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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 1st July 2012
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Lightbulb AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

There are some that consider "Auto White Balance" in the same way as "Sliced Bread" in being usefull, but something to be avoided when you really want the best results.

Much like convenience food, the "auto" functions of our cameras are someone else's recipe and the end results have that mass market flavour, considered by "them" to be what "we" want.

Presented, as we are, with so many images that compete to sell us stuff; the enriched colours, vibrant contrasts, super sharp pictures, become the norm and the real world seems drab by comparison.

Maybe switching off the Auto functions should be considered in a similar way to Jamie Oliver's best efforts, to get the kids off the junk food... Perhaps we could have a "See the Difference" forum, where only home made (all Manual) images are allowed, using RAW ingredients (sorry could not resist that)
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Old 1st July 2012
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Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

I'd be happy to give it a try! I use manual mode, and manual lenses for that matter, quite often -but not often custom white balance. Gives me a thought for this afternoon's dog walk.....
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Old 1st July 2012
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Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

The only auto features I use are aperture priority most of the time and AF for maybe a quarter of my shots.

I don't kow how to turn on any of the other 'novelty' auto functions.
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Old 1st July 2012
Ulfric M Douglas Ulfric M Douglas is offline
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Re: All-manual thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
... Perhaps we could have a "See the Difference" forum, where only home made (all Manual) images are allowed, using RAW ingredients (sorry could not resist that)
I love this idea, but just start a thread for now in Photo Fair and see how it goes.
I'll set up one of my cameras to all-manual and take it out next time.

There is a big but to all this as some of the new cameras (like this e-pM1) really do an awesomely useful job on mixed indoor lighting with their psychic AWB.
So : easy to diss it until it gets us better results than human estimation.
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Old 1st July 2012
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Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

When I had my first DSLR an E500 I took Jpegs and set my W/B to 5300K if it was sunny and 6000K in cloud.
When I got an outdated E1 with it's external W/B sensor and started taking Raw I used auto W/B and adjusted at the raw conversion stage.
Since then I've always done the same.
I can understand manually setting the W/B for Jpegs but not Raw or am I missing something(not unusual).

I'm up for a try though.
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Old 1st July 2012
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Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

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Originally Posted by andym View Post
I ... started taking Raw I used auto W/B and adjusted at the raw conversion stage. Since then I've always done the same.
Yes, this is how I work as well. In fact I use AWB almost all the time, but I regard it as a guide - and I usually adjust white balance at the ACR import stage.

If I think I know better I might move the colour temperature to get the right look.

Better still If I can see something I know to be white in the picture I use the dropper tool to correct to this reference.

Best of all I take a picture of my black/grey/white reference card set, use the dropper tool on the white card then repeat this setting by selecting "use previous conversion" for each subsequent raw import.

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Old 1st July 2012
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Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

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Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post

Maybe switching off the Auto functions should be considered in a similar way to Jamie Oliver's best efforts, to get the kids off the junk food... Perhaps we could have a "See the Difference" forum, where only home made (all Manual) images are allowed, using RAW ingredients (sorry could not resist that)
Ho! Ho! This could become ORFully popular I shall take my hat and leave now ...

I scrolled down and thought Pete would have that line in ...
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Old 1st July 2012
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Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

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Originally Posted by snaarman View Post
Yes, this is how I work as well. In fact I use AWB almost all the time, but I regard it as a guide - and I usually adjust white balance at the ACR import stage.

If I think I know better I might move the colour temperature to get the right look.

Better still If I can see something I know to be white in the picture I use the dropper tool to correct to this reference.
Ditto... I usually set ISO manually but leave WB on auto and adjust as necessary.
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Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

Virtually all my shots are Aperture Priority, Manual ISO, AWB, raw. It's so easy to adjust WB at raw development stage and my E-3 and E-PL1 seem to have very accurate WB. It's something that used to bother me when I first started using digital and for a while I kept my E-500 set on 5600K, manually adjusting when needed by fitting 81 or 82 series filters. However, soon I found that to be unnecessary and now I let AWB do it's job, except perhaps at sunrise or sunset when I may want to simulate the exagerated effect of using 5500K rated film under 3000K light.
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Old 2nd July 2012
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Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
There are some that consider "Auto White Balance" in the same way as "Sliced Bread" in being usefull, but something to be avoided when you really want the best results.

Much like convenience food, the "auto" functions of our cameras are someone else's recipe and the end results have that mass market flavour, considered by "them" to be what "we" want.

Presented, as we are, with so many images that compete to sell us stuff; the enriched colours, vibrant contrasts, super sharp pictures, become the norm and the real world seems drab by comparison.

Maybe switching off the Auto functions should be considered in a similar way to Jamie Oliver's best efforts, to get the kids off the junk food... Perhaps we could have a "See the Difference" forum, where only home made (all Manual) images are allowed, using RAW ingredients (sorry could not resist that)
Firstly I must confess to being among the visually retarded that does use auto white balance, and if I feel that an image needs some adjustment then it is a simple exercise to correct by processing the RAW file, although the need does not often arise. I shoot Fine jpeg + RAW.
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Old 2nd July 2012
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Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

I tend to leave the WB set to auto, toom and correct any issues in Lightroom PP.

I'm not sure Graham, that the AWB is "someone else's recipe", because it's calculated by a physical sensor, isn't it? Unless I misunderstand what you meant, which is highly likely...!
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Old 2nd July 2012
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Lightbulb Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

Quote:
Originally Posted by theMusicMan View Post
I tend to leave the WB set to auto, toom and correct any issues in Lightroom PP.

I'm not sure Graham, that the AWB is "someone else's recipe", because it's calculated by a physical sensor, isn't it? Unless I misunderstand what you meant, which is highly likely...!
The whole "food" analogy, was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but somewhere between the actual sensor and the number that appears on the camera display, lies the automatic white balancing algorithm, that someone has devised.

Much like any single number derived from data, there are often multiple ways in which that can be arrived at. Sometimes there are International Standards that define precisely the value and how it is derived but often such values are determined by manufacturers to suit their overall design specifications.


For those that have a lot of time, provided by using sliced bread instead of baking your own

http://www.stanford.edu/~sujason/Col...n%20Images.pdf

http://www.iaeng.org/publication/WCE...p1204-1208.pdf

And loads more here: http://www.mathworks.it/matlabcentra..._thread/311541
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Old 2nd July 2012
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Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

Here's an example I posted a short while back. It is a coil of rope in a shady place on a cloudy day. The top grey-ish image is what AWB produced on the basis of what it could see (mostly brown rope). I assume it looked at all that brown and decided the colour temperature was really low.

The bottom part is what happened when I gave it some reference to work on! The bottom image is much more true to life.




The moral is, you can make AWB work for you as long as you know what it's looking for..

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Old 2nd July 2012
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Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

Sorry Pete but I prefer the first one

fwiw I set the WB to auto by default, because it usually takes me a while to remember to change it for the light. I develop from raw but I always try to have the camera JPEG settings right too.
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Old 2nd July 2012
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Re: AWB - The worst thing since sliced bread

I had a play with the white balances on soem of my RAW, to be honest I couldn't get any better than the auto by playing around with the preset temperatures or fiddling with sliders.

Whilst I like the colour in the second one Pete, I also like the aged look in the first
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