What is White Balance in Photography

Many a times, it happens that the images you have clicked appear blue, red, orange or yellow. But, when you were photographing it, the images looked different. Well, this is because – when you click a photo, the subject is lit by light sources like incandescent bulbs, sunlight, fluorescent light and so on. These light sources have their own colour temperature which they cast on the image of your photo.

For example – incandescent bulbs add a reddish/ warm shade to the image while fluorescent lighting adds a blue/cool shade to the image.

White balance is a setting in the DSLR Camera which adjusts these colour casts so that the objects that looked white to you while photographing, appear white in the photograph and not red or blue; in short – the resulting images look natural.

Wondering how to decide on White Balance settings? Here’s how.

Auto White Balance (AWB): Based on lighting, this mode will adjust the photograph for natural colours. But sometimes, this auto mode may not give you the desired image. So, go ahead and use the below settings that suit the environment in which you are clicking pictures.

White Fluorescent Light: Use this setting while photographing under white fluorescent light. This mode warms up the colour temperature in images and compensates for the cool shade of fluorescent light.

Shade: Use this setting while capturing images in shade so that it warms up the colour temperature in images.

Daylight: Use this setting for clicking outdoor scenes under clear skies.

Tungsten Light: Use this setting while photographing indoor scenes under incandescent light (bulb/lamp). This mode cools down the colour temperature in images and compensates for the warm shade of tungsten light.

Cloudy: Use this setting while capturing images on cloudy days or during sunset, so that it warms up the colour temperature in images.

Flash: Use this setting for photographing dimly-lit scenes.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

To understand White Balance, Click on the Image below to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of White Balance with the help of practical examples.

white balance

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