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Thread: A thought about Snow WB

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    South Devon, UK

    A thought about Snow WB

    On this site, and a wildlife site which I frequent, people have been discussing off colour snow photos caused by incorrect white balance; usually when using AWB which turns the snow into a blue cast.

    So I was just thinking; why not use the snow itself to create a Custom WB.

    I shot some snow (it's a bit thin here) which was in light shadow and roughly the correct shade of white then used that for a Custom White Balance. During editing, I have increased the exposure and sharpened a little but haven't altered the colour settings.

    Obviously not as good as using a proper WB Card; but if you don't have one with you, which most people don't, it might be worth trying if you are having problems.

    A thought about Snow WB

    Just follow the arrows!

  2. #2
    Steaphany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Somewhere in Texas
    Real Name

    Re: A thought about Snow WB

    I've pretty much have completely gotten away from using the AWB setting. The problem is, just as with the in camera exposure meter, you are relying on the camera's electronics to look at the scene and pick a white point, but when processing how do you ever know what the white point actually was set to ?

    Unless the lighting specifically requires it, I keep my camera set to Sunlight all the time. A great tool to then set the white point is a WhiBal:

    WhiBal White Balance Reference Video Tutorials by Michael Tapes

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: A thought about Snow WB

    To my mind, the main thing, when viewing across several images, is to be consistent.

    For a one off, which maybe all we see here, yes Whi-Bal, snow or even an Auto-WB that works, or is tweaked in PP is fine, and of course the Whi-Bal shot can be used in PP to set it correctly.

    When shooting RAW and using ACR, even if you don't batch process, you can note the colour temp in Kelvin (and tint) being used for a good result, then apply that to all shots in same series. I guess this is just an alternative to using the Custom WB in camera method (e.g. if you didn't do it at time of shooting).

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