When and How to Change your Camera’s White Balance Settings For Perfect Results

First of all, for those that aren’t familiar, your camera’s “while balance” is the way that your camera perceives “pure white.”  Imagine a sheet of copy paper as an example of universal pure white. It’s going to look differently based on what kind of light is hitting it.  If it’s a golden fall day, that pure white might be getting some low angle sun, or color reflected from the trees.  Similarly, if you’re in Antarctica, the way pure white appears in a photo will be unique because of the cool blue surroundings.

Simply put, with each new environment you encounter, there will be differences in the color and intensity of light, largely due to sciency stuff like reflection and refraction of light in the atmosphere.  Don’t worry about the intricate details for now, just know that it exists.

So, what is there to do about it?

Because camera manufacturers know this is an issue, they have built in a white balance setting that calibrates the camera depending on what the light is doing around you. If you look at your camera dial, or menu, or manual, you will likely see something about WB…for White Balance.

Most likely your camera will be set on AUTO white balance, sometimes abbreviated as AWB.

There are two great bits of news I can share with you now.  A) Auto white balance is usually just fine, and B) it’s actually pretty easy to change the white balance of a photo after it was taken through computer software.

Before I go into point B, let’s talk about when you may want to take your camera off of AUTO white balance.

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