This is part 2 in our new moms and their new dSLRs series. If you’re joining with us for the first time please check out part 1: getting started.
Adjusting the white balance in your camera will adjust how warm or cool your pictures turn out. (These pictures were adjusted in post processing to show a difference in temperatures.)
Different types of lights have different temperatures. We don’t recognize the different temperatures because our brains are smart and adjust to the light accordingly. Sadly, but truthfully, our cameras are not as smart as our brains. There is an auto white balance option which tries really hard to get the lighting temperature right, but it’s not always accurate.
Cameras read temperature in kelvin degrees. When you’re in the shade the color is “cooler” or more blue. When you’re in the sunshine the color is “warmer” or more orange. When you’re on auto white balance your camera takes that reading and adjusts the white balance according to what it senses. For example, if you are standing indoors and taking a picture, your camera senses “cool” light and will adjust the temperature to a more “warm” or orange tone. The same is true if you’re in the sun, the camera will adjust and make the photo more “cool” or blue. Different lights and different rooms within your home will have different temperatures that your camera will try to sense.
Your camera has a set of predetermined white balance settings you can choose from. They are pre set to a certain color temperature. Some cameras allow you to set the temperature yourself and some cameras have a setting where you can customize the color temperature using a “grey card”. I wouldn’t worry about those later two at this point. Take some time to explore the different white balance settings on your camera. Some examples are “shade”, “fluorescent lighting”, “tungsten lighting”, and “daylight”.
My most favorite white balance setting for shooting outdoors is the one for a cloudy day. It adds a warm rich tone into the colors in my photographs that I love. If I use that setting inside my house the colors are way too orange and look unnatural. As you begin to take more pictures you will find what you like. My niece likes her pictures dark and moody and more “cool” or blue. It fits her style and it works great. I mostly take pictures of my children so I like them to have a warm tone that makes me want to snuggle up with them.
Come back next week for Part 3 of learning about your dSLR. We’re going to talk more about exposure and how to get the best lighting for your shots. Leave a comment below if there are any basic questions that you have!!
THIS WEEKS’S HOMEWORK: USE YOUR CAMERA MANUAL TO LOCATE HOW TO ADJUST THE WHITE BALANCE ON YOUR CAMERA. TAKE A PICTURE WITH ONE SETTING THEN ADJUST THE WHITE BALANCE AND TAKE THE SAME PICTURE AGAIN. DO THIS WITH EACH WHITE BALANCE SETTING.