W Is For White Balance

Solitary II

Author’s Note – This is the last in my photography A to Z posts. Sorry it was so late…real life kind of gets in the way sometimes.

White balance is the process by which a camera defines what the color white will look like in certain lighting conditions. This in turn affects how color is interpreted and incorrectly using it can give you some pretty wonky results- if you’ve ever taken an indoor photo that is yellow or blue tinted, you know what I mean. Different light sources have different temperatures (measured in degrees Kelvin) and it’s these temperatures that your camera interprets with the white balance settings.

Candle flame – 1000 to 2000 kelvin

Household Lighting – 2,500 to 3,500 kelvin

Sunrise/Sunset – 3,000 to 4,0000 kelvin

Sunlight and Flash – 5,000-6,000 kelvin

Noon sun & Clear Sky –  6,000 – 6,500 kelvin

Cloudy Sky & Shade – 6,500 – to 8,000 kelvin

Heavily Overcast Sky – 9,0000-10,000 kelvin

Cameras have white balance settings, or you can use the continuously variable setting (depicted with a K on your setting dial) to manually adjust the white balance from between 2,500 to 10,0000 kelvin.



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