What is White Balance?
White balance is important to learn about so that the colours in your photo are close to being as accurate as possible. You can adjust the colour temperatures in camera to get the best results. Nobody wants a photo that’s too yellow or blue. You can eliminate a lot of post process work by understanding how the camera’s white balance works!
How Does it Work?
On most cameras, you’ll find preset white balance settings like the ones below.
- The camera is totally in control here. It guesses what the correct white balance should be adjusted to for each shot in various lighting conditions.
- You’re most likely going to use this setting indoors lit up by bulb lighting. This will cool down the temperature in the photo to even out the warm yellow tones.
- You will often find fluorescent lighting in offices, schools, and a variety of other professional buildings. Using this setting will help warm up the photos to compensate for the cool tone of the lights.
- You got it. You’ll want to shoot with this setting outside during the day. Not all cameras have this setting because it’s considered to be “normal” lighting.
- When it is overcast and dreary out, using this setting will help brighten up your photos just a touch to give it more of a “daylight” feel.
- Flash lighting tends to be pretty cool (we’ve all seen washed out, blue flash photos before!). Using the flash setting will warm up the colour tone.
- Similar to cloudy situations, using the shade setting will slightly warm up your photos to avoid the blue overcast tones.
- This setting gives you the most control over your photos. You can manually adjust the temperature through different methods. Oftentimes you can tell the camera what white should be in the shot by using what’s called a “white card” (I’ve been known to use a white piece of paper in a pinch).
- You can also manually adjust the colour temperature by increasing or decreasing the Kelvin temperature. A good point of reference for measuring and using the manual Kelvin white balance is to keep in mind that 5500 K is considered “daylight balanced”.
Where Do I Find it on My DSLR Camera?
Keep in mind that adjusting the white balance varies for each DSLR Camera. So if you don’t know how to change the white balance, a quick reference to the manual or a Google search will show you how.
For those of you Nikon or Canon users though, check out the photos below.