Image Processing Reference
In general, the Auto setting works well, especially when shooting RAW. Because
the actual white balance isn't being applied to the RAW image, it's easy to change this
after the fact in Adobe Camera Raw.
Using White Balance Presets
Adobe Camera Raw includes all of the common white balance presets. If you know
that a particular image was shot under one of these lighting conditions, correction can
be as simple as making a selection from the list. I find that these presets do a good job
of getting me close to the white balance I want, but they seldom hit exactly on the
The presets, as seen in Figure 3.1, include all of the common lighting conditions
as well as three additional choices:
The list of preset white balance
options in Adobe Camera Raw
serves as a good starting point
for making adjustments to your
As Shot will use the setting from your camera if Camera Raw can read it. This is
most useful if you've set a custom white balance in the camera, but many cam-
eras do a good job with Auto White Balance and you may find that this setting
works well for most of your images.
Auto will attempt to correct the color balance to what Camera Raw thinks is
correct. Camera Raw analyzes the image and makes a best guess at the correct
white balance. Auto in Camera Raw is not the same as using the Auto setting in
your camera. To use the camera's Auto, select As Shot.
Custom will automatically be used whenever any adjustment is made to the
Temperature or Tint sliders.
Figure 3.2 shows the same image using different white balance presets for an
outdoor image. Any one of them could be correct depending on the light and look you
want to convey, but each is very different from the other.
Which is correct? I know from the shooting conditions that the Daylight setting
should give me the closest to the “correct” result, but otherwise I would have a hard
time deciding which was technically accurate. Although Daylight is the closest setting
to what I want, it isn't exactly what I'm looking for. By using the Temperature and Tint
controls, you can adjust the white balance to the preferred setting for that image.
Remember that photography is a creative process, and accurate is not always what you
want to convey with your image.