"Even though our eyes can adjust to varying color, we can still tell that during sunrise or sunset, the light looks much warmer than at midday. This effect is much more noticeable on images. To help understand this variation, the color of a light source is given a value known as the color temperature, which is expressed in units of degrees Kelvin (K). Check the chart below for the typical values of the most common light sources.
Chris Rutter, The Essential Color Manual for Photographers, Rotovision
How to set white balance – a detailed article on white balance by Ken Rockwell
White Balance Gone Wild – a Flickr group with a nice collection of photos using white balance creatively
How to Set Your White Balance Manually – a great post, right here on LightStalking, about manually setting white balance
A Brief Guide to Color Management for Photographers – a useful post, right here on LightStalking, on color management and calibration
Introduction to White Balance - Digital Photography School:
Here are some of the basic White Balance settings you’ll find on cameras:
- Auto – this is where the camera makes a best guess on a shot by shot basis. You’ll find it works in many situations but it’s worth venturing out of it for trickier lighting.
- Tungsten – this mode is usually symbolized with a little bulb and is for shooting indoors, especially under tungsten (incandescent) lighting (such as bulb lighting). It generally cools down the colors in photos.
- Fluorescent – this compensates for the ‘cool’ light of fluorescent light and will warm up your shots.
- Daylight/Sunny – not all cameras have this setting because it sets things as fairly ‘normal’ white balance settings.
- Cloudy – this setting generally warms things up a touch more than ‘daylight’ mode.
- Flash – the flash of a camera can be quite a cool light so in Flash WB mode you’ll find it warms up your shots a touch.
- Shade – the light in shade is generally cooler (bluer) than shooting in direct sunlight so this mode will warm things up a little.
More to come...