Part 5 Work­ing with white bal­ance

Are your im­age colours look­ing un­nat­u­ral? Here’s the so­lu­tion...

Digital Camera World - - DIAL M FOR MANUAL -

To the hu­man eye, white ob­jects al­ways look white. But to make white ap­pear as white in dig­i­tal pho­to­graphs, colour tem­per­a­tures need to be ad­justed – a process called white bal­ance (WB). The de­fault Au­to­matic White Bal­ance (AWB) set­ting chooses one of sev­eral pre­sets from the cam­era’s mem­ory (Day­light, Shade, Cloudy, Tung­sten or Flu­o­res­cent), but if one colour in the scene is pre­dom­i­nant, these set­tings won’t give you the best re­sults.

In­stead, go man­ual and cre­ate your own WB set­ting. Sim­ply pho­to­graph a piece of white pa­per or card un­der the same light source you’re go­ing to use for the pho­tos, then save the data gen­er­ated – dis­played as Cus­tom White Bal­ance in most cam­era menus – and load it be­fore shoot­ing.

Al­ter­na­tively, you can dial in a colour tem­per­a­ture value. Each light source has its own tem­per­a­ture along a spec­trum of red to blue, which is recorded in Kelvin (K). Blue and white are ‘cool’ colours with val­ues over 7,000K, while red and or­ange are warmer, lo­cated around 2,000K.

You’ll find colour tem­per­a­ture charts for photography avail­able on­line; en­ter the ap­pro­pri­ate value into the cam­era, typ­i­cally found un­der Colour Temp. As Kelvin val­ues vary, you’ll need to change the WB set­tings the next time you use your cam­era.

To make white ap­pear as white in dig­i­tal pho­to­graphs, colour tem­per­a­tures need to be ad­justed

Shade Day­light Cloudy Floures­cent 2,600K 2,800K 3,000K 2,500K

Cus­tom En­ter your own WB here...

Kelvin ...Or en­ter the colour tem­per­a­ture.

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