Have you ever taken pictures and then wondered why they may look yellow? Or maybe have a bluish tone to them? That has to do with your White Balance. Setting your White Balance gives your pictures the correct color. There are different ways to setting your White Balance in your camera. One quick way is to choose it on your camera such as Daylight, Cloudy, Shady, etc. There are different temperatures to each of those. For example, Daylight has slightly different bluer tones in it where as Cloudy has more yellow tones. You can also set your White Balance manually in a few different ways. One way is to shoot a white card and then select the custom White Balance in your menu options. Then, shoot the next frame and you’ll see a difference in the colors in your photo. Another way that I customize my White Balance is to use the Portrait Expo Disc.
I slide the Expo Disc over my neck and I shoot through the solid white side to first set my White Balance. I then go into my menu and choose the “custom White Balance” and then shoot away. If I move positions or the light changes, I just reshoot through it and reset it. It takes literally one minute to set. Now the skin tones of the person I am shooting is nice and even in temperatures regardless of the lighting around me.
If you go to your camera’s menu and select White Balance you should see the following options:
AWB (auto white balance), Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten Light, White Fluorescent Light, Flash, and Custom. Each setting has a different temperature (of color) that is portrayed in your photos.
For example, look at these next two photos. The first one has the cloudy setting of White Balance and the second photo has the daylight White Balance setting. You can see the first photo has slightly more color to the face in regards to more yellow and the second photo has more of a blue undertone to it.
I highly recommend setting your White Balance manually. If you do not have an Expo Disc, or the white balance color cards to shoot than I suggest playing around with your settings. If you shoot as RAW (instead of a JPEG) you can also change the White Balance in your photo editing software. Personally (and this is just my personal style) if I do not choose the custom setting White Balance, I will choose the daylight setting for shooting indoors (with no flash). For outdoors, I will typically choose the cloudy or shade setting. I recommend playing around with the various White Balance settings on your camera by taking several pictures of the same object or person. You’ll easily see the difference in your photos.
Have fun exploring the White Balance in your photos!