by Courtney Fanning
If you have a DSLR camera, you have probably taken a photo where everything is way too orange or too blue! I’m raising my hand because I’m totally guilty. When I was learning how to use my camera on manual, this was just one thing I didn’t understand! But I would love to help you understand this better because it really is pretty simple!
White balance, in basic terms, is your cameras way of balancing how warm of cool an image is. If you are just taking photos of your kids or for personal use, most of the time you can just leave it on auto and your photos will turn out just fine. But if you are like my mother ten years ago, you get annoying yellow images in a gym and just hate it! Well my friends, white balance can fix that!
On the back of your camera go to your image settings and you will probably see a AWB (auto white balance). Click on that. You will be able to choose other settings such as daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten light, white fluorescent light and so on. If auto is not looking good to you, pick the setting that is most accurate to where you are shooting. For ugly gym light it will either be tungsten or fluorescent, that should help dramatically. For inside a home during the daylight, I choose shade or cloudy.
One thing to note. Your camera cannot balance both natural and artificial light in the same frame (photo). If you can, turn off all artificial light and balance your photo with just natural light.
Let me give you an example to how White Balance changes a photo.
Everything in these photos are the exact same except for the white balance. You can tell from the sky and the light in the photos that it was cloudy out. Which means, the cloudy setting is what I would choose and looks the most like real life. Anyone want to guess which image I took with the cloudy setting?
If you guessed the bottom left, you are right! This is just one simple setting that if you know how to use it, makes a huge difference to the quality of your photos! Grab your camera and play around with the white balance. See how it changes your photos in different lighting situations. Once you get used to how it changes your images, you know exactly what to use when!
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