In a nutshell, NO! Never, or rarely, use Auto White Balance (AWB).
I know this is a controversial subject in the photo industry. I will probably get criticism for even saying this. And I am aware that you could google the subject and get several different opinions. But IMO, setting the WB in camera is critically important and has a huge impact on the final product. Let’s take a look at four reasons I believe this to be true.
Reasons not to use awb
Proper WB directly affects the accuracy of colors in your photographs. It ensures that colors in your images appear true to life. When the white balance is correctly set, it prevents an unwanted color cast that can make whites appear tinted with blue, yellow, or other hues, and ensures that all other colors in the scene are accurately represented.
When you shoot in AWB (letting the camera decide what the WB should be) you will sometimes get very different WB results from image-to-image. This makes it almost impossible to achieve consistency in your finished photos.
Setting the white balance in camera helps maintain color consistency across a series of photographs captured in the same lighting conditions. Consistent color rendering is important for creating a cohesive visual narrative, when shooting a series of images.
When the camera gets to decided WB, it can change from image-to-image, as mentioned above. And when that happens it is very difficult, if not impossible, to have a cohesive finished product.
While it’s possible to adjust white balance during post-processing, setting it correctly in camera reduces the need for extensive color correction later on. This saves time and effort during the editing process and helps preserve the original quality of the captured content.
The more manipulation that is required in post processing, the greater than chance that the photo’s quality can become degraded.
The better an image comes out-of-camera, the better the end result. That is the simple truth!
Properly setting the white balance demonstrates attention to detail and technical proficiency in photography. It is a fundamental skill that contributes to the overall professionalism and quality of your visual work.
In summary, setting the white balance in camera is crucial for ensuring accurate color reproduction, maintaining consistency across a body of work, reducing the need for extensive post-processing, conveying the intended mood and atmosphere, and demonstrating professionalism in the field of photography.
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