02 March 2008

Auto white balance

One of the first things we did after my retirement was drive to Jacksonville where I attended a weekend workshop sponsored by the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. A great event. I learned an amazing amount in the five sessions I attended, despite the fact that it was pretty much all classroom with no real need even to take the camera out of the bag.

What did I learn? One example. Elizabeth Stone (she has a web site, if you're interested) asked this rhetorical question: When would a digital photographer use AWB (auto white balance)? The answer? Never. So, where has my camera been set for the three years I've owned it? You get the idea ...

Using my favorite subject, Whitby, I engaged in a brief experiment Thursday night. He had been to the groomer that day, so in addition to trying out different white balance settings the photos also serve to document how crisp he looks.

Whitby with the white balance set to "flash" (with the flash suppressed).

Whitby with the white balance set to "florescent."

Whitby with the white balance set to "tungsten.

All things considered (like the true color of Tal's pant leg), the second shot was taken with the white balance set correctly. The lamp next to Tal's chair has a compact florescent blub in it. White balance -- must one more thing to consider before releasing the shutter.

But no matter the white balance, isn't Whitby cute?

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