Friday, March 26, 2010

Share Friday! White Balance

Have you ever wondered why your photos seem to come out blue or a funky shade of yellow? Well most likely you are using the wrong white balance.

White Balance (WB)compensates for the differences in color temperature of the surrounding light.

I am sure you all have once in your time of photographing someone you have notice that indoor light is not the same color as natural light. Well that is where you WB setting comes into play. You have a couple of different ways to get this right.

1. Use Auto White Balance (which is the default on your camera but not always the best)
2. Use a preset; cloudy, shade, sunny, flash, tungsten, florescent (works great 90% of the time)
3. Custom setting using a grey card (the best but sometimes not practical)

I would suggest trying to get off auto and begin experimenting with the presets. I use them 98% of the time. The only KEY thing of getting this right is remembering to change your WB each time you move from one light to another. Here are some pictures below that show you how each setting can change to the look of your photograph.

_DSC3268 auto


_DSC3269 tungsten


_DSC3270 fluorescent


_DSC3272 flash

Flash (no flash was used)

_DSC3271 sunny


_DSC3274 cloudy


_DSC3276 shade


_DSC3277 custom


Now see how just one small setting can change the look or temperature for technical terms? The photo was taken with a mix of light. Fluorescent and cloudy light so the custom or even the fluorescent setting is what worked the best. Sometime when you use two or more different light sources and you want to get right it is best you use a custom setting. (we will talk more on that later) Also if you are shooting in RAW you will be able to change your WB in post processing. This works like a charm when you forget to change setting from going into the shade from the sun this is a saving grace! (we will be talking more on shooting in RAW vs. JPEG next week) So go and grab that trusty manual and see how to change your WB setting and try it out! You will be amazed at the difference it makes by not relying on you Auto White Balance. One last tip! I took a class once and my instructor said if you are unsure you could always take a few test shots to see which works best or you could just set it to cloudy. That tip has seem to work for me when I have been unsure and didn't have time to take a test shot. Hope I have shed some light on White Balance! Now go and be brave and work those White Balance Presets!

Have a great weekend.

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