Adjusting Your Camera’s White Balance

To adjust the white balance, set your camera on P for Program and find WB or AWB as a button on your camera, or on your screen.  If you own a Canon, try the Func/Set button.  Keep looking, it’s there somewhere… Ok, assuming that you’ve found the button to adjust the white balance setting, let’s look at the different options:

  •  AWB:  Auto White Balance, is where your camera should be set most of the time.  It works great for outdoor lighting, especially for scenic shots.
  • Daylight:  Icon is a sun shining, to be used in sunlight, but not for shady areas.  Shady areas will look cyan in color when shot with daylight setting.
  • Shady:  Icon is a building showing shade on side, to be used in when your subject is in a shaded area on a sunny day.
  • Cloudy:  Icon is puffy cloud, is best used on a completely overcast day.
  • Tungsten (incandescent:)  Icon is a standard looking lightbulb.  This is used when shooting indoors without a flash, if your test image looks too yellow.
  • Fluorescent:  Icon is a skinny rectangle, best for shooting in most school gyms and classrooms.  Some cameras have 3 different flourescent settings, so be sure to pick the one that looks the best.
  • Custom:  Icon is a square with 2 triangles underneath.  Many times, if AWB doesn’t get the colors right, it’s easiest to set a custom white balance.

Tip:  Taking a test shot for color accuracy and then adjusting your camera to the appropriate white balance setting before shooting a bunch of images will save you time and frustration later!

Try this:  Pointing the camera out in front of you, start with AWB and keep pushing the WB button to change the settings.  Notice how each setting is affecting the colors?

OK, what if you tried all the WB settings and your colors still look wrong?  In the next installment, we’ll look at setting a Custom White Balance.  Don’t worry, it’s so easy you’ll feel like a pro.  Stay tuned!

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