White Balance – Learn a Mode Mode Monday

It's All About Balance

It’s All About Balance

What is White Balance?

The White Balance setting (WB) on our digital camera controls the overall color cast of the image.  The reason why there may be a color cast on our pictures is because this is the way that digital cameras react to light temperature.

Every light source- the sun, light filtered through clouds, a bulb inside or florescent all have a different light temperature.  And each temperature results in a different color hue.   Our eyes naturally filter out these color differences and in most cases all light appears the same.

Digital cameras however do see the differences in different light temperatures and hence different “colors” of light.  The White Balance setting adjusts to counteract these color casts.

Just use Auto White Balance?

In most cases our camera’s Auto White Balance does a pretty good job at setting this mode correctly, however in some scenarios we are going to have to adjust this setting manually.  This is especially true if we are shooting without flash and in a particularly unusual lighting situation.

Here are some pictures I took without flash to demonstrate.  My subject’s dress is supposed to be snowy white:

Auto White Balance

Auto White Balance

As you can see in the first picture, by leaving the camera’s White Balance setting to Auto, the light inside gives an overall yellow hue or cast to the picture.

White Balanced adjusted for Tungsten

White Balanced adjusted for Tungsten

In the second picture I changed my White Balance setting to compensate for this by changing the WB to Tungsten – Much better and definitely more realistic!

Experiment

You can experiment with the White Balance Setting on your camera.  Look for the WB symbol either on the back of your camera as a shortcut button or in the functions menu.

Most types of light are preset for you there

Daylight

Cloudy

Fluorescent

Tungsten (which just means a regular bulb)

Check your camera manual so that you can decipher the WB icons and play around with the settings to see the different effects that you get.  This works best if you take a series of the same shot, especially if your subject includes something white so that the effect is really obvious and shoot without flash.

You’ll see how by changing this one small setting on your camera you can achieve very different results.

Happy snapping!

sig

A little late but none the less – Happy New Year!

CameraShy Student at work

CameraShy Student at work

So how many of you got a new digital camera for Christmas? Judging by my inbox  – a lot of you!  That’s my excuse for not being blogging as much lately.  I’ve been out helping my clients around Atlanta get to grips with their new DSLRs.  It’s been great fun but I just realized that I had gone a month without posting here and I’ve been neglecting my readers.  So from now on I promise to write more regularly, with more tutorials, recommendations, reviews and all round great photography advice for beginners and anyone else who wants to listen!

So for this post I’m just going to try to encourage you to get out and start shooting and make 2010 the year when you really learn how to move out of Auto mode, get creative and really master your camera.  I’m planning on learning a few new techniques myself and I’m challenging myself to improve my skill set to bring my photography to the next level.  So let’s learn together  – it’s always more fun that way, isn’t it?

If you are in the Atlanta area and would like to book a One-to-One private instruction lesson with me email me for my availability and more info at ingrid@camerashy.info

Happy snapping!

sig