Understanding Digital Camera White Balance
When I was a new digital camera user I would happily browse, not giving much thought to white balance. My first digital camera, a Canon A-310 point-and-shoot, was excellent for color. An awkward kind of change came when that camera was dropped in the waters of a creek crossing. The camera was damaged and only the memory card remained intact. My second digital model, also a point-and-shoot model, was a borrowed Sony cyber-shot. This camera was new to me and I didn’t know that it had no white balance mode. Otherwise, it had most of the same mode settings. It also had a snow mode, which I loved. Perhaps there would be no more bluish undertones?
I discovered the difference of not having a white balance mode the day I had a bad photo shoot. I took off-white photos! I took many poses of my cute sisters dressed in their matching black and white outfit. Little did I know that when I clicked so many times I altered the white balance, only the first few images appeared. Being very disappointed, he wanted to learn how to take the best color photos. I had to understand white balance on digital cameras, as this was the key to getting good color photos.
The day I took the photos of my sisters was sunny with cloudy periods, the background was not the best either. Many times I had asked my models to pose in different positions. The models grew impatient and the smiles faded. I assumed that by switching between cloudy mode and sunny mode, the images would be color balanced. How can you tell if the image is whitish? When the image is whitish, it will appear opaque. I also know because those quirky shots were rejected by an online photo company for being white balanced. This is harder to see on your small digital LCD screen, where it’s easier to see on your computer screen. This is why it is always better to check the white balance beforehand.
I also learned that different light sources have different color temperatures, including neutral. The scale is a reference point at which your camera determines the true color of white. It is harder for the camera to judge the true target, harder than it is for our eyes. The camera will calculate what it is told: you need to tell the camera how to handle the lighting conditions. Film photographers use filters and lenses, with digital cameras white balance is used.
You have to understand white balance if you want to program your camera. Learn enough about rolling when your camera has no white balance mode. I had searched for a Kelvin color chart spectrum chart. 5000K (K for Kelvin) is neutral light. Our auto white balance mode is set using a neutral light measurement. For balance, you can take a picture of a non-glossy white surface, but first place it where it’s not in shadow. I use a small or medium cut piece of cardboard and carry it with me. You can also use the top of a white T-shirt or the bottom of a coffee container lid, if available. It would be a good investment to buy the white or gray card size credit card. They are professionally made for this, so there is a better chance that it will be correct.
White color balance is very important for good color. I check my white balance often now. It is good that we can experiment with the digital camera. We can shoot many frames as they can be deleted or saved at no cost. Saved images can be further edited in a photo editing software. In an editing program, a color balance tool can remove the wrong color tone. For regular photography, auto white balance and other mode settings work fine. It’s good to have an understanding of white balance so you can take the best color photos.