White Balance

 Today we're going to discuss white balance.
The purpose of white balance is to get your camera to show images as close to what your eyes see when taking a photo.


 Below are the PRESET white balance options for most DSLR cameras.

Please note: 
Fluorescent Lighting (most industrial light bulbs) gives you a bluish cast in your images, so it makes it look 'Cool'.
Tungsten (most household light bulbs) gives your image a yellowish cast in your images, so it makes it look 'warmer' than it really is.

  • Auto – this is where the camera makes a best guess on a shot by shot basis. You’ll find it works in many situations but not all.
  • Tungsten – this mode is usually symbolized with a little bulb and is for shooting indoors, especially under tungsten (incandescent) lighting (such as bulb lighting). It generally cools down the colors in photos.
  • Fluorescent – this compensates for the cool light of fluorescent light and will warm up your shots.
  • Daylight/Sunny – not all cameras have this setting because it sets things as fairly normal white balance settings.
  • Cloudy – this setting generally warms things up a touch more than daylight mode.
  • Flash – the flash of a camera can be quite a cool light so in Flash WB mode you’ll find it warms up your shots a touch.
  • Shade – the light in shade is generally cooler (bluer) than shooting in direct sunlight so this mode will warm things up a little.
 Setting Custom White Balance

This can be done a number of ways (i.e. gray card, ExpoDisc, White Printer Paper, person in image wearing a white shirt, etc). 

Gray Card -In order to use a gray card it must be 18% gray in order to get the proper exposure.
They are very accurate when you use them properly, but I don't own one so I can't give you any examples of images taken after using a gray card.

Expodisc- I own an expodisc that is Neutral in color, but they have a warming one for Portraits.
I personally like my images as true to what my naked eye sees. I don't like overly warm images and I don't like overly cool images.
There are many videos/tutorials on how to use an expodisc on YouTube.
But the basic idea is... You hold the expodisk over the lens (lens must be in Manual Focus for it to work), shoot towards your light source, remove Expodisc, turn Auto Focus back on, and then set the image you just took as your white balance (please refer to your manual as to how to do this, each camera is different). 

Please note that you MUST re-white balance your camera as the lighting changes. So if you are outside shooting in the middle of the day, that same white balance won't work with images that are being taken at Sunset. 

White Paper/White Shirt- When using white paper have your subject hold the paper and fill the frame with said piece of paper. You then take a test shot, once you've taken your shot, you can then set it as your white balance. 


Well this was as simple as I could put it.
Please feel free to leave me any questions or comments below!

I hope everyone is having a great day!

Tori D.

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