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White Balance

If you’ve ever taken photos that ended up looking a little orange or blue, then this post will definitely help you. White balance can be a bit confusing, but with just a little understanding you’ll see that it can be key to taking amazing photos.

What is White Balance?

The White Balance (WB) determines how accurate the colour, or more specifically the temperature of the photo comes out. You may have experienced your photos appearing slightly orange or blue, even though when setting up the shot it looked normal. This is because different sources of light have a different colour or temperature to them. Fluorescent lighting adds a cool bluish hue to photos, whereas tungsten lights add a warm yellowish tinge.

We don't notice this difference in temperature because our eyes adjust automatically for it (unless the temperature of the light is very extreme). However, a digital camera is not able to make these adjustments automatically and sometimes will need us to tell it how to treat different light.

White Balance Temperature

Colour Temperature (Kelvin)

White Balance Settings

Auto
Auto – The Auto setting helps in adjusting the white balance automatically according to the different lighting conditions. Though it can sometimes be effective, I would suggest trying other modes for better results.

Tungsten
Tungsten – This mode is used for light under an incandescent lightbulb like tungsten, and it is often used while shooting indoors. The Tungsten setting of the digital camera cools down the colour temperature in photos.

Fluorescent
Fluorescent – This mode is used for getting brighter and warmer shots while compensating for cool shade of fluorescent light.

Daylight
Daylight – This mode is for the normal daylight setting, while shooting outdoors. Many cameras do not have the Daylight mode.

Cloudy
Cloudy – This mode is ideal for while shooting on a cloudy day, as it warms up the subject and surroundings.

Flash
Flash – The flash mode is required when there is inadequate lighting available. It helps pick the right White Balance under low light conditions.

Shade
Shade – A shaded location generally produces cooler or bluer pictures; this setting warms up the surroundings while shooting shaded objects.

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