Archive for August, 2010

What white balance setting should you use?

Aug 25 2010 Published by under Architecture News

Custom White BalanceOK, so if you don’t know you can change the white balance of your images in camera raw in Photoshop, that is of course if you shot in raw in the first place.

So those of you who don’t care about getting it right in camera and prefer that method is fine, but if you don’t shoot raw your going to have to get it right in camera in the first place.

So what are the white balance settings you have to choose from?

* Auto (automatically configures the white balance)

* Daylight (white balance for a fairly sunny day)

* Shade (white balance for shady areas)

* Cloudy (white balance for them cloudy days)

* Tungsten Light (white balance for shooting under a tungsten light, normally them orange/yellow lights in your house)

* White Fluorescent Light (white balance for white light, you know them thin tubes you can smash over your mates head an not hurt them? Its them!)

* Flash (white balance for when using flash)

* Custom (white balance for when you want to set your custom white balance image with a white/gray card)

* Color Temp (white balance for setting your own color temperature)

So that is when you should use the various settings.

I have created a set of images so you can see the different effects the different white balance settings will have on a normal image in ordinary day light.

Auto white balance

Auto white balance

Daylight White Balance

Day light white balance

Shade White Balance

Shade white balance

Cloudy White Balance

Cloudy white balance

Tungsten White Balance

Tungsten white balance

White Fluorescent White Balance

White fluorescent white balance

Flash White Balance

Custom White Balance


Color Temp White Balance

With all these examples what do you think is true white?

White is a highly reflective color so the true color can be deceiving.

Looking at the images, auto white balance looks most accurate but realistically the custom white balance is because of the reflections of the sun going into the white. Which out of the custom white balances looks most accurate? They both look pretty dam close to me, so no need to be arguing if we should use a white card to take the custom white balance or a 18% gray card.

I hope this helped some of you to understand white balance a little better and the effects it can have on our images, for instance having the tungsten white balance setting on when no tungsten light is actually effecting the image the image will turn out blue as this is the color the camera adds to the image to “even out” the tones.

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