Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Portraits and White Balance

Still learning to improve my post process skills in order to have consistently good edits, and I will admit, my last order of photos in a recent event wasn't at all good edits. A bit oversaturated, a bit too hot (overexposed), etc., and honestly, I don't always have that many bad edits in one batch of photos, albeit, I do make errors every now and then, but not that many in one batch.

I was once taught, "leave your WB in auto in cam, and then change it in LR", true enough, it would seem a great choice, he further added "then do not choose the auto or as shot WB, if you had a flash on, choose WB flash, etc., but do mix it up every now and then to see a better balance of colors.". And such, I stayed with that lecture for over a year now.

Sadly the last edits, I followed that lecture, everything was off in certain photos, and I was perplexed. In doing so, I decided to break the rules of his lecture in my next batch of edits; since these were simply photos of me and my two great buddies, AJ and Brian, I had a lot more room to experiment with the tones and whatnot, and more importantly, try to use as shot and/or auto WB presets.

The first photo below is of AJ and the WB simply set to Tungsten as there were a lot of round light bulbs in the coffee house; having experimented with other WB presets, my lecture on choose the WB based on what type of light was on was correct.

Introspective AJ

Next photo, again of AJ, I had my flash on, so simply, I chose the flash WB setting, Again, the lecture was right.


Now this photo of Brian, I tried using tungsten, fluorescent, flash WB settings but it turned quite awful honestly, so I broke my lecturer's rule and chose AUTO WB preset, and it turned out great.

Honest Abe and Brian

Much like everything else in photography, some rules should be broken; rule of thirds, etc. are more of guidelines than actual rules (yes, I borrowed that line from the Pirates of the Caribbean).

Another lesson learned from this amateur and I am very well on the process of improving my skills.

Don't be afraid to bend the rules in photography, you may just find that you have taken the greatest shot there is if you do.