May 28, 2020


analysis business finance

Digital White Balance Secrets

White balance is something that most people are taking pictures never had to worry about, at least not until digital photography became popular. White balance is a way of telling the camera what color is white in the scene. Different lighting conditions play a significant role in determining the colors in your images. Look at the spring newborn photography website for more information about the best newborn photographer.

For example, if you look around, you will notice different color casts on things based on the type of lighting you are in. You usually don’t see them because your eye can easily distinguish colors. The camera is not as accurate or as advanced as our eyes. So by setting a white balance reading, you are telling the camera to ignore the color cast created by the lighting and therefore giving you the best representation of the actual colors as possible.

New Camera

Now, most cameras have white balance presets built into them. They usually are auto, tungsten, fluorescent, daylight, flash, custom (your camera may have more or less, it depends on the manufacturer). Most people choose auto and leave it at that. For the average user, the car works fine. You may still end up with a slight color cast on your image, so you may want to try one of the presets. It all depends on the lighting in the scene. 

You will need to choose according to that. Those presets are designed to counteract against the color cast given off by the flash. For example, tungsten light tends to give off a yellowish color cast, so the tungsten white balance setting adds more blue into the image to counter that yellow cast. It tries to neutralize that cast to give a more accurate color rendition.

A custom white balance will give you the most accurate colors you can get when done correctly. To take a custom white balance, you will need an 18% gray card. Now the next steps will vary depending on your camera manufacturer (read in your owner’s manual). Set the white balance to custom or manual, aim the camera at the gray card, and press the shutter. The camera will usually tell you if it was good or not. With that done, your colors should be set for your particular lighting conditions.

Why am I using gray to set white balance? Can’t I use a white shirt or piece of paper? Yes, you can, but you may run into a problem with the material that they are made of. Some of those things may not be neutral in color and cause a color cast if used. 18% gray is neutral and therefore produces the best custom white balance.

White balance can play a significant role in how good your images turn out. You should practice and experiment with all the settings on your camera to see what kind of effect they have on your pictures. From there, you will have a better feel and understanding of white balance and how to use it for your advantage.