Aim: The aim of this exercise is to take three sets of three pictures, midday shade, midday sun and evening sun with shade, sun and auto WB settings and to interpret the results.
Approach and results: For the first part of this exercise I used a day when the sun was in and out of the clouds giving me the opportunity to get the shots in reasonably quick succession. Grabbing the short bursts of sunshine available meant asking Katya to run out into the garden at short notice and me taking the pictures as quickly as possible, so the portraits aren't particularly good!
These first 3 pictures were taken when the sun was behind the clouds. The first image uses AWB and is rather cool. There appears to be no adjustment for the shade. It was still a bright day so this may be an issue. The 2nd picture has the WB set to shade. This has corrected the previous cool and is much more representative of the actual light. The 3rd picture uses the sunny WB setting and has consequently produced a cool image much like the AWB shot. If anything the AWB shot is the coolest of the 3.
|Light= late sun, WB=auto|
|Light= late sun, WB=shade|
|Light= late sun, WB=sun|
The auto white balance from my camera is slightly on the cool side for portraits. I prefer a warmer result. This would not necessarily be the case for other types of shot but warmer skintones are generally more flattering. I've never used the scene modes on my camera but it makes me wonder what result I would get if I set it to portrait.
Interestingly the AWB in all cases above has produced a similar result to the sunny WB.
If I'm not getting the WB I want I usually set it manually on the Kelvin scale.
It's worth taking note exactly how your particular camera judges scenes so you know what expect in future.