White balance pick colour not working as expected

Hello everyone,

Thank you in advance for your help.
I’m a professional photographer taking my first steps with PhotoLab.

So far I haven’t had much success with the white balance colour selection.
Before a photo session in my studio, I always take a picture with a grey card to get the right WB. When I click on the card, I expect the WB to be adjusted.
As you can see in the attached images, when I do this in PL, the resulting corrected WB is clearly wrong. I usually get something around 5,500K.

I also tried clicking on a neutral background in a portrait shot. Same results. Again, WB is normally 5,500K.

Finally, I tried it on a photo with fluorescent lighting, which is normally around 4,000K. This time I had some success. My camera auto WB got 3,910K, and by clicking in the grey column, PhotoLab adjusted it to 3,816K.

For reference, I tried with Canon, Fijifilm and DNG raw files, with the same results.
I use an iMac with Ventura 13.06.1 OS

Am I missing something?

Thanks in advance


Looking at your screenshots, I found that with the warehouse photo, you manually selected a specific colour rendering, while colour rendering is switched off in the other photos.

Check what happens, when you change colour rendering by applying one of the provided presets. Normally, the correct camera body is selected automatically. Manually selecting a different rendering can be used for creative variations or taste. Nevertheless, WB pickup should not cause unwanted results.

When I was using a Canon 400D and processing its .CR2 files and the ‘colour rendering’ in PL 2/3/5 set to type: ‘generic’ with ‘rendering’: ‘DxO camera profile’ then the colour balance was usually fine.

When I moved on to using a Canon 90D, which generates .CR3 files, PL5 was never great at getting the WB right. the default DxO camera profile generally produced files with a yellow cast. I just learnt to live with it and adjust the WB to my taste (my monitor is hardware calibrated to its native gamut which covers the Adobe RGB gamut). Sometimes reducing the ‘intensity’ of the rendering worked, sometimes adjusting ‘protect saturated colours’ did the job. Most often reducing the tint of the colour temp was the best option.

I now have PL7 and I’m finding the WB is better if I start from:

  • Colour Space: DxO Wide Gamut
  • RAW WB: as shot
  • Colour/B&W rendering:
    type: generic
    rendering: neutral colour

Could you share the one with the gray card with us?


Hello @platypus

Unfortunately, colour rendering was turned off in the photo I took of the blue box. So that’s not the reason for the problem.
As you said, the WB pickup should work correctly regardless of the colour rendering selected.
So far I haven’t found a solution other than using a grey card to set a custom white balance in the camera. Then, when processing the image in PL5, I set the white balance to ‘As Shot’.

Hello @stuck

Thanks for your advice. Glad to hear you have found a workaround that works for you.
I’m hoping to find a solution on this forum to explain why the white balance dropper doesn’t work when I click on a grey card or neutral white wall.
For some jobs I need to get the colours of the products exactly right. I can’t rely on setting them by eye :slight_smile:

Hello @George

Sorry for the delay in responding.
Below is a link to download my RAW images. Let me know how your white balance dropper handles the grey card.


Perfect. No problems with the greycard. The background is also nearly grey, no problem either.
Windows 10, PL6.9
The same on my pc, win 8, PL 7.0