What is White Balance? The white balance is basically how your camera sees colours, I like the term colour temperature as it helps me to visualise it better, were the colours warm or cold etc.
You may have looked at pictures in the past and thought that the colours look different to how you remember, they might be. If you camera is set up for a warm White Balance but the shot was supposed to be cold then the colours in your shot might not be what you wanted to achieve.
So what are you options? Your DSLR will have several White Balance presets built in, they are;
- Auto. Most people will default to this and let the camera make the decision
- Tungsten. This is for indoor shoots under warm bright lighting so it will cool the picture
- Fluorescent. If you take a picture under fluorescent lighting it will be quite a cold look so this setting warms your picture
- Daylight. Daylight can be quite strong cooling the picture, this setting will warm the picture but only a little
- Flash. Similar to daylight but stronger, using a flash can cool the picture a lot so this setting puts more warmth back in
- Cloudy. Shooting in cloudy situations means the light has been diffused by the clouds so this setting makes the necessary adjustments for you
The gallery with this article shows you the effect that different White Balances can have on the same photo.
As with everything you do not have to make your pictures appear as they were taken, you can decide how you want the shot to look before you take it. White Balance is another tool in your arsenal to help you get the pictures you want, and if you shoot in RAW you can always adjust it afterwards!