The question I have is very similar to this one, but the answer there doesn't work for me, so I'll try asking it differently here...

I switched to using raw format a while back, and am mostly happy with my ability to adjust white balance cleanly. The trouble is that I'm being forced to adjust it, every single time. When the pictures first load, I'm given the in-camera preview image, which often looks beautiful! Then Aperture's raw processing kicks in, and suddenly it turns yellow, or something equally bad happens, and I can't find an immediate way to get back to the WB of the preview image, except through painstakingly manipulating it myself, or secretly including an 18% grey item in the background.

This is with Apple Aperture 3 (v. 3.4.1, really, but it's happened for some time) and the Canon T1i. Advice welcome. I've been using their "auto-guess white balance via skin tone" tool as a quick shortcut, but it's iffy, and I'd rather not keep trying to remember to toss that 18% grey lens cloth cleaner down by the baby when taking a picture of him...

  • \$\begingroup\$ Please see this question: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/7981/… \$\endgroup\$
    – user2719
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 4:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of Why is Aperture changing the color of my RAW photos? \$\endgroup\$
    – user2719
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 4:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you using any adjustment presets when importing the image? \$\endgroup\$
    – Pete
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 6:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, Stan. Thanks for the links -- I had found those, and should have mentioned that I tried the "click White Balance and then reset in order to see camera's WB presets" tip, but it does not work for me. It's a bit frustrating, because the problem really does seem to be the same, not reading the camera's WB for some reason. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael H.
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 22:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm filing a bug report with Apple on what may be a related issue - I was reorganizing, and tried to move a pair of pictures (duplicate + edit one version) into a new project. Instead of moving, it copied (prob. 1), and on arrival it reprocessed and mucked up the exposure (prob. 2). In this case, unlike the other raw/import problem I posted about here, hitting "reset" on the Exposure adjustment did restore the look. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael H.
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 15:50

2 Answers 2


That beautiful image when the photo first loads is your camera's rendition of a JPEG. You might want to start shooting RAW+JPEG so you see both and can either take the JPEG as is or possibly refer to it as you WB your images.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've considered that - after all, when you're already paying the cost of RAW in terms of disk space, what's an extra JPEG? But I don't want to be sorting through twice as many images, so I'd have to think about how to handle that. In any event, I'm still surprised that the JPEG preview is so radically different from RAW + camera's assessment of what the white balance should be. Is that really to be expected? (Do I need to post comparison photos?) \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael H.
    Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 18:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @khedron When you shoot in RAW+JPEG, Aperture keeps the two files together and presents them as a single image. There's a command that lets you choose to switch to the unused representation as the base image. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 15:23

Normally, when Aperture imports the image, it uses the same white balance as set in the camera.

But what you see on the preview screen on the camera is the raw image post-processed using the selected picture style. This normally gives a boost to saturation and sharpness.

Therefore, if you haven't selected any adjustment presets when importing the image, it will look rather bland in Aperture.

I normally use the 'Auto Enhance' preset when importing all my photos, as this gives something more interesting to look at. Then I just reset all adjustment on the images that I want to process manually.

However, the particular scenario you describe, that the picture looks yellow is something I have never experienced. Maybe you have accidentally placed a white balance preset during import?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi Pete -- the yellow is coming from the particular lights in that room, plus the yellow walls. That part is understandable. But, the camera's auto-WB often compensates marvellously for it, in what I see on camera and in the preview shown in Aperture before it processes the raw file. Then I click on the picture, it thinks again, and I'm back to the un-auto-WB version. I'm happy to post a screenshot of two pictures from the same scene, side-by-side, so you could see modified & unmodified pictures. If I ask Aperture to apply its own auto-WB, it does OK, but should I need to? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael H.
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 22:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Where would I see such a setting? In Preferences, it's set to use Camera Previews in Post-Import Processing... \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael H.
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 22:13
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Automatic processing for imports are configured on the import page in the right sidebar. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 9:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, I didn't have any White Balance adjustments set to fire on import. I can try telling it to "Auto Enhance" ala Pete's suggestion and see what that does. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael H.
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 19:33

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