If you’re new to digital photography and are trying to get some pointers, I suggest viewing my post on Aperture.

Over the past month and a half, I have learned about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and now I am shooting in Manual mode! My photos have been turning out great, and I feel like I am getting the hang of the basic concepts of photography.  There are still many things to learn, one of which is White Balance.  

What is White Balance:

White balance is a way to measure and adjust the temperature of light.  By doing this, we can balance out the colors of a photograph.

Different lights inside our home, our work, and outside impact the colors of objects.  Our incredible eyes are rigged to automatically adjust to these different levels of light, so that the color we see remains constant. Red is red inside or outside. For instance, a person’s complexion inside our house is the same outside in the daylight, under completely different light.  Our brains are to thank for that! Cameras are not quite as intelligent. They can’t automatically adjust to different light settings, like our eyes do.  They need help… which is White Balance is for!

White Balance adjusts the intensity of colors, which affects the colors in our photographs. If you have a DSLR camera, chances are your camera is set up to automatically adjust the White Balance, which generally does a pretty decent job! You do have the option to manually adjust the White Balance to create an even better photograph!

How White Balance is measured:
Adjusting white balance allows you to adjust the relative intensity of the color temperature. White Balance is measured in temperatures using the Kelvin Scale

“Note how 5000 K produces roughly neutral light, whereas 3000 K and 9000 K produce light spectrums which shift to contain more orange and blue wavelengths, respectively. As the color temperature rises, the color distribution becomes cooler.”- to read more, visit Cambridgeincolour.com

How to adjust your camera’s white balance:

Locate the “WB” button on your camera.

Canon REbel

 (Image from: www.whitegadget.com)

Your screen display should look similar to this.  Use the Main Command Dial to scroll through and select the option you want to try out.

White Balance

White Balance Options:

  • AWB Auto: On this setting, your camera will automatically try to find the best color for each photograph. Your camera does this by finding the brightest point in the scene and assigning it a value of white. Then the rest of the colors are adjusted according to that.
  • AWB Daylight/Sunny: (Approx 5,200k) This setting is not on all cameras, since it is not a big adjustment from neutral.  In my experience, this setting give a natural light.
  • Shade Shade:  (Approx 7,000k) When shooting in a shady scene, the light is typically cooler, so this option will warm up the photo .
  • CLoudy Cloudy: (Approx 6,000k) Similar to shade, but to a lesser degree, clouds are generally cooler colors.  This option also warms up the photo, but not as drastically as the Shade setting.
  • Tungsten Tungsten: (Approx 3,200k) This is a typical setting for indoors, where there is warm lighting.  The Tungsten setting will cool down the warm colors in a scene or photograph.
  • Fluorescent Fluorescent: (Approx 4,000k) For settings that tend to be too green on the spectrum, flourescent setting can help bring a more natural, warm color.
  • Flash Flash: A flash can cool down the colors in a photograph.  Using the Flash setting can help warm up your photos.
  • Custom Custom: If you want to select a specific temperature, the custom mode allows you to do this.

Next up, I am going to explore some composition techniques using the Rule of Thirds!

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4 Responses to White Balance

  1. […] Photo Thursdays Posted on December 14, 2012 by avaughan I have spent the last two months attempting to photograph better pictures by learning different aspects of exposure. […]

  2. […] Photo Thursdays – White Balance! (homemadeforelle.com) […]

  3. avaughan says:

    My favorite selection for these photos is probably “Shade” because it makes the photo really warm. The most accurate to real life was Daylight 🙂

  4. Teresa Owen says:

    Which photo do you like? Also, which one was the most accurate?

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