Before the advent of digital photography, photographers could make different images with different film negatives or color filters. Now photographers only need to set different white balance modes of digital cameras, so that the images can get different tones!


Photo by kevenlaw

Digital camera white balance

Before the exposure information of the digital camera is converted into an image, the light sensor of the digital camera determines the light source of the scene environment, and then adjusts the image hue to a color close to the naked eye. Through the camera’s different white balance modes, photographers can show images with different color effects.

Correct image color temperature

At present, the automatic white balance mode of digital cameras can provide quite accurate color temperature. However, in indoor lighting environment, often cast still image, the color temperature correction should photography through the use of appropriate white balance mode, for example under tungsten light source, it should be shooting with tungsten white balance mode ; light Under the tube light source, the light tube white balance mode is used. At present, the menus of digital cameras will provide related icons. For example, the tungsten lamp white balance mode will be displayed by a tungsten lamp icon. Photographers can read the pictures to understand. If the photographer finds that the effect is still unsatisfactory, he can use the manual white balance mode for field correction. Generally, the photographer can place a gray or white object under the light source for the final shooting and use the camera to measure. Since the manual setting method of white balance is different for each camera, photographers can refer to the manuals of individual cameras.

Before correcting white balance, the picture is yellowish

After correcting the white balance, the picture returns to normal

Enhance image color

Another function of white balance is to strengthen the existing colors of the image itself. As shown in the following example, simply selecting a cloudy white balance mode or a shadow white balance mode can enhance the warmth of the image.

Daylight white balance

Cloudy white balance

Change the atmosphere with white balance

For photography creation, the image does not have an absolutely “accurate” white balance. The photographer can even choose an “wrong” setting to get the atmosphere that the photography hopes to present. For example, when shooting evening scenes, using the incandescent white balance mode deliberately can make the image look like the morning. However, when using this technique, the photographer should pay attention to whether there is a human subject in the image, because the human skin color will become unnatural due to the color cast. The following examples use different white balances to shoot the night scene of Victoria Harbour, from which you can see different settings, which can show different atmospheres.

Daylight white balance

Tungsten filament white balance

Light pipe white balance

RAW adjustment white balance

Because the RAW file stores the basic exposure data of the image, photographers can use software to read the RAW file at the end of the shooting, adjust the white balance, and finally output the image. Therefore, shooting RAW files can have more flexibility and space in processing white balance.

Photographers can use Camera Raw to adjust the white balance of the image later in the shooting.


For photographers, white balance is not only a tool to show the normal color temperature of an image, but also helps photographers to create. The photographer may wish to use different white balance to shoot images next time, the effect will surprise you.


Author: garyon