Photos: Mark Lentz
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Golden trees, Cole Haan, Midtown Fifth Avenue

Theme: Holiday Sights. Notes by Mark Lentz.

We have for a long time eschewed the Automatic White Balance feature of our cameras in favor of setting it manually -- well, semi-manually: there are presets for Sunny, Cloudy, Tungsten, Florescent. This is because when the AWB messes up, it really messes up, and the presets generally work well, and very easy to set. And once we got in the habit of doing this, we got in the habit of checking other important settings at the same time, like ISO, and generally made us just a little more "thoughtful" about our photos.

However, none of the settings worked quite right for this store window -- either it became too silvery blue, as in #1 and 3, or red-yellow, as in 2 and 4. (Each of these has already had the color balance adjusted somewhat in PhotoShop).

Another issue, seen in 3 and 4, is that if the color balance is set for the store window, the street outside will not look quite right.

It may be time to buy one of those white or gray cards and learn to set the white balance ourselves -- a lot of things are not as hard as you think they're going to be, before you do them. Then we could save the settings as a Custom White Balance. Yep. That would be good. Sounds like a New Year's resolution there.

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