As we know, there are many elements of operating cameras. But other than the physical aspect of the craft, let's keep our focus on the technical part for a little bit longer. We know that there is much more to getting a good image than just having a nice #camera. But some people may find themselves running into awkward looking images, even after they composed the shot and exposed it perfectly with the #exposure triangle. But still, the image comes out too jaundiced or too cold looking. What is the solution to this problem?
Well first, let's start by diagnosing what is going on here. Once you notice that your image doesn’t match the natural color of the atmosphere you are capturing, this is a problem of an improperly set white balance. White balance, a.k.a. color balance, is the adjusted intensity of primary hues to color correct an image to it’s natural look. This is good for when you are trying to capture the same color from the scene you are about to photograph or film.
I would advise anyone who is first starting off in #photography or #cinematography start by auto white balancing. This is a shortcut to an easy way to get a close match with your image compared to the real thing. Auto white balance can make your images “pass” but there could still be some improvement.
Once you start to understand your camera and photography more, I would suggest you take off the training wheel and start to manually adjust your white balance through Kelvin. It is first important to note if your camera allows for you to use Kelvin for white balance. You should be able to use it with Nikon, Canon, and most Fuji-Film cameras.
Learning how to use Kelvin will enhance your images quality by a lot, and it is cool to know how it all works. An understanding of Kelvin will make your set up time quicker, and it is easier than having to always pull out a gray card. White balance is measure in Kelvin. Yes, this is that name you learned in chemistry and it is just as relevant in photography. Kelvin is the SI unit for temperature and in photography, Kelvin measures the color temperature of light sources.
When you are taking photos, you will be filming in different light sources, such as the in sunlight, electronic flash, tungsten, fluorescent, domestic lighting, and candle flame. Each light source gives off a different temperature that you have to adjust your cameras white balance to, so that it looks natural.
Your camera’s #whitebalance could adjust to match color temperatures that range anywhere between 10,000K-1,000K. This is what is known as the temperature chart. If your image looks too blue, you should use a temperature around 3,000K. If it is looking orange, you should go to a temperature 6,000. After you find your ballpark, just make adjustments to tweak your white balance until it is exposed to look natural.
Once you understand and get a hang on perfect white balance with Kelvin, you can explore more with it. You will probably find that coloring outside of the lines of white balance could allow you to create some pretty awesome effects.