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White balance

From: Foundations of Photography: Exposure

Video: White balance

Because this is a course on exposure, the majority of our concerns are going to be whether our bright things are bright enough without being too bright, and our dark things are dark enough without being too dark. However, exposure does have an impact on color, as we'll see later. More critically though, the color in your image is impacted by something called white balance. You heard me mention that term while we have been talking about what happens when you half-press the shutter button, so we are going to take a quick look at it now. This is just going to be a cursory discussion because I don't want us to get to sidetracked from exposure. But we'll be returning to white balance in detail later.

White balance

Because this is a course on exposure, the majority of our concerns are going to be whether our bright things are bright enough without being too bright, and our dark things are dark enough without being too dark. However, exposure does have an impact on color, as we'll see later. More critically though, the color in your image is impacted by something called white balance. You heard me mention that term while we have been talking about what happens when you half-press the shutter button, so we are going to take a quick look at it now. This is just going to be a cursory discussion because I don't want us to get to sidetracked from exposure. But we'll be returning to white balance in detail later.

The simplest explanation of white balance is that there are different types of lights and each of these different types of light has a different color characteristic. To get accurate color in your images then, your camera has to be calibrated to the type of light you are shooting in. White balancing is the process of calibrating your camera to the color characteristics of your light source. When white balance is off, you can end up with color that's pretty wrong, like this. Obviously, this is not a look that you usually want, and you'd be pretty disappointed if you came home with a bunch of images with this much blue.

While your camera has a lot of different white balance controls, it also has an auto control. In most cases, auto will give you correct color, like this. So right now I just want you leave your white balance set on auto. If you are not sure how to do that, check your camera's manual, under white balance. Later, we'll look at white balance in more detail and discuss when you might want to switch off of auto, and why.

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This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Photography: Exposure
Foundations of Photography: Exposure

64 video lessons · 86187 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 8m 45s
    1. Welcome
      1m 57s
    2. What is exposure?
      4m 8s
    3. A word about camera brands
      2m 40s
  2. 9m 31s
    1. What is a camera?
      2m 52s
    2. The shutter
      3m 53s
    3. The aperture
      1m 33s
    4. Exposure defined
      1m 13s
  3. 13m 50s
    1. Modes
      2m 7s
    2. Pressing the shutter button
      2m 54s
    3. Autofocus
      5m 22s
    4. Light metering
      2m 3s
    5. White balance
      1m 24s
  4. 29m 26s
    1. Shooting sharp images
      1m 58s
    2. Noting shutter speed
      4m 3s
    3. Taking control of shutter speed
      1m 30s
    4. Stop defined
      2m 50s
    5. Shutter priority mode
      4m 34s
    6. Exercise: Shutter speed
      40s
    7. Reciprocity
      3m 13s
    8. Controlling motion
      7m 8s
    9. Shutter speed increments
      2m 21s
    10. Exercise: Go work with shutter speed
      1m 9s
  5. 26m 2s
    1. Depth of field
      1m 53s
    2. How aperture is measured
      2m 42s
    3. Aperture priority mode
      4m 57s
    4. Lens speed
      53s
    5. Shooting deep depth of field
      3m 53s
    6. Shooting shallow depth of field
      2m 50s
    7. The depth-of-field preview button
      4m 24s
    8. How shallow should you be?
      2m 47s
    9. Exercise: Go work with aperture
      1m 43s
  6. 16m 26s
    1. ISO: The third exposure parameter
      6m 27s
    2. Assessing your camera's high ISO
      5m 32s
    3. Shooting in low light
      3m 32s
    4. Exercise: Shooting in low light
      55s
  7. 14m 30s
    1. White balance controls
      5m 37s
    2. Adjusting white balance manually
      4m 25s
    3. Shooting raw
      4m 28s
  8. 6m 3s
    1. How light meters work
      1m 47s
    2. Why are there different modes?
      4m 16s
  9. 33m 58s
    1. Exposure compensation
      4m 0s
    2. Intentional overexposure
      2m 40s
    3. Intentional underexposure
      1m 42s
    4. Controlling tone
      2m 31s
    5. The histogram
      10m 4s
    6. Real-world histograms
      5m 49s
    7. Tone and color
      2m 16s
    8. Auto exposure bracketing
      3m 57s
    9. Exercise: Go work with exposure compensation
      59s
  10. 12m 56s
    1. Dynamic range
      2m 24s
    2. Exposing for highlights
      4m 15s
    3. Fill flash
      3m 11s
    4. Three solutions to the same problem
      3m 6s
  11. 12m 26s
    1. Manual mode
      2m 6s
    2. Manual mode and light meters
      4m 52s
    3. Manual exposure exercise
      5m 28s
  12. 12m 1s
    1. Custom modes and A-DEP
      1m 39s
    2. Program shift
      3m 52s
    3. Exposure compensation with program shift
      1m 58s
    4. An exercise in reciprocity
      53s
    5. Scene modes and in-camera processing
      3m 39s
  13. 8m 15s
    1. Shooting with post production in mind
      3m 45s
    2. Exposure strategy
      3m 51s
    3. Goodbye
      39s

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