Understanding White Balance

Beginner Photographer

Every digital camera owners most have never encountered the term white balance. So what is the white balance? Why should you care?

Okay let’s talk in a way that’s easy and applicable.

What the white balance?

White balance is an important aspect in the world of photography and affect how the photos. The reason why we need to understand white balance is because we want to color our pictures as accurate as possible. Thus, white balance affect the color of the photo.

To be more clear please see example photos below:

The third photo photo above is identical, even all three coming from just one photograph. I just change the white balance setting and the results: three very different color. A picture looked very blue, photo looks quite normal B and C photo looks yellowish.

Note the color of fluorescent light bulbs and light bulb, different is not it? it is because each neon and bulb has a “color temperature” is different. A yellow light (bulb) is called warm while the bluish light (neon) as cold.

The reason why the camera takes the white balance setting is because we take pictures in any lighting conditions choppy. Our naked eyes are super-sophisticated tools and are able to adapt (balance) to changes in light color, so wherever the white paper will look white to us. But the camera is not as sophisticated as the eye, because the white paper is not necessarily visible white lighting for the camera in a different color.

So the purpose of the white balance setting is ordered cameras to recognize temperature existing light sources. So that white looks white, red looks red and green look green, or in other words so that the camera records the color of objects accurately in any light condition.

White Balance Preset

You can also use the preset if it is available on your camera:

  • Auto – the camera will guess the color temperature based on the program that planted from nature by the camera manufacturer. You can use it in most situations, but not in every situation (eg photographing at sunset / sunrise)
  • Tungsten – symbolized by the lightbulb icon. Therefore suitable for use when you take pictures in the room with the light source bulb.
  • Fluorescent – symbolized by iconic neon lights, use when shooting in a room with fluorescent lighting.
  • Daylight – usually with the symbol of the sun, use while in the sun.
  • Cloudy – symbolized by the cloud, use when shooting in cloudy weather.
  • Flash – lightning symbol, if you use the flash (strobe) using this preset.
  • Shade – usually a house or a tree symbol, use when shooting indoors (daytime) or you are in the shadows – not the direct rays of sun themselves.
  • Setting the White Balance Manually

Some cameras, especially SLR and prosumer, provides manual white balance settings. Manual settings is the most accurate way if we are confused with the color temperature of the light source us. This usually occurs in a photoshoot with a more complex lighting source (more than one type of color temperature).

We can use white paper for this purpose. This article discusses in detail how to set white balance manually using paper or a white wall.

An easier way is to use an accurate and additional accessories called expodisc or kenko, prices range from Rp. 800 thousand s / d Rp. 1.5 Million. You can buy his stores large camera.

 

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