Local White Balance?

When taking a picture we choose a White Balance (e.g. Sunny) for the whole scene. This, despite the simple fact that parts of the scene (for instance, a landscape) may be in shadow and should have a White Balance of Shade applied. Since it isn’t possible to apply White Balance selectively (perhaps I’m mistaken?), we edit the colors in shade selectively. We increase the amount of blue (as does a White Balance of Shade).
This is a round-about approach to local editing for differences in White Balance. But… is it possible to edit White Balance selectively, or locally?

I prefer to set an automatic balance on the camera. Then in RT I balance the white on the largest portion of the image and then in Affinity Photo I create localized balances with layer masks.

You can use the Vibrance & Warm/Cool tool in Local Adjustments. The Warm/Cool slider acts as a WB control. Local Adjustments - RawPedia

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I know you ask about RT, but in darktable you can do multiple white balances using the colour calibration module and localised masks. This is a very handy feature for some images. However, in your original post you suggested shade needed a shift in color and this might be achieved in any program using curves to give a different color shifts to shadow and highlights. I have certainly done this with scanned images very easily.

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I second this suggestion. It’s a very powerful tool when you have mixed lighting. Overcast outside and tungsten interior in same photo for instance.


Thanks Wayne. Powerful stuff. I’ll look into it more deeply.

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For information, about 5 years ago I created a module which allowed local white balance correction.

The “right” question is: “what do we mean by this term?” Depending on the software, the vocabulary hides clearly different things (example Rawtherapee and Darktable).

In what I am talking about here it is the color balance very early in the process just after demoisaicing and not the color corrections of type as the Color Appearance model type (CAM with chromatic adaptation).

This module was not retained, mainly for GUI problems.

This is why I replaced it with a module based on Ciecam (here Cat16) which is the same module present in “Color Apperance & Lighting”, but simplified.
Certainly it does not do quite the same thing, but in everyday use this module should be suitable in a large majority of cases.

But ultimately the main thing is the result obtained in terms of perceived colors.
It seems to me, but this is a slightly biased opinion, that associate “Temperature correlation” - Automatic & refinement - (do not hesitate to use in “Preferences”, White balance automatic temperature correlation settings) for the overall image and adjust with Local adjustments as @Wayne_Sutton says allows sufficient adjustment, for example areas in shade or tungsten light.