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Photography Tip #4- White Balance

This sort of goes with exposure. I gave this one it’s very own blog as this can be something to play with on its own. If you’ve purchased your camera and have gone through the manual (as i suggested , ahem) you may be familiar with how your camera can be adjusted for this. White balance is basically the color cast or lack of color cast your photo will have. It’s based on the lighting that you are using.

Your camera sees everything as gray. So white balance has to be adjusted as to how your eye or how a person would see color in a photo. You will notice that your camera has several white balance options depending on your light source. There is one for sunny, cloudy, tungsten which is like neon lights(though I have never seen this one work), and flash. Maybe more. There should also be a preset white balance method, where you can set your own white balance manually. You would have to read your manual on how your camera actually operates to achieve the white balance manually, but you would use a gray card or a white balance card to do this. For me, I have a white balance card I purchased. So for example,for my camera, I set it to the manual white balance setting and the icon flashes, giving me a few seconds to focus my lens on the card and take a photo of the card. Then my camera will let me know whether or not it set it. You can get a white balance card or gray card at any photo store, but my personal choice in purchasing camera gear is on Ebay. You get the best deals there. And shop around. In this profession, you can spend a ton of money on this stuff, but if you are a savvy shopper you really don’t have to! You can also make one. I think if you print out a paper that is 18% gray, paste it on a foam board, and voila! Gray card! Or during the winter, I’ve actually set my white balance with snow because it is actually white!One last thing to know about this, is don’t panic if you don’t get this right at first. Play with it until you understand it and your eye gets used to seeing the color cast. This is also something that can be changed in photo editing software! So if you don’t get it right in camera, you can play with this in software such as Lightroom or Photoshop. Which I probably will be discussing in later blogs. The photo example I have here, shows how white balance could be wrong or unpleasant. Her skin tone looks a little pale. I could probably play around with the white balance in photo editing software and get a more pleasing skin tone.
As always, you can email me with any questions. And I love feedback!

Happy Shooting!

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