Sunday, December 6, 2009

White-Balance, Part I

For most pictures, accurate color representation is what you're after. I usually just stick with my AWB (auto white-balance) setting; it does a good job. Other times, a preset is nice (indoor shooting w/o flash calls for the Incandescent Bulb setting). But for some photos, you can really change the feel of the photo by using what would technically be the "wrong" setting.

Here's an example of a shot I took indoors with no flash. It was during the set-up process of a Christmas dinner/play that my school does (which I take part in). Because we were still setting up, the windows weren't yet covered, which was letting in a lot of blue light from outside. I wanted this shot to be more cozy and feel like the holidays, however, so I used the "Cloudy" preset. This preset adds warmth to your colors, as cloudy light tends to be blue and cool.

click to enlarge, or see it on Flickr

I like how it turned out—warmer than the light in there really was, but it captured the feeling I was after.

Try fiddling around with your white balance from time to time. A lot of cameras these days have a manual setting (mine included) which can make for some very interesting colors if you "set" it with some other color besides white. Post links in the comments!

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