George in Georgetown - exploring the Lightroom White Balance settings.

by George Mann

I have been to Georgetown, Penang Island, Malaysia many times over the last three decades but it has been close to ten years since my last visit and I had expected a lot of changes. To my very pleasant surprise there was actually very little visible change, outside of a whole new generation of automobiles.

The new vehicles clogging the narrow lanes and roads of Georgetown are predominantly locally designed and manufactured small hatchback vehicles. Very noticeable is also the large number of young women driving these small cars and many of them in traditional Malaysian Muslim dress.

There are of course also a number of large new office buildings, hotels and condominiums, but they are for the large part not situated directly in the old Georgetown district, which has been preserved to look pretty much like it has for the last hundred years or so.

There are quite a lot of advertising signs and some new modern touches (such as some very unusual public benches of various designs, scattered around the town). The advertising signs have always been here though and the city has always been pretty colorful, so it is just the specific content that has changed not the general look of the place.

For my Lightroom exercise of the week I have decided to use an images from Georgetown, that contains some of these various elements, with various White Balance settings. The sky has been fairly overcast this week so the light has not been very strong or dramatic in the morning or evening hours. The middle of the day is of course mind numbingly hot and not so good for photography, since we are very close to the equator here, with the sun directly overhead.

To quickly see the difference between the various white balance "filters" just watch the car as you move between images, it is a very neutral gray metallic color.


01 - White Balance - As Shot (auto white balance in camera)


02 - White Balance - Auto (auto white balance in Lightroom)


03 - White Balance - Daylight


04 - White Balance - Cloudy


05 - White Balance - Shade


06 - White Balance - Tungsten (not usually a good choice unless you have used tungsten lighting)


07 - White Balance - Fluorescent


08 - White Balance - Flash


09 - White Balance - Custom (eye dropper selection of car door panel)


Colin J Edwards
2007-11-16 13:47:22
When I am in 'Deveop' and white balance 'custom', I do not get the drop-down menu of which you speak. Am I missing something. I have Lightroom 1.3 (I couldn't get it with 1.1 either)
Colin J Edwards
2007-11-16 13:47:32
When I am in 'Deveop' and white balance 'custom', I do not get the drop-down menu of which you speak. Am I missing something. I have Lightroom 1.3 (I couldn't get it with 1.1 either)
2007-11-18 20:32:24
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Georgetown. Very interesting stuff.

However, You don't seem to offer any thoughts or critique on which one you like best or any consideration beyond just posting the altered images. Seems like a rushed post to me.

This is a photo and LR blog after all, not a travel blog...

2007-12-02 02:06:23
I updated to lightroom 1.3 and now my WB Presets are gone for new imports. So are the default exposure settings. If I go back to previously imported photos, from an older version of lightroom, I get all of the above WB options while still in lightroom 1.3, but not for new imports.