CORE

Photography Topics
Video Topics
Beginner Mode
Show Pro Topics

πŸ“· 🎬 White Balance

Your eyeball is good at figuring out the color of light surrounding you so that white things look white wherever you go. A camera isn’t so smart. White balance is nothing more than you telling the camera what to use as its white point so the image appears the way you want it to.

White balance seems intimidating because it’s measured in “degrees Kelvin” and refers to “black body radiation”. In many situations it can be as simple as leaving your camera on auto white balance (AWB) or shooting raw (if your camera offers it). Shooting raw allows for a safe adjustment of white balance in post. White balance is usually made simple by the presence of little white balance preset icons on your camera. Just pick the one that matches your shooting scenario.

But if you want a little more control, Just remember a few of these basic Kelvin values:

  • 5600ΒΊ K is a common daylight white balance.
  • 3200ΒΊ K is a common tungsten or incandescent white balance.
  • For a cooler (bluer) image, use a lower kelvin degree setting on your camera.
  • For a warmer image use a higher kelvin degree setting on your camera.
  • Don’t shoot auto white balance at sunset or anywhere you don’t want the color life sucked out of your image. Remember, your camera is trying to remove a color cast when that so often artistically is something you want. I’ll frequently use something close to a 7000K white balance (the ‘Shade’ preset) in a 5600K standard daylight shot just to get the image to look warmer.
Creative use of white balance.
Scroll to Top