Tag Archive: RAW

Pay attention to White Balance

Most of the professional photographers make sure, white’s stay white. Often we are challenged with tricky lighting conditions which make deciding on a white balance difficult. JPEG shooters are more vulnerable since the scope for colour correction is limited in post-production.

However, even if you’re a RAW shooter it is important to get WB close to perfect right in the camera. A bride on her wedding day looking resplendent in her saree would be disappointed if you supply her with photographs wherein her saree colour is way off. It happens quite a lot in wedding photography, purples turn into blue. Since the amateur photographer is lost in other aspects(composition, lighting etc) of the photograph, it(WB) gets easily hood-winked. However, the bride and her family are the first to spot the mistake. In rare cases, they might not complain but you are sure to lose the client for a future photo assignment.


In order to avoid such an unpleasant scenario, one should be careful about the WB during shooting. Often WB is a subjective topic. Some like their pictures to be warmer whereas others opt for the most neutral colours. I fall in the latter category. I do tweak the WB to one other than the prefect when I feel the need for it. Often I proceed with setting the camera’s white balance to a ‘preset’ closer to the lighting condition I am shooting in. When I shoot under mixed lighting conditions, I make sure to get a “Grey Card” reading from my subject. Of-course, I always shoot in RAW. Combination of these two methods give me a head-start when I have the photographs over the computer post shoot. Most often, the WB is spot on or close enough. The little adjustment(if required) is easily handled in post-production.

In-camera RAW editing is a nifty feature to have. Off-course, comparing it to the RAW processors on computers is highly unfair. With this feature, one can tweak the RAW files in camera itself & adjust some basic parameters like exposure, picture styles, white balance etc.(The actual controls depend on the make of the camera). Lets see how one can put this to good use. I often use this feature when commuting. It comes handy for shots where minor editing is required. At times, I even use this feature to create a rough copy before editing the same photograph on my computer.


Above is a photograph which is straight out of the camera(JPEG). I purposely underexposed the scene here.

Now after some quick in-camera RAW edits, this is how the same photograph looks. Here I adjusted the white balance, exposure, picture styles to make this final photograph. Impressive, isn’t it? Go ahead, give it a try. Who knows, you could save time in post-processing & utilize the same for shooting.


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