My wife and I are wedding photographers and we go to a lot of locations. Everywhere from outdoor greenery to indoor museums with walls and ceilings painted red.

I'm wondering what your suggestion is for us with the white balance setting on both of our cameras.

We both try to pick the right canon-quick-white-balance settings based on what we think looks best depending on the location. Sometimes we choose different white balance settings and it gets harder to edit the color through each picture, rather than copy-pasting white balance settings

for post-production purposes, would it be better for both of use to just choose a single white balance and stick with it throughout the night? or use auto white balance? or just keep doing what we're doing?

By the way, yes we shoot in RAW.

  • WB changes for each shot depending on light sources and color of nearby reflective surfaces. Best is to use a gray card for each location to set the WB in post. – Jim Garrison Oct 11 '16 at 3:57
  • @JimGarrison We try to use a gray card at every location, sometimes the wedding moves so fast that we're not able to get a gray card out and move fast enough. The main question is mainly how do I make it easier with two cameras. I think I'm coming to the conclusion that I should set the same white balance and just leave it. – ntgCleaner Oct 11 '16 at 12:10

It doesn't matter if you're saving the raw data.

The in-camera white balance setting only affects jpegs generated in-camera and the preview image attached to the raw data. It has no effect whatsoever on the raw data itself. When you convert the raw data to a color image you can choose whatever WB you want. At most the influence of the in-camera WB at the time the image was shot is limited to the WB applied when you first open the file and your raw conversion application interprets the data in the raw file to create a viewable image on your monitor. But that interpretation is just one of many that can be extracted from the raw data. You are free to change it to whatever value you want and the application will reinterpret the original data and display it.

  • Agree, but if you did not shoot a reference, it could be a little hard to balance the sessions. You would need to stick to some presets. – Rafael Oct 11 '16 at 11:48
  • Thanks Michael, I understand how white balance works, but my main question is what is easier to deal with in post processing. There are times where the two cameras are set differently in the same scene and I have to correct the pictures. It seems to be easier to set our white balance to the same setting so I can batch white balance each scene. – ntgCleaner Oct 11 '16 at 12:33
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    If you think you are "correcting the pictures" you have demonstrated that you don't understand how white balance works with raw data. Even if the cameras are set to different WB when the image is shot, if you apply the same raw conversion profile they will have the same WB applied in conversion. It sounds like you are letting the raw convertor select the in-camera WB as a default and then "correcting" it using the tone curve adjustments instead of truly changing the WB setting before the data is demosaiced. What software application are you using when editing the raw files? – Michael C Oct 11 '16 at 14:47
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    @ntgCleaner To be more specific, it doesn't matter at all if one camera's WB is set to 2000K and the other is set to 10000K. If you batch apply the same raw conversion profile to the files from both cameras in LR you'll get the same WB in both sets of images. – Michael C Oct 11 '16 at 14:55
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    @MichaelClark, Wow, I can't believe I didn't realize that. It's not relative of the picture, its relative of the environment. Thank you for making me realize this... I'm totally confounded. – ntgCleaner Oct 11 '16 at 15:13

This one is interesting.

You can do some basic configuration shooting the same white (or gray) target at diferent light situations. So each need to carry one small target of the same brand.

Of course if the light is changing too rapidly, for example on a cloudy/sunny day, stick with one setting for a while.

If you are using the same camera model that could be enough to make the session simmilar. But if you are using very diferent models you could also need to profile them using a color checker.

I would not recomend to use the auto balance. That would change not only from camera to camera, but from one shoot to another...

  • That sounds good. Luckily we're using the same 5DMkIII. So I think what I'm gathering is that we're just going to set our whitebalance the "same" in the camera so it will be easier to batch edit colors in lightroom. – ntgCleaner Oct 11 '16 at 13:07

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