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In addition to proper exposure and good composition, color and appeal are equally important. Exposure can be controlled by aperture, shutter, ISO; composition can be expressed by the head, angle, and idea. Color and appeal are controlled by white balance. Today we will study this very important setting that many beginners have overlooked.

What is White Balance?

White balance refers to the prevailing lighting conditions, the camera thinks that a color is “white.” Just like under the street lights of a road or the yellow lights at a restaurant, if you tell the camera that these “yellows” are “normally white”, the photos taken will look like those taken under white lights, because the camera automatically changes the yellow to white display, this is a reason to adjust the white balance.

Carefully adjust the white balance to make the photo more atmospheric

Carefully adjust the white balance to make the photo more atmospheric

How to Adjust the White Balance of the Camera?

Most digital cameras (even mobile phone cameras) will also have a white balance setting. You will see some symbols under the “White Balance” or “WB” options, showing “Auto White Balance (AWB)” “Daylight”, “tungsten filament lamp”, “flash lamp”, “K” number, and more. This is where the white balance is adjusted. When should you choose which white balance? It should be decided like this:

Example 1: The scene is a tungsten lamp (yellow light). I want to modify the white balance to make the photo return to “normal white tone”. I will tell the camera that the scene is a “tungsten lamp” light source, so I adjusted it to “tungsten lamp” White balance, the photo will have a white tone (otherwise it will become yellow).
Example 2: The scene is an office, full of fluorescent lights, I want to modify the white balance to make the photo return to a “normal white tone”, I will tell the camera that the scene is a “fluorescent light”. So adjust the camera to ” “Fluorescent Light” White Balance, the photo will have white tones (otherwise it may become green).

Can “Auto White Balance” work?

Some students will ask, the camera’s “automatic white balance” seems to be very useful, can you always use automatic white balance? Now the camera’s automatic white balance is becoming more and more advanced, which can help us shoot, but in some cases, we need to manually adjust the white balance:

  1. When the automatic white balance is misaligned, the automatic white balance is not a remedy, and sometimes will be misaligned, so if you find that the color of a photo is strange when using the automatic white balance, you will need to manually adjust.
  2. When you deliberately change the color of a photo, there is no correct color for a wonderful photo! For example, for a photo of the sky, you only need to adjust the white balance. You can change the color of the sky to blue, yellow, or even magic purple, so learning to adjust the white balance yourself can make your photo have more variety!
  3. When people are changing the color of the light source, sometimes we are shooting night portraits. The background light is a yellow tungsten light, but the light emitted by the flash is cold.
Adjust the white balance to make the photo full of blues

Adjust the white balance to make the photo full of blues

The Magic of White Balance that is applied to the photo after adjustments.

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How to use “Pre/Custom” to customize white balance and input a “K” number white balance?

Sometimes we need to customize the white balance. There are two methods. One is to use “Pre / Custom WB” to set the camera using the photos taken on the spot, and the other is to directly enter the “K” number of the white balance. Pre-adjusted is very convenient and quick, you only need to enter the “Pre / Custom WB” option, the camera will ask you to take a photo or select a photo to set the white balance, if it is real-time shooting, take the white against the scene light Just one photo! It is easy to enter the “K” number. A lower K number will make the screen colder, but warmer on the contrary, but be aware that not all cameras can also directly input the “K” number.

Canon custom white balance

Canon custom white balance

Nikon custom white balance

Nikon custom white balance

Post Processing Adjustments

If there is no time to adjust the white balance when shooting, please save the photo in RAW format when shooting, so that we can use the software to make any changes to the white balance of the photo without affecting the quality of the photo, which is very convenient!