration tool, and not a WB tool, if I remember right. There is a difference between those two, and if you have a weird camera colour palette, then WB won't be able to fix things
Other things I like to do in such cases is to use Split Toning to add some colour cast in the highlights or shadows, whichever needs it to make the whole scene seem more normal.
03-16-2016, 12:49 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I think this happens pretty much always with LR. I don't like its AWB.


I would say just use Daylight WB. Using the in-camera set custom WB option is only good if you have a greycard with you and know how to use it.


AWB just analyzes the colours in the photo and tries to guess what would look natural, good. Different cameras and software use different algorithms to figure this out.


But I suspect the problem isn't just WB. Could you maybe post a sample photo, with the original WB?
Why I think you have another problem is because you are mentioning colour passport, which is actually a camera colour calibration tool, and not a WB tool, if I remember right. There is a difference between those two, and if you have a weird camera colour palette, then WB won't be able to fix things
Other things I like to do in such cases is to use Split Toning to add some colour cast in the highlights or shadows, whichever needs it to make the whole scene seem more normal.
Sorry; wasn't clear. Passport is ALSO a grey card (it has a very small neutral patch on the color palatte, but also a much larger and usable target). The presets I use (or not) are calibrations from it's color function, and the monitor is also calibrated. So I was trying to say I calibrated color using presets (mostly; they were down before the trip (and before I left the Passport at home...). But note that if you apply a Passport camera calibration profile, the "As Shot" WB DOES change in Lr. I am not positive, but I think the profile is treated as if it were set in the camera in metadata.

Here's examples, in order WB as shot, auto, daylight (with standard Adobe profile) and daylight (Passport profile). The first two were also with the Passport profile. I would say the daylight with the Passport profile looks the most accurate to me; the greens seem more like there were. The "as shot" is way too blue.
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03-16-2016, 08:48 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oakland Rob Quote
I've gotta get my WB in order. Up till now I've sorta been winging it, but with my last batch of photos it kinda got outta hand. These were shots taken out in the desert under some very bright sunlight with reflected light off bright surfaces, dusty skies, and both high and low clouds.

First off, I have used a Colorchecker Passport to set up outdoor sunlight and outdoor cloudy presets and also a dual preset that I can use on all DNGs imported. That seems like it would take care of inherent camera bias for colors and makes for a sort of baseline, but of course doesn't account for the lighting conditions of the photos themselves. I have been shooting in AWB and RAW.

I notice that whenever I choose "auto" in Lr it shifts everything to a warmer level, especially in these desert shots. Or if I measure what I think is something neutral, like my white vehicle, clouds, etc. All consistently shift to the blue. I've wondering if as a quick and dirty starting point I could just use that "auto" in Lr. Seems to make stuff a bit more warm, but I notice it does the same with my Olympus RAWs. I'd like to say I could do it by eye, but in the desert conditions I was in things do look a bit weird, so it's easy to get fooled. Or, instead of using "auto," should I use something like the clouds for a neutral to measure? I'm not sure how much I could trust that, but we're talking post processing here where my eye, "auto," a custom measurement and the preset I shot at home with the Passport are all compromises.

For future reference, and considering outdoor landscapes and such, I obviously should start carrying around the Passport and using it. Duh. I'm wondering whether it would be preferable to use and save an in-camera custom WB for say a bunch of morning shots, or just take one photo and synchronize from that target in Lr later? I'm not gonna do it shot by shot in most cases.

And as a practical matter, how durable are WB measurements when say travelling around? Obviously completely overcast vs sunny would matter, but how much? And obviously evening vs morning vs mid day matters, but would one measurement suffice for say a week in roughly the same place?

Obviously I haven't been as attentive to this as I should be. I happened to be looking at shots in woodlands/greenery near home at the same time as the shots in the open desert, and the camera's "as shot" using the AWB seemed to be very different based on the terrain, not the sun or clouds. I would have thought that wouldn't have mattered as much (and I'm assuming "as shot" in Lr means it uses the AWB parameters).

Anyway, any idea on how I can (finally) improve my practice would be appreciated.
The Expodisc using ambient light to set WB is worth checking out. That may eliminate readings from a reflective gray card. The newer Expodiscs have different mounting than the original aluminum the screwed into the lens. Many just hold filter in front of lens. They come with calibration, a lanyard, & pouch with belt loop. PM if you want a jpeg of instructions.

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