White Balance

In the very first class, we mentioned that the camera captures light. Different sources of light produce light of different shade of blue or yellow. The human eye adapts to different colors of light without us even noticing. However, in cameras, it is controlled by a white balance setting.

The color of light, properly called color temperature is usually measured in Kalvin light temperature scale from 1,000 to 10,000. The higher the Kelvin degrees, the colder the color temperature.

example of different white balance

Most artificial light bulbs produce warmer light (also known as Tungsten light). Sunlight in its pure form has a white color (also known as daylight). During a cloudy day or in the shade, sunlight has a blue tone. LED light bulbs come in a wide range of color temperatures.

Play around with white balance setting on an image below, that was originally lit by bright daylight.

  • 3200K (tungsten)
  • 5000K (fluorescent)
  • 5600K (daylight)
  • 6500K (overcast)
  • 7000K (shade)

In most cameras, you could use an auto setting for white balance. However, it is important to understand white balance because sometimes your scene will have different light sources.

Next: Exposure go back

Camera Literacy Premium Course

Become a professional photographer! Learn about composition, lighting, photo techniques and more!

View Course