Friday, October 23, 2015

DigPhotog: Controlling Light: White Balance (W9-P3) Fa15

Photo credit: Anthony Quintano (cc)
Ever taken a photo like the one to the right where the photo looks a little yellowish?  This is a lighting problem. More specifically, this is a white balance problem.

Miokte defines white balance as "the camera setting used to correct any subtle color shifts in an image that sometimes occur in different kinds of light.  The white balance setting can be set by either the camera or the photographer, depending on the camera model."

Whenever you take a photograph and you have your camera set on automatic, your camera looks out into the world and makes decisions about what settings to use for ISO, shutter speed and f-stop.  We've discussed this previously.  Along with ISO, shutter speed and f-stop, the camera also makes decisions about the white balance.  And, sometimes it makes a good decision and sometimes it makes a bad decision (like in the photo to the right).  When your camera can't seem to get it right, that is the time for you to step in and change the white balance yourself.  But, how?  Why?

Now with some basics out of the way, let's see specifically how to use white balance setting when taking a photo.

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