White Balance, What It Is and How to Use

Today you will learn about the famous white balance. With it, you can adjust image colors, providing more natural shades, cooling or heating the photo.

Seems confused now, as soon as the temperature of a photo?Soon you’ll understand and control on your camera too, if you want.

Some photographs, made in the same environment, can have different colorations. Sometimes a tree gets more green in a photo and a flower is more yellow in another, the same landscape. How is this possible? Through the white balance, you can move the photo, tint darkening or brightening the colors of the image.

As the difference in tonality? The amount of light that enters the camera. Can happen for her not being able to distinguish what is white in the environment and thus distort the colors.

Notice in the picture how each adjustment changes the hue of the original photo. According to A2zcamerablog, most digital cameras have these options as a preset white balance: automatic (auto), daylight (daylight), cloud (cloud), shade (shade), tungsten (tungsten), fluorescent (fluorescent) and flash (flash) and many still allow the set directly in the kelvin scale, explained below.

Have you noticed that an object photographed reflects ambient light?If the light is white or yellowish, it interferes with the image, producing – in a color that’s not original. Generally, the more blue may appear white or yellowish. And we’re not even talking about coloured lights, but the common, we use at home. Until people can come out with a different skin tone of your. That you may have already noticed, for sure: a person leaves more yellowish than is usually due to ambient light be incandescent. Let’s control it?

Adjustments to the white balance

The camera usually comes with the white balance automatically adjusted. But, you can configure this option manually, tonalizando colors to make them more authentic.

We spoke earlier of lamps that produce different tones. In some cases, we don’t even have to light bulbs to exemplify, the walls also reflect the lights and change the colors of a picture. The human eye doesn’t see very well that, except for very large contrast, because it automatically adjusts this difference, but on camera it does not.Therefore, to obtain professional-quality photos, the white adjustment is very interesting and should be done carefully.

Shades of light

How do we know daylight, natural, has more yellowish tint, is a hot color. The same happens with the incandescent lamps, yellow. The fluorescent lamps are cooler, white and slightly bluish coloring. This coloring, if not previously adjusted on the camera, can and will interfere with your photos.

Kelvin (k) scale

And what are the shades that can work? In addition to the preset, we rely on the Kelvin scale, where you can manually (usually through a slider where you race to the right “cold” color, or to the left, “hot”, but some equipment allow only the scale number input, change this value. In this image you can learn how this scale behaves and what numbers to work when you’re in these situations.

White balance: setting

To make a picture in an environment with fluorescent light, everything that is white in the environment will stay with a slightly bluish tone.Now, if we want to shoot something white, we don’t want reflections in blue. Imagine the frustration of a bride who takes pictures of your dress on the big day and it appears slightly blue? For lighter that is the key, not the pure white that she wished to capture. The same happens with incandescent bulbs, everything is going to be white with a slightly yellowish tone. Of course you can change the colors using specific programs for correcting and editing images, but it is easier if you make these adjustments to the white balance before taking the picture.

Adjusting the white balance, everything that is white will remain white and other colors do not suffer changes with the color of the ambient light, as will also be automatically adjusted.

Ways of adjusting the white balance

As already mentioned, you can leave it in auto mode and the camera makes the fit for you. As you are learning, the recommended is that you learn how to configure manually, adjusting colors and leaving – the brightest and natural.

For sunny days, configure the sunlight. So, your camera will not reflect the warm light of the Sun and make a beautiful picture and bright, with the real colors of the environment and of the subject photographed, or select around 5000 k, say around, because it’s not a hard-and-fast rule, remember that as in any manual adjustment, be photometry or white balance, the camera is an instrument for your picture come out how you want!

For cloudy days or rainy days, configure the cloudy days. So, the camera will make the correct settings for a good photo, and does not interfere with whites, or around 6000 k and so on as the scale shown in this article.

You can also adjust your settings for incandescent lamps or fluorescent, all this just by selecting the correct mode on the camera. Is easy and produces satisfactory results.

In some cameras, all of these adjustments are possible and you can even adjust flash light and shade indicating only light the scene.Anything that interferes with the production of good pictures.

Playing with shades

If your purpose is to play with the shades of the environment, you can select different types in the settings. For example, to obtain images more yellowish, sunlight on cloudy days adjusting the white balance.Make tests, play and choose the best way! Don’t be afraid to train!

“Beating” white

The most important thing is to understand the purpose of this adjustment and there are various techniques both to help in the setting, as in the correction.

In your manual, Yes, they are useful, will be described as you configure the custom white balance and this varies from brand to brand, and not so much from model to model. Some cameras “require” you first shoot a surface to help you on sizing, ideally a gray card, but you can choose a surface that is completely white in the environment you’re photographing, others, you say you will do custom tuning and then photograph the surface, still others, make real-time calibration. You need to discover on your camera the best way.

This is an example of viewing the setup of white balance on a Canon.

I my photography workshop, I usually do an exercise of that adjustment, where students beat the whites on a surface, rather than white, and with that they perceive visually how this setting on your camera. Normally, we have this result: the image on the left is with the white balance on automatic and the one on the right was told the machine that the coral is white!

And this is because there is a complementarity of colors, that is, when you tell your camera to the coral is white, she “sees” blue.

And this is the table of complementary colors:

And then I have two conclusions: the first is that you can play with this balance to do creative photos simply by changing, or manually, or with some preset mode, like tungsten, sunlight, etc.,

In this example the picture below, I changed only the Kelvins using Adobe Camera Raw, but how good an observer you will say: But upstairs in the Kelvin scale is showing that 3000 k is to “heat up” the photo and this one under is cold! And I answer you, hold on, hold on, actually in this picture down there I’m “cheating” the computer because when I opened the photo in Camera Raw, I told him I needed to get my picture white 3000 k, i.e. that she was amareladíssima, as if I were photographed with a tungsten lamp, namely:

And the most important!

Different cameras have different results, there are Nikon models, for example, and this result is very subtle, and those same cameras have excellent result in the automatic white balance mode.

Already in some cameras from Canon, the blue is very strong, indicating that in this case, worth and do the tests to find out the results.

As I photographed a few years marriages, was of the utmost importance to make this white balance, which saved me a lot in post-production of the photos. Over time, I was only shooting in Raw, which facilitated this adjustment, as you can see in this video classes.

And finally, a great option also for those who already do post-production in programs like Lightroom, Photoshop, among others, is using the unbeatable Duo “Raw format” and “cards as the Whibal,” serving for you always have the reach of your hand, a white reference, among others. Its use is simple and on how you can better understand the operation because I explain how to use a reference to white, or neutral grey, and if I had used my Whibal, would have sufficed to have a picture of him next to the reason for my photo, or in the environment that I wanted to make sure the correct balance, there was only use the tool “White balance tool” in Camera Raw , for example, and my “problems” would

Bearing in mind that it is very good to know how far your equipment can be configured, and also always calculating your actual need, opens up a world of possibilities!

That’s it, I hope you enjoyed and until the next tip!

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