Tuesday, January 18, 2011

White Balance Photography Lesson

Again taking some shots of the remodeled bathroom, I decided to work with the white balance setting on my camera.  Until I read the book I recently read, I had no idea what this setting was for or how to use it.  My P&S usually does a fine job selecting the white balance based on the automatic setting, or so I thought.  But, what I realize now is that often when I was getting bad results in low light shots it wasn't because I didn't have enough light but because the camera wasn't compensating for the kind of light.  The human eye compensates for the different colors of light and it does it so quickly we don't even notice.  Photographers refer to this as color temperature.  But, sunlight is different from fluorescent lights is different from tungsten (normal incandescent) lights and if we don't compensate correctly with the camera, we can end up with photos that have red or green or blue casts to them.

This shot was taken with my camera's white balance set to the standard AWB (not Average White Band, but Automatic White Balance). You may notice the orange-reddish cast to the picture.  When I was getting this before I thought I needed more light to get the shot. 

The exact same settings were used here, except I changed the white balance to "Tungsten".  Major difference.
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