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03-23-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
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WB: Cloudy vs Shade

What's the range of the 'Cloudy' WB setting: white clouds, black clouds, heavily overcast? Should heavily overcast sky fall under the 'Shade' WB setting insead, when the sun and/or sky aren't visible? I seem to prefer Cloudy over Daylight when the sun moves in and out of white clouds. What's your observation?

03-23-2009, 10:09 PM   #2
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I shoot RAW so in camera WB doesn't matter to me. It seems to work.
03-23-2009, 10:13 PM   #3
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Even if you don't shoot RAW, AWB does a good enough job outdoors that I can't imagine bothering to change every time the clouds move.
03-24-2009, 02:41 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Even if you don't shoot RAW, AWB does a good enough job outdoors that I can't imagine bothering to change every time the clouds move.
I concur. I've never changed WB settings while shooting outdoors, only the funky inascendent and fluorescent indoors lights need adjustment.

03-24-2009, 07:45 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Even if you don't shoot RAW, AWB does a good enough job outdoors that I can't imagine bothering to change every time the clouds move.
I leave it on AWB, too, but it seems to do a poor job when the sky is completely overcast with dark clouds. That's why I was looking at different WB settings in PPL, and noticed 'Cloudy' and 'Shade' options.

I guess my question was more about how to identify color-temperature and recognizing how to apply WB when AWB can be fooled. [This brings up another question: does AWB select from the WB presets, or does it continuously vary within the entire kelvin range?]
03-24-2009, 08:32 AM   #6
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I think it varies because then you'd get more accurate or jumpy WB in difficult/changing light. Like one image yellow, one correct (if the actual WB is near threshold).
I also believe it varies through some limited scale/positions so it dosn't make corrections not needed in real life (like correcting for pure red, green or magenta for example while shooting something colourful).

In the mean while in some cases i'd preferred such mode (for example while using and not using manual, external flash indoors under incandescent light).

What is with all those people suggesting RAW. Sometimes it is so unneeded. ~5 times file size, slower camera operation, additional conversion required, harder for pc to process (browse, copy, store). If one asks for WB, he has a reason not to use RAW.
03-24-2009, 08:58 AM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
Wasim Altaf: I leave it on AWB, too, but it seems to do a poor job when the sky is completely overcast with dark clouds. That's why I was looking at different WB settings in PPL, and noticed 'Cloudy' and 'Shade' options.

I guess my question was more about how to identify color-temperature and recognizing how to apply WB when AWB can be fooled. [This brings up another question: does AWB select from the WB presets, or does it continuously vary within the entire kelvin range?]
You are looking for precise White Balance control and you can have it. But you will need to manually set the White Balance. Look in your manual and it describes the process nicely. When you have learned how to do this, then you can custom White Balance each and every shot. If you shoot with a K20d, go to page 163 of the manual. Best of Luck.
03-24-2009, 09:36 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
You are looking for precise White Balance control and you can have it. But you will need to manually set the White Balance. Look in your manual and it describes the process nicely. When you have learned how to do this, then you can custom White Balance each and every shot. If you shoot with a K20d, go to page 163 of the manual. Best of Luck.
Sorry about the confusion. By no means am I trying to adjust WB per shot, or want absolute precision. On the contrary, I want it left set somewhat close, as an extreme condition may require, when AWB can be off, and not having to mess around with RAW. Trouble is that I'm ignorant about identifying that 'condition.'

I guess what my original question really should have been was if the "Shade" setting would be more appropriate for completely overcast, rainy days (with very dark clouds), over the "Cloudy" setting, which appears to be dialed more towards "Daylight."

03-24-2009, 12:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I shoot RAW so in camera WB doesn't matter to me. It seems to work.
How do you view/process the RAW data outside the camera? I was under the impression that some WB is always applied when viewing the RAW file and/or when converting to JPEG, in camera or outside of it, usually defaulting to what the camera WB was set to.
03-24-2009, 12:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
What is with all those people suggesting RAW. Sometimes it is so unneeded. ~5 times file size, slower camera operation, additional conversion required, harder for pc to process (browse, copy, store). If one asks for WB, he has a reason not to use RAW.
Personal preference, I suppose, and the benefit of having the master-copy around. The cost of disk-space/memory keeps getting lower everyday, too.

As for WB, for me it is an exercise in understanding the process. I've been shooting RAW, leaving the camera in AWB, and converting it in PPL later on. That's when I started to play with various WB settings -- using my computer not in camera. I intend to shoot JPEG only once I gain some insight/experience/confidence ..
03-24-2009, 12:42 PM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
Wasim Altaf: Sorry about the confusion. By no means am I trying to adjust WB per shot, or want absolute precision. On the contrary, I want it left set somewhat close, as an extreme condition may require, when AWB can be off, and not having to mess around with RAW. Trouble is that I'm ignorant about identifying that 'condition.'

I guess what my original question really should have been was if the "Shade" setting would be more appropriate for completely overcast, rainy days (with very dark clouds), over the "Cloudy" setting, which appears to be dialed more towards "Daylight."
The "Shade" option is @ 8000k and the "Cloudy" option is @ 6000k. In the White balance settings on the K20d, there is a "K" option which allows you to select and keep, 3 custom settings in memory. What you could do is select 3 temperatures equi-distant from 6000k to 8000k. You may not need to use all 3 custom settings to get the desired effect though. You will need to shoot at the different temperatures to see what works for you. Does this help?

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 03-24-2009 at 12:54 PM. Reason: Correction
03-24-2009, 12:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by wasim_altaf Quote
I've been shooting RAW, leaving the camera in AWB, and converting it in PPL later on. That's when I started to play with various WB settings -- using my computer not in camera. I intend to shoot JPEG only once I gain some insight/experience/confidence ..
That's a very smart approach you are taking. Its like error and trial, without the error being permanent. I think i should try this.
03-24-2009, 04:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
I think it varies because then you'd get more accurate or jumpy WB in difficult/changing light. Like one image yellow, one correct (if the actual WB is near threshold).
When shooting RAW and examing the files in a RAW processing program, they definitely reports lots of different values, not just a few "preset" values, and I'm assuming that's true for JPEG too. So I'm betting you're right.

QuoteQuote:
What is with all those people suggesting RAW. Sometimes it is so unneeded. ~5 times file size, slower camera operation, additional conversion required, harder for pc to process (browse, copy, store). If one asks for WB, he has a reason not to use RAW.
5 times larger? Maybe for the cameras that don't compress the RAW files, but not for the models produced the last few years. As for the additional conversion, it's not required if you are using most modern software. You only need to convert to another format if you plan to share the images with others - but 9 times out of 10, you'd want to resize them anyhow, so it's not really an *extra* step. And also, many modern RAW workflow applications make RAW *easier* to deal with than JPEG, since everything with RAW is always non-destructive. Of course, some (like Lightroom) will also provide non-destructive operations on JPEG files too, making them as easy to work with as RAW. But the only time RAW is harder to work with than JPEG is when using old-fashioned software like PPL.

Anyhow, not to say anyone - particularly a "beginner" - needs to shoot in RAW to get good results, or to feel good about themselves as photographers. I just want to point out that with the right workflow and software to support it, RAW really does not complicate things the way you imply here.
03-24-2009, 09:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
The "Shade" option is @ 8000k and the "Cloudy" option is @ 6000k. In the White balance settings on the K20d, there is a "K" option which allows you to select and keep, 3 custom settings in memory. What you could do is select 3 temperatures equi-distant from 6000k to 8000k. You may not need to use all 3 custom settings to get the desired effect though. You will need to shoot at the different temperatures to see what works for you. Does this help?
I wasn't aware of this feature. This is really good info. I'll have to look into it. Thanks for this tip! Just wondering: what exactly is "Shade," anyway, and why is it so blue? Also, is there any scenario when WB needs to be pushed past 8000k?
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