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White balance for cloudy day?

MitchNC

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I've been watching a lot of videos and reading threads about manual vs auto WB.
I've got a better understanding of Kelvin temperatures.

Today it's waffling between sunny and cloudy. It will be bright sun and then suddenly a big cloud bank comes through and makes it overcast. Then back to sun.
Is this a situation where you should use Auto WB?
 

HiloHawaiian

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I've been watching a lot of videos and reading threads about manual vs auto WB.
I've got a better understanding of Kelvin temperatures.

Today it's waffling between sunny and cloudy. It will be bright sun and then suddenly a big cloud bank comes through and makes it overcast. Then back to sun.
Is this a situation where you should use Auto WB?
Those kind of conditions are always a crap-shoot. Hawaii never has completely blue skies, there’s always clouds, and they move with the trade winds. Right in the middle of a take, the colors & contrast can change dramatically. Auto can work, but it’s likely to make exposure changes mid-take. I’ve done both Auto & Manual many times. I guess if you forced me to pick, I’d say manual, keep an eye on the sky, try to plan video takes in between clouds. Not easy, Mother Nature can be frustrating....
 
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thomasr

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I am still learning my Evo's camera. I flew yesterday to see what a really cloudy day looks like. Last hour of light. No filters. 5-10 mph breezes - nothing major.

Once I was in the air -- looking straight across the horizon -- I used the lock function to lock in the "auto" settings that I looked at. As I tapped across the image on my screen.

I settled on the best contrast I could find to see on the horizon -- and see the color popping out on the trees -- and locked it in.

Once in post - I nudged the brightness up ever so slightly and added some contrast. Considering the amount of light I really had to work with, I am amazed it turned out this detailed. I am sure someone could show me how to spend lots of time tweaking it and getting it right... lol

I think it looks OK with little effort.

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Fly-a-holic

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I need lots of camera training. I learn something just about every time I log into this site. I even learned something on this very post. 🙂
 
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MitchNC

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I took photos of a friend's homestead yesterday. When I got home the photos made me sick.

However, I was shooting raw, and when I opened them in Photoshop I was able to correct the white balance and the shots are beautiful.

But I still don't know how to keep the sky from being blown out.
 

MitchNC

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I'm glad I got the advice here to shoot RAW + JPG. I also shoot bracketed, so there's lots of data to work with.
Storage is so cheap now. :)
 
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HiloHawaiian

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I took photos of a friend's homestead yesterday. When I got home the photos made me sick.

However, I was shooting raw, and when I opened them in Photoshop I was able to correct the white balance and the shots are beautiful.

But I still don't know how to keep the sky from being blown out.
The sky blows-out mainly b/c the small sensor just doesn't have the dynamic range to give you highlight AND shadow detail--you must pick one. That said, few sensors can handle the extreme tonal range in a scene that includes white puffy clouds and deep shadowy areas. Even my Nikon D810 in RAW can barely handle that kind of tonal range. Sure, HDR and other trickery helps, but I can usually recover a ton of detail in post from RAW 810 files. As for the Evo, it's about as good as a small sensor's output can get (from what I've read and seen), but it's still not in the league of much bigger/better sensors. It'll get there, (unless you want to spend $5-10K) . So for now, you must choose what to emphasize in your exposure, highlights detail or shadow detail...
 
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HiloHawaiian

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That's exactly what I was talking about. You decided to emphasize ground detail, at the expense of sky detail. It looks great! Well done. Had you tried to get some detail in the sky, the yard would have suffered. Most folks won't even notice the sky is fried, b/c the subject matter resides on the ground!
 

MitchNC

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Thanks... I'm glad I'm on the right track.
The photos were pretty flat because I used cloudy white balance. When I switched it to daylight in Photoshop and applied curves, all the color popped.
 
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