Photography: White Balance Adjustment
(Learned from an email sent by Albertson's photo email)
White Balance is essentially the color temperature in any picture,
and most cameras provide some sort of functionality to control the White
Balance in your shot. Because the camera sees differently than our eyes,
it is sometimes important to "trick" the camera into capturing how you
want color to appear in your photo.
1. If you are not sure, always start with Auto (AWB). The Auto White
Balance (AWB) setting tells the camera to set the white balance for
you automatically. This is a good place to start; if the photo turns
out well in your preview, then there is probably no need to further
adjust the white balance. But this setting can be hit or miss, so you
may have to try another option.
2. If you picture has red or
orange tint , the Tungsten setting (usually a light
bulb icon) adds blue to the photo to compensate. Regular (tungsten)
light bulbs give off an orange tint, so this is a good setting to use
indoors when photographing under incandescent lights.
3. If your picture has greenish tint
in it, use Fluorescent setting (usually a fluorescent bulb icon) which
adds magenta into the photo to compensate for the green tint given off
by most fluorescent light bulbs. Use this setting indoors under fluorescent
4. If your photo has Blue tint, the
Cloudy setting (usually a cloud icon) warms the photo up by adding orange
to compensate for the blue tint given off by clouds. Use this setting
when photographing outdoors in cloudy or overcast situations.
5. If your photo has Shade. The Shade setting adds even more orange
than the Cloudy setting to warm up a photo taken outside in the shade.
Two other White Balance settings you may find on your camera are: Daylight.
Use this setting when shooting outdoors in a sunny situation. Chances
are the AWB setting will produce very similar results, so you can probably
use either one. Flash. The Flash setting is best when you set up an
external flash (a flash not built into your camera). Without setting
your camera to the Flash mode, the entire photo will turn blue when
using an external flash. Your regular built-in flash does not require
you to use this setting; the camera will automatically adjust accordingly.
Color Temperature. Cameras also measure color temperature. Your camera
may allow you to set the color temperature, measured in degree units
of Kelvin. This is a bit more advanced, but if you choose to give it
a try, just remember that the higher the Kelvin number is, the warmer
(more orange) the photo will be, and the lower the number is, the colder
(more blue) the photo will be. For example, the Shade setting (which
adds orange) takes a photo at about 7000 degrees Kelvin, while the Tungsten
setting (which adds blue) takes a photo at about 3200 degrees Kelvin.
Pure white is 5200 degrees Kelvin. If you do have the ability to set
the color temperature, it is fun to intentionally manipulate a photo.
For instance, an already warm sunset shot could be more fantastic if
made even warmer by increasing the color temperature. Play around and