White Balance {photography}

by Lori and Michelle on November 16, 2011


we made it. it is Wednesday! hard to believe Thanksgiving is in a week, who is ready? we are not. we have a list of recipes we want to make but not sure if we will have time to make them all. does that ever happen to you?

today’s photography post I am going to discuss white balance. something that still to this day puzzles me. but my friend Ashley is always encouraging me (as well as others) to play around with camera settings. check out her photography post on Aperture another setting that is a work-in-progress for us, check out our first aperture photography post.

now my photography post are not as well written as hers. I am just sharing how I am learning my camera.

shooting menu white balance camera

camera whilte balance settings

lesson – white balance 

quality of light changes throughout the day, therefore affecting your coloring in photos. the camera’s white balance will need to be adjusted to make up for the change in lighting. you may have to read your camera’s manual to learn how to adjust yours as each camera is made differently.

most cameras have preset while balance modes, like fluorescent, tungsten, cloudy, daylight, and auto. plus a custom function so you can manually set your white balance. which means you tell you camera what white should look like.  give it a reference point by taking a picture of a white surface (paper, board). then use this image to set your white balance.  again check your camera’s manual.

here are some pictures I took playing around with white balance preset options on my camera.

*note all these pictures were taken a few days ago (before time changed)

all were taken at 6pm. used natural lighting from window, light coming through the left side of photo. and  NO EDITING done to photos.

camera setting: f-stop- 3.8 with  ISO-1600

just played around with white balance settings to see how they changed the photo.

white balance camera settings

as you can see the cloudy and shade settings have more of a warming feel to them.  cloudy and shade settings usually give a nice warm touch to pictures. these are nice features, although we tend to shoot majority of our pictures in daylight setting.

more white balance settingsthese 4 pictures were all done under the  Fluorescent white balance setting. as you can see each one is different. the top two are our favorites as they look more like what the color of food should look like.

we do not really use fluorescent settings that much, sometimes at night under fluorescent style lighting we will try those settings out.

key takeaways we have learned: (again not all cameras will have these settings)

Daylight (symbol of a sun): bluish normal hint to photos at times.

Cloudy (symbol of a cloud): it’s a little warmer than the daylight setting and best for most shots outdoors in direct sunlight. we use this when shooting people most of the time as we like the warm effect it gives the skin.

Shade (symbol of a house casting a shadow): very orange. this is perfect for shooting in shade, since shade is so blue. It’s also for shooting when you are under a cloud on a partly cloudy day since most of the light is coming from the blue sky.

Tungsten (symbol of a light bulb also called “indoor”): Very, very blue most of the time except indoors at night, for which it looks normal.

Fluorescent (symbol of a long rectangle or Fluorescent tube): it will make other things look a bit purplish. use this if your photos are too green or under fluorescent, mercury, HMI or metal halide lights as you might find in street lights.

I did not use a custom my white balance for these photos. baby steps even for me

as you can see Lori and I are still learning photography and how to take better pictures. and remember each setting can mean and look different to the person taking the picture. all depends on what YOU the photographer wants out of the picture. each person will view a picture differently.

my goal is to play around with white balance more, especially when I am taking pictures of food at different times and days. hopefully by doing that over time I will learn and understand it more.

Twins Question: do you like learning about photography? do you pay attention to your camera’s settings or just start shooting? what is the one thing you would like to know more about photography?

till next time,





{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah November 16, 2011 at 9:16 am

Great lesson- It’s these key elements that can really make or break a photo. A visual demonstration is especially helpful for those that are photographic-minded. :)
Hannah recently posted..Talking TurkeyMy Profile

Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles November 16, 2011 at 10:27 am

I love your approach! I think the best way to learn is to play, and I definitely picked up on a few things here that I would never see if the photos weren’t side-by-side. Photography is quickly becoming a passion of mine so I love seeing all of these how-to posts!
Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles recently posted..WIAW: Project ProgressMy Profile

Lori and Michelle November 16, 2011 at 11:05 am

Glad we could help Hannah!

Lori and Michelle November 16, 2011 at 11:06 am

Awesome Kaitlyn, glad we were able to help you out. We hope to get sharing our tips on learning photography.

Charissa November 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm

This is great! I am really happy with my daytime lighting, but lowlighting and night is something I need to work more on! :)
Charissa recently posted..Shopping for Groceries on the Road {part 2}My Profile

Lori and Michelle November 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Same here Charissa.

Z.Grimm November 16, 2011 at 8:38 pm

My camera is nowhere near as fancy as yours, so I’m kind of limited in the options on the camera-end of things. But considering I’ve been a graphic designer/digital illustrator forever, I do most of my colour correction in Photoshop. It seems to work out alright for me.

Kris | iheartwellness.com November 17, 2011 at 11:00 am

Hahahaha, if my camera did swim with the fishies I would love to learn more, but my blackberry is all I got right now :) LOL!

Your pics are always gorgeous!!!

Kris | iheartwellness.com recently posted..Busy Girl’s Vegan Sweet Pumpkin SoupMy Profile

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: