Achieving "white balance" is sort of like making soup, there are a lot of ingredients, some of which are out of your control. We can start by acknowledging that different manufacturers have different goals. In the film days, the Fuji brand films had a much different color balances than any of the Kodak films. In addition, each company offered films with unique responses to mid-day light.

I saw the same thing in lenses. Again during the days of film, a group of us looked down various 300mm f2.8 and more standard zoom lenses aimed at a white surface in daylight. The Pentax lenses were warm, the Tamron lenses were slightly warm, and the Nikon lenses were neutral. I don't recall the results for the Canon lenses. My Fuji large format lenses are warmer than my Schneider and Rodenstock lenses. I haven't done similar comparisons on modern lenses.

Tim Parkin, publisher of a British online landscape magazine, "On Landscape," measured the spectroscopic transmission of 10-stop neutral density filters, split neutral density filters and polarizing filters. He found significant variations among the filters in each group.

How many photographers or clients have a flat visual response to white light? That's where the artistic interpretation comes in. If your final product is a print, then there is also the color of light in which the print is displayed.

An old TV advertisement used to pose the question, "What's a mother to do?"

Given all of the uncontrollable variables, I've taken a fairly simple approach to white balance. If things look out of wack, as may be the case when I make a photograph of a winter snow scene in the shade, I use a color adjustment to "correct" my whites, and then something on the grays if present. That's a starting point. After that, I ignore color balance and concern myself with artistic intent. I may add back some blue to that shaded snow scene for example. No one is going to take a color spectrophotometer to my prints, although they may still say that one may be too much of something in the light in which they are displaying it. Editors may change the color balance of one of my files which can be frustrating, but they also turn my vertical compositions into horizontal ones or vice versa when it suits their purpose. I just take a walk outside.

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Feb 2, 2023·edited Feb 2, 2023Liked by RWB

I was caught by your mention of adjusting color channels so that one color isn't out of range. Looks like I have some homework to learn about adjusting colors in channels.

My in-camera lighting balance set for 5,000K. A bit warm for shadows and a bit cool for highlights, therefore allowing me to adjust +/- 500 deg for effect and not letting the camera decide via the processor what color temp the scene should be.

I do have a profile from my Passport, for the camera in my raw settings, that is applied at the beginning of the workflow for color balance. Sometimes there is a slight change and other times negligible.

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Always learn from your posts but don't understand the term "the bog lighting standard". Please explain. Thanks

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