The correct setting of White Balance in your camera or in post-processing is the most important step in getting a beautiful picture. The White Balance in the camera allows you to set the correct color temperature of the picture. It will be”warm” showing all the color of the sunset or “cold” like the twilight.
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In this article you will learn:
- What is White Balance used for
- Understanding White Balance
- Does White Balance affect exposure
- Does White Balance matter in RAW
- How to set White Balance on the Lightroom
- How to set White Balance a camera
Free download White Balance Chart PDF
Understanding White Balance
Our eyes see white color very well under different light sources. But digital cameras often have great difficulty with automatic White Balance (AWB) and can create unsightly shades of different colors. The correct white balance in the camera should take into account the'color temperature' of the light source, which refers to the “warm colors” or coolness of white light.
Understanding digital white balance will help you avoid mistakes and thereby improve your photos in any range of lighting. The Color Temperature is the main characteristic of White Balance and it is measured in Kelvin (K). Alight having higher color temperature will have a more blue color of the light and vice versa.
Most cameras have typical settings include 'sun', 'shade', 'tungsten' and 'fluorescent'.What does this mean in practice? Let’s look at the White Balance chart.
The range between 5000 K and 7500 K are the two most common ranges that will you use in daylight landscape photography and are therefore worth remembering.
Do you want to know why?
Let’s look at an example. These are six examples of one photo. I changed only White Balance. If the first photos look natural, the last two look very exotic.
Does White Balance affect exposure
One of the common misconceptions is the White Balance affects the Exposure. If you change the color balance, you change the relative energy in each color channel. Decisions are made according to the raw data of the camera sensor, and then the WB does not affect the exposure. Your camera will automatically set the correct exposure.
White Balance can affect the Exposure if you shoot in RAW. If you are photographing a scene with a very wide dynamic range, changing one of the color channels may affect the exposure. One of the overexposed color channels may be clipping. This is the only example of the effect of the White Balance on the Exposure.
Does White Balance matter in RAW
The White Balance setting does not affect the image data in the RAW file. This setting recorded in the metadata in the file of your camera. If you want you can still use it to process a RAW image. Any white balance that is applied to the final image is intended only for the purpose of displaying on the LCD screen of your camera and if you also save a JPEG with your raw file.
How to set White Balance on a camera
- Take the camera.
- Press the Menu button and press SET.
- Use the Multi-controller to navigate. Select the White Balance button and press SET.
- Select the White Balance you need and press SET again.
You need to adjust the white balance on the camera if you shoot JPEG only. If you shoot RAW set the White Balance on the camera is not needed.
How to set White Balance in Lightroom
- Open image in Lightroom or PS.
- Find in the Basic menu tab WB.
- Set the Color Temperature and Tint you need.
Please check out some of my previously published free tutorials in my archives.
MORE EXPOSURE RESOURCES
- Understanding ISO
- The Aperture in Landscape photography
- Exposure triangle
- The Depth of Field
- The Histogram in Photography
- Exposure Triangle cheat sheet
- Shutter speed chart
- 3 Easy Steps to Fix White Balance in Photoshop
- F-Stop Chart