White Balance – A definition White balance is the measurement of light in relation to its varying temperatures
WHITE BALANCE The reason we adjust white balance is to get the colors in our images as accurate as possible. Fluorescent lighting adds a bluish cast to photos whereas tungsten (incandescent/bulbs) lights add a yellowish tinge to photos Cooler Temperature Warmer Temperature
THE VISUAL SPECTRUM This scale gives an idea of how colours relate to one another. Midday sun will shine roughly equally across this whole range. Other light sources will only emit some of these frequencies, or will be biased towards one end of the spectrum or the other.
Our eyes are very good at adjusting automatically
THE WAY WHITE BALANCE WORKS Cameras measure the amount of red, green and blue light that are reflected onto the sensor. If the light source isn’t producing much at the blue end of the spectrum, then forcing a specific white balance to account for this tells the camera to expect disproportionately low levels of blue light and then bears this in mind when deciding what colours things should be.
WHITE BALANCE OPTIONS AUTO WB WB PRE-SETS GREY CARDS MANUAL WB POST PROCESSING
Most of the time you will want the colours of your scene to reflect as accurately as possible. So “why not use AUTO” you say? Sometimes you will get a more impressive image by artificially warming up or cooling down your scene. AUTO WHITE BALANCE
Sunrise is a prime example – your camera’s auto white balance will often correct the rich, warm colours of the scene, leaving you with a photo which doesn’t reflect the colours you are trying to capture. To warm up the look of a sunrise, increase the white balance to achieve the effect you are after, This will enhance the warm reds and oranges and subdue the cold blues and greens Auto white balance 2850 Manual white balance 5350
PRE-SETS Although this scale is only approximate, it gives an idea of how the presets relate to one another. The ‘tungsten’ lightbulb correcting for very orange light (at the left) and the ’shade’ setting compensating for very blue light.
SOMETHING TO BEAR IN MIND White Balance pre-sets are an average and still may not be truly accurate. For example many cameras use 5500K as their daylight setting because the sun in the morning and afternoon is cooler than 6500K
Manual – grey cards Ascertaining the true colours can involve shooting a picture of a white (or, better still, neutral grey), object under the lighting you’re working under. This teaches the camera how to balance the levels of the red, green and blue information that it’s recording. But Remember – you will need to do this every time the lighting conditions change.
Take a look at the following images: This shot was taken in Auto White Balance. The light in the room is from three standard light bulbs and as a result the image is quite warm or yellow A piece of white paper was then held up to the camera to tell it what color white is. Then a second shot was taken using this setting
MANUAL WHY TAKE TOTAL CONTROL? There may be times when you want to be creative with light in photography. Setting the white balance manually will provide you with creative freedom to produce images with impact.
MANUAL – TAKING CONTROL White balance is often described in terms of colour temperatures, using a scale marked K – Kelvin Colour TemperatureLight Source 1000-2000KCandlelight 2500-3500KTungsten Bulb 3000-4000KSunrise/Sunset (clear sky) 4000-5000KFluorescent Lamps 5000-5500KElectronic Flash 5000-6500KDaylight with Clear Sky (sun overhead) 6500-8000KModerately overcast sky 9000-10000KShade or Heavily Overcast Sky
POST PROCESSING White balance can be altered later in computer software such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements etc. To get the best results using post processing use RAW format. A JPEG image isn't as effective because the data the software needs is usually the data that has been removed in order to decrease the file size in the first place
The centre image is incorrectly exposed and has been corrected both with JPEG and RAW.
The best thing you can do is get the shot as perfect as possible when you press the shutter.