Perfect White Balance in Landscape Photography? No Thanks

Achieving perfect white balance is highly important for many types of photographic work, however landscape photography will usually benefit from a bit of creative coloring.

In this video, Nigel Danson takes you through processing one of his sunset landscape images from Adobe Lightroom to actually printing it out. His main focus here is with the color work, making sure to accentuate the feel of what this location was like at the time of exposure.

This input into an image from a photographer can not be understated. The camera’s sensor is only going to capture a copy of what’s in the scene. However, it lacks the ability to know what the artist is sensing, and what they feel about the world viewed in front of them. Straying from the scene’s technically correct white balance is one way a photographer can use color to share their emotions. With the use of gradient masks and local brushes, as Danson shows here, more personality and opinion is able to come through in an image because all areas can be explored individually. It is here where the ever-elusive “what is my style?” is beginning to be answered.

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The problem with white balance is, even from the standpoint of capturing reality, if the sun is low in the sky or hidden behind clouds, a white card is NOT going to be white. Even on a sunny day, other objects in the environment can affect white balance. And then, of course, there's the creativity aspect as noted in the article.