White Balance

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by cleary71, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. cleary71

    cleary71 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was hoping someone could please explain white balance to me in laymen's terms. I just read the section in my D70 manual and I am more confused now then before I picked it up. I was wondering what the significance is of it, why it is there, when should I alter it and anything else that may be helpful. Thanks!!
     
  2. BernieSC

    BernieSC TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Carolina
    basically it adjust a shot so the lighting will take on video or digital like your eye sees it. Your eyes white balance but video cameras and digital can't always adjust so cameras have either a white balance adjustment or an auto white balance. Usually you hold a white card in front of the camera and adjust until it is pure white.
     
  3. Rogue Monk

    Rogue Monk TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    You could get as technical as you like with an explanation, but I always like to think about it like a built in warming or cooling filter. The filter (like any filter) would be attached to your lens and can either warm the image up (add a hint of red) or cool it down (add a hint of blue). WB is similar but without the extra glass.

    So, the "overcast" setting is like your warming filter and will help reduce the amount of cold colours (like blue). And the "tungsten" setting will cool the scene and neutralize some of the red (named because indoor "tungsten" lights usually make the seen yellow or orange-ish). "Flourecent" will take care of some of the green that appears there.

    "http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/whitebalance.htm" helps to explain this (with regards to a D70 even).

    I find most of the time you won't have to move this from auto. I also like to use the WB setting in the bracket menu. And finally, if you're shooting in RAW, you can usually change this during the edit stage too if you find you were way off.

    Try shooting a bunch of shots under different light using the different settings and you'll understand better than anyone can expain it. It all comes down to how the camera interprets colour.
     
  4. Daniel

    Daniel TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Dublin
    Set the WB to 'Daylight' and take a shot outside on a bright sunny day. You will notice that the colors on the picture will appear very close to what you have seen. Now take a shot with the same settings inside a room that is lid, lets say by a few candles. You will notice that the colors have a yellowish tint and don't look like what you actually saw. It looks rather unnatural. Your eyes (or more your brain) automaticly filters out (most of) the yellowish tint. If you correct the white balance for the second shot and set it to 'Candle light', the camera will do the same and the colors will appear as on the first picture you shot outside. Of course if you are aiming for a very warm mood you might not want to correct the WB.

    Hope this helps.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

(http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/whitebalance.htm)

,

explain white balance as related to dray card