White Balance, the relationship of the light falling on the subject and how it is captured, sets the stage for so much that we communicate photographically. In its simplest use, creating a “gray day” or “warm moment” is only the difference of 3000k. But that can make all the difference in the story you want to tell!
I went with a real simple portrait setting to make my point. The Boys as always were just hanging out and more than willing to be models. The photograph above was taken when we first arrived at Mt Rushmore. The bottom photo was taken 45min later just as the sun was disappearing. The mood set with the “cold” or “blue” light is dramatic compared to the “warm” or “orange” light. And this difference directly affects how the viewer of your photograph “feels” about the subject. And while this is easy and obvious, like anything in photography, White Balance tends to perplex photographers. I can pass along to you what I tell most photographers when diving into learning White Balance. Use Auto White Balance for everything (Auto Natural Auto on D850) except when you see red in the sky, then use Cloudy. And if you see a change that you like, then delve into it even further.