Simon Watkinson ABIPP

White Balance

The vast majority of photographers know what white balance is, however, do we know exactly how to use it for best results? Simon Watkinson shares his thoughts on the subject

I believe the majority of photographers capture their images as RAW files, where the white balance can be adjusted afterwards in software. So, how important is white balance? I should like to explain in this article just how important it is. Let me start by taking a look at the role white balance plays in the image making process.

White balance is what it suggests; if there is something white in the photograph it will be white in the final image. Setting the correct white balance by the white balance symbols in the camera, e.g. cloudy, daylight and so on, to match the lighting conditions, should give very accurate colour results. Shooting with the incorrect white balance set in camera, will do the opposite and give incorrect colours. If white is correct in the image, all the other colours should be correct also. If snow scenes are shot with an incorrect white balance set in camera, then the snow will not look white.

If the JPEG file format is used, it is critical to get the correct white balance because this is embedded into the file as it is captured and processed in camera. With the RAW file format, the white balance is…

For full article, see inside issue 17 of Landscape Photography Magazine.

Simon Watkinson

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