If you want to get serious about shooting calculated photoshoots, get yourself off Auto White Balancing! The camera usually does a great job at analyzing the lighting scenario and chooses a suitable color temperature when it is set to AWB. The problem is that setting it to auto lets the camera adjust the white balance ever so slightly for every single image, reducing consistency if you’re sending out a batch of pictures from one specific location. Varying factors, such as color of clothing or reflected sunlight, are the prime suspects for the cause of this.


Shot with AWB. This one was a bit greener than the other.

Consistency might not seem super important, but if you’ve got a lot of images in the same location and they’re all varying slightly, you might spend a little bit more time post-processing all those images to line up. I’ve noticed that even after I’ve synced settings in Lightroom with RAW photos, the colors still may vary slightly. I’d say that the best times to really set a defined white balance is in the studio, using flash, or a condition with a mixed lighting scenario and you’re not changing to different locations. I’ve got nothing against AWB when it comes to shooting for fun, on the street or during situations that aren’t calculated.


Shot with AWB. This one was a bit more magenta than the other.

There are times with constant or available light where you might night know which white balance setting to set your camera to. There are tools to help you create a custom white balance for accurate results, such as the ExpoDisc and ColorChecker Passports. But want to know my quick fix? If your camera is capable, switch it to live view, then adjust the white balance to some of the presets. Some more advanced cameras will allow you to select a color temperature instead of a preset while you’re in live view. You typically will be able to visually see what preset will look like so you can match the scene. Although it isn’t perfect, it’s getting you something consistent and simple to work with in post-processing.

The preceding two images were shot at the same time with a studio strobe only seconds after each other, yet the white balance is off by a few points on both sliders. You probably won’t be able to tell when they’re separated, but if you see them side-by-side, you’ll see the difference.

It’s just a small little tip for the those who really care about details :)

Read more by me, Mykii Liu, here.
Follow me on Facebook, here.

This Post Sponsored by:

LensRentals.com Be a kid in a camera store. Rent lenses, cameras, lighting and more from the original and best online photographic and video equipment rental company.  Use PHOTOFOCUS15 in the checkout special instructions to receive 15% off your next rental.


Photoshop World, the ultimate Photoshop, Photography & Lighting Conference. Las Vegas, NV, September 3-5.  Use the promo code PSWFOCUS414 to discount $50 OFF a full conference pass. Learn more in three days than you have in three years! 

Mosaic A complete solution for photographers using Lightroom who want to access, manage and share their photos on the go. You can easily view images with their iOS app or in your personal Google Drive account, and you can even star/flag images in the app and sync the changes back to Lightroom on your computer. Be sure to also check out the Lightroom Learning Center to learn new ways to work in Lightroom.

lynda.com Learn photography anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace—from bite-sized tutorials to comprehensive courses. Try lynda.com free for 10 days by visiting lynda.com/ Photofocus.

ViewBug  Stick With ViewBug & Photofocus throughout 2014 – because we’re announcing the biggest contest in Photofocus history — coming soon!

The HDR Learning Center Check out new ways to use High Dynamic Range photography to make compelling images. Free tutorials and posts to get results. Produced in partnership with HDRsoft.

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. […] Want Better Photos? Turn OFF Auto White Balance (AWB)! – Good advice. I am always wary with auto anything on cameras […]


Let us know your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

About Mykii Liu

This portrait photographer is named "Mykii Liu". Yeah, that is a weird/crazy awesome spelling, isn't it? Well, that kind of goes with his personality. Liu is a technological geek that has drifted in and out of full-time portrait and wedding photography as well as the IT world. As a youth, he was raised with computers and exuded an inherit ability to explore and understand other bits of technology, which included a 35mm Canon FTb film camera that he was gifted. Fast forward 20 years, add a couple other cameras, computers, lights and lenses, then find Mykii Liu shoot for love as he explores the portrait world.


Photography, Shooting, Technique & Tutorials


, , , , , , ,