The Power Of RAW

Outdoors Using PreSet White Balance Setting

The Power Of RAW

by John S. Krill, NOCCC Beginner’s Digital Photography SIG

Every day I’m reminded why I always shoot in RAW versus JPG. Today is no different. So what happened to the picture? I was using the wrong White Balance setting. Can it be corrected? Yes. Let me explain.

White Balance: Jump over to this short DPReview explanation of White Balance. It should give you an idea of what the digital camera needs to do to get the proper White , or Color, Balance for each image.

How Do We Fix Bad White Balance?

Lightroom 4 Develop Module

One of the big, and I really mean BIG, advantages too exposing all your images in the camera’s native RAW format is basic corrections, such as White Balance, can be easily achieved. In this example I’m using Adobe Lightroon 4.1 but you could also use Adobe Photoshop Elements and open the image using the RAW editor. For correcting White Balance the procedure is the same.

For this image the White Balance in the camera was set to the wrong setting. So the first thing I tried was setting the White Balance to Auto. You never know it just might be that easy. And it was. I didn’t require any other changes.

Lightroom 4 Develop Module White Balance Setting

Notice that in the Adobe RAW editor the White Balance setting will always be set to AS SHOT. When I changed to AUTO the image below was the result.

Lightroom 4 Develop Module Image White Balance Set To ‘Auto’

I then cropped the image and Uploaded it to the NOCCC Blog. It was that easy. And that’s why I will always shoot in RAW.

Chapman University On A Quite Sunday

Using The White Balance Selector To Acquire, Or Fine Tune, The Color Balance.

If you’re taking photos indoors you may have a combination of artificial light sources. You then can use the method described in the video to get the proper color balance.

The video is produced by the photographer Ibarionex Perello, who wrote the book Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography Using Available Light, which I review here. He is also a terrific teacher.

How to Adjust White Balance.

Here’s is another video about fine tuning the White Balance of Color Balance of your pictures. Just click me right now.


In the future we will explain how you a can create a custom White Balance setting in your camera.

SIG Report: October 2, 2011

Books Stores Dying By The Minute
NOCCC Beginner’s Digital Photography SIG

        SIG Leader: John Krill #3160

NEW Room Science 131A: We have moved our meeting location from Science 127 to Science 131A. To repeat we will be meeting in Science 131A from now on. Science 131A is next door to Science 127. Clear?

Elements can’t read my RAW files.

I attempted to open a RAW file from my camera, a Nikon D5100, and Elements wouldn’t open the file. The reason for this is the RAW editor provided with Elements 8 doesn’t have data on my camera’s RAW file format.
First I have to determine is the latest RAW editor version for Elements 8. Going to the Adobe web site and trying to find something as simple as the latest version of camera raw for elements 8 or any other version of Elements is not that straight forward. But after a couple of days I found the two web pages that should answer our questions.

  1. First go here: This page lists the Adobe applications that are compatible with the Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in. The table also shows the version of Camera Raw included with each application, and the latest version of Camera Raw supported by each.
  2. Or go here: This document lists the digital cameras whose raw image file formats that versions 1.0 through 6.4 of the Camera Raw plug-in support.

For my new camera, the Nikon D5100, I needed version 6.4 of the Raw Editor and for that version of the RAW editor I needed Elements 9.

Getting Help On Using Your Camera

I can rarely help anyone with the use of their digital camera because EVERY camera maker does it differently. Every level of camera, point-and-shoot, beginning Digital SLR, advanced Digital SLR, Professional Digital SLR are different. Mix all this up and you have CHAOS.

If you would like me or anyone else to help you with your camera then you MUST bring in the manual. Without the manual it’s just plain luck if we can solve your problem. Many times the camera manufactures have PDF versions of their camera manuals. Download the PDF for your camera and bring in the PDF on a mamory stick or something similar that I can plug into my computer.

What’s White Balance?

White balance (WB) is the process of removing unrealistic color casts, so that objects which appear white in person are rendered white in your photo. Proper camera white balance has to take into account the “color temperature” of a light source, which refers to the relative warmth or coolness of white light. Our eyes are very good at judging what is white under different light sources, but digital cameras often have great difficulty with auto white balance (AWB) — and can create unsightly blue, orange, or even green color casts. [Source:]

Some cameras only have Auto White Balance (AWB.) If that’s the case then you will have to correct the color using a program like Photoshop Elements.

If your camera allows you to set the White Balance manually for various light sources then you can set White Balance from an outdoor sunny day to indoors using various artificial light sources.

If you’re unsure if your camera will allow you to manually set White Balance then check with your camera manual.

Standard Stuff That Is Always In This Report

This report should be up on the SIG’s blog. I may go into greater detail and I will include screen shots as well.

I’ve been lax in posting to the blog. I hope to correct this. Because our meetings are once a month and last for only one and a half hours there is much more I can cover with the blog.

If you have a special request for information regarding digital photography let me know. E-mail me using the address listed below.

Check out the SIG Blog for other information and maybe info on what we will discuss at the next meeting.

As always we will answer any and all questions.

If you have a special request for information regarding digital photography let me know. E-mail me using the address listed below.

We had 12 members at our SIG meeting.

November Meeting Ideas:

I will try to bring in some photos that show what happens when your camera get the White Balance wrong. We will then attempt to correct the images using Photoshop Elements.

The second subject will be: What Is A Histogram? How Best To Use The Histogram.

See you at the next meeting.

Note: I am using a new Web location for the photos I take at the meeting. I now upload the photos I take to Microsoft SkyDrive. A link will be put here every month to the folder with that months photos.

SkyDrive Photos:!159

PS: I know it’s a LONG link and if you go to the NOCCC web site you can find the link at the Beginners Digital Photography SIG report.

SIG Blog: