Understanding White Balance In Photography

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When you choose advanced diploma photography, we expect things to be of the next level when compared to the basic photography. True as it is, there are some things that are relevant in all levels of photography. One such thing is white balance, the most fundamental and yet a very difficult skill to achieve for many budding photographers. White balance has a huge potential to make a mediocre photo achieve the best quality. Therefore, you need to have a very good understanding of white balance. Let us discuss white balance more in details.

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White balance determines how accurate the colours of your photograph are. The way our eyes see colours is very different from the way our digital devices decode them. Our brain is smart and adapts to different lighting conditions. If you enter a room with a yellowish light, your eyes will still decode a piece of paper as white. It may look yellow initially though. 

So do the modern cameras have white balance options? Of course, they do. All modern digital cameras have Auto White Balance mode and also several presets. These include Tungsten lights, Fluorescent lights, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy and Flash. If you find that a deep, overcast day gives you too much blue, switch to ‘Shade’ or ‘Cloudy’. These should warm your image up. If you are shooting under tungsten light using AWB, switch to ‘Tungsten’. This will balance out your color temperature. Use it only under tungsten bulbs. Otherwise, your photo turns into blue. You don’t always have to use a specific preset for a particular light. An excellent way to maintain the saturation of sunsets is to set the Shade or Cloudy preset. This adds extra warmth to the image and keeps that sunset looking real.

Presets are a quick and simple solution to getting good white balance photography. But they are not always perfect. Your best bet is to use a white object, or as close as you can get, to set an automatic white balance. After that, you can alter the white balance you see in the post-processing software. Preset white balance can only get you so far for accurate colors.

Another important question is in regards to how you should adjust the white balance in your camera. There is no exact answer to this; hence the more you practice and get acquainted with your camera the more your doubts shall get clear. Using the principles in this article, you can adjust the settings on your digital camera. Changing the camera white balance very much depends on the make of your camera and the model.

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