See your true colours

Chris Rut­ter helps you to master the white bal­ance set­tings on your Nikon

NPhoto - - Contents -

Master white bal­ance set­tings

White bal­ance is a sys­tem used for chang­ing the colour of your im­age to suit the dif­fer­ent types of light­ing found in dif­fer­ent shoot­ing sit­u­a­tions. It’s based on the fact that the colour of light varies, from the very warm light from di­rect sun early or late in the day (and light from nor­mal do­mes­tic light bulbs), to the much cooler light cre­ated from the mid­day sun or open shade.

The colour of the light from dif­fer­ent light sources is mea­sured on a scale known as colour tem­per­a­ture. This gives a nu­meric value to how blue (cold) or red (warm) the light is. This scale of tem­per­a­tures is mea­sured in de­grees Kelvin, with lower num­bers, such as 3500K, in­di­cat­ing a warm, red light. The higher the num­ber, the cooler (more blue) the light ap­pears.

Common set­tings

Your Nikon has set­tings to help you get neu­tral colours in the most common types of light­ing. Th­ese in­clude an au­to­matic set­ting, plus pre­sets for common light sources such as day­light and flash. They only ap­ply to the light fall­ing on the sub­ject, rather than the back­ground, so if your main sub­ject is in shade but the back­ground is in sun­light, you should choose the Shade pre­set.

There is also the op­tion of set­ting a cus­tom pre­set, and on some mod­els you can even set a spe­cific colour tem­per­a­ture. To use the Man­ual Pre­set white bal­ance, which en­ables

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