Setting your white balance... in RAW

Discussion in 'The Digital Darkroom' started by Tim, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    For those of you who shoot RAW, how do you set your white balance? A lot of times I find the presets (Adobe Camera Raw) to not be quite so good. I read somewhere that when you use the color picker to look for a neutral area. I read further and it said to pick something where the RGB values were similar (ie. 17,18,16). any better ways to do this?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  2. Roger

    Roger Member Staff Member

    You know there once was a time when you would shoot a grey card in the lighting and go from there.

    But I think it is now based on what should be white. Depends on the software.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  3. gary

    gary Member

    just picked up a book " the photoshop book for digital photographer" scott kelby, comes with a tricolor card, white,gray,black just for shooting and setting custom function white balance, and then using the eyedropper color picker technique, i may be giving this a try, just have to commit camera set up to memory, involves going into menu cf
    i use breezebrowser to convert so we'll see how this goes
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  4. Scott

    Scott Member

    One of the things you often hear in photo forums is that you don't need to worry about your in-camera white balance settings when you shoot RAW - you can always come back later and adjust the white balance on your computer. Technically, you can do that, but I've found that the best way for me is to set up everything on my camera as if I was taking a very important JPG-only picture. If its a bright sunny day, I'll use "daylight" or auto-white-balance (auto usually makes it a bit too blue for my taste, but I try it anyway). If its cloudy, I'll use "cloudy", etc.

    Back at my computer, the first thing I do when I process a RAW photo in ACR is choose the "as shot" settings. Theoretically, you should get a photo that matches your small JPG (if you shoot "RAW + JPG" in your camera). Usually, this produces the best results right off the bat. If I'm not happy with that, I'll try "daylight" or "cloudy" - I'll try them all. I've never been happy with "auto" in ACR - it never seems to work well. To fine-tune the white balance, I'll try different settings on the Temperature bar.

    For even further fine-tuning, I like to use the gray point picker on the Levels or Curves dialog box.
  5. I just use the top of Pringles tube, cover the lens and point it at the light source and use the image taken to set the auto white balance.
  6. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    good idea, i had heard that one before but i forgot about it. i'll have to give it a try. it's raw...i can fix it later if i need to.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014

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