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Setting White Balance with RAW
There is a recurring discussion I have with student photographers/friends, and I haven't discussed it here or on any of my videos in depth. It goes something like this:
Student "Michael, what do you use to set your Custom White Balance? Do you use an Expo Disk (or some other gadget)?"
Me "I'm typically shooting mostly in RAW these days."
Student "Yes, but shouldn't you always set your Custom White Balance when shooting in RAW? That's what my other photographer friend told me to do."
Me "If I understand you correctly, you are setting Custom White Balance every time you move to a new lighting position when shooting in RAW?"
Student "Ya...you don't?"
Me "No of course not....not for RAW."
Student now laughing at me "You don't do that? Don't you know you are supposed to?"
Me "Ummm, no....I don't and no I didn't."
At this point my friend or student will then pull out his or her camera and start taking pictures, they almost always take a picture in AWB and then Custom WB with their Custom WB device of choice. They then show me the differences between the two images on the back of the camera.
Student "Look...look Michael. Can't you see the difference? Doesn't that look so much better when the custom white balance is set correctly?"
Me "Those definitely look different, and yes that image looks better, but these images we are looking at have very little to do with the RAW files."