See attached images. Shot with Canon EOS t5i with a Tamron 17-50mm lens back in November 2019.

  1. Processed with ACR with Adobe 'Auto' WB and Adobe Standard Color. It seems way too blue to my taste. But it is pretty.
  2. Processed with ACR with in-camera 'As Shot' WB and Camera Standard Color. Yellows are very saturated. Also pretty.
  3. Processed with Raw Therapee. Settings unknown.

My question, what is the recommended setting for the most natural look for sunsets? Or should select the look that I find most pleasing?



2 Answers 2


It's strictly an artistic decision.

If you want the photo to most closely resemble the way that your eyes and brain interpreted the scene, go with whichever one most closely resembles the way you remember it. It will probably be somewhere between Adobe's "Auto WB" setting and your camera's "As Shot" interpretation.

I tend to use actual color temperatures and tint adjustments for such photos. I'll start at 5200K and work in either direction, but usually towards higher temperatures, from there until it begins to look 'natural' to my eye, then adjust tint (the Green ←→ Magenta axis that is more or less orthogonal to the Blue ←→ Amber color temperature axis) the same way. Usually tint needs to go just slightly towards magenta for me.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you much! Very helpful! \$\endgroup\$ Jun 5, 2021 at 14:59

In my opinion, just use the "Sun" white balance.

If you have any deviation to orange due to the sunset and dust, you will capture it.

Do NOT use auto white balance, because you will remove the orange tint and neutralize it.

Then you can change the color temperature at will in post, but you will have a good starting point.

  • \$\begingroup\$ good or bad idea to take a 18% grey custom white-balance during a sunset, in your opinion? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9, 2021 at 9:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The 18% gray card is for exposure, not for white balance. Some cheap cards have a tint on the gray. They are ok for exposure, but will tint your photos. For sunset, you can choose your "sunny day" white balance, and let the orange of the sunset tint your image naturally. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Jun 9, 2021 at 16:20

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