Know Your Camera’s White Balance Settings

White Balance Settings

White Balance Settings

White Balance Settings

How to Take Great Color Photography #01 – Know your camera’s white balance settings

Color Temperature

You often hear photographers refer to colors as “warm” and “cold”. This describes the color spectrum of lighting conditions. The color temperature changes according to the time of day.

Early or late in the day, especially near sunrise or sunset, natural light contains more yellows and reds. This creates a warm effect in your photography.

Natural light in the middle of the day produces a more neutral and balanced color. A camera flash or other photographic lighting are also usually designed to produce these neutral tones.

You will find cool light, containing more blues and purples, in the shade outdoors. This is due to most of the light coming from the blue sky, rather then directly from the sun.

All of these basic conditions, warm, neutral, and cool, can produce wonderful photography. The key is being aware of the general conditions and using them to your advantage. The white balance settings on your camera play a key role in doing this.

How to Use White Balance Settings

High-end digital cameras most often use degrees Kelvin for white balance settings and offer much more complex adjustments to be made.

Most point and shoot cameras use simple presets that correspond to specific conditions. These are usually settings like Daylight, Tungsten, Shade, etc. These presets alter the amounts of red, green and blue while the image is being saved to compensate for the lighting. These can be helpful, but if you are serious about photography you will want to use the more advanced settings and the extra control they offer.

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