Color Photography: achieving accurate tones at night

Night photography settings your camera wants you to use

How to achieve a good mix

Night photography settings your camera wants you to use

Where you have more than one type of light source in a night shot, you could try matching the white balance to this dominant lighting. There are two ways of going about this.

You could judge the scene by eye, identifying what look like tungsten or fluorescent light sources and choosing a white balance preset to match, or you could use a ‘grey card’ to measure and save a custom white balance value.

Actually, it doesn’t need to be a grey card at all. The important thing is that it’s neutral in color, so a sheet of white paper would do in an emergency, or even a black and white magazine or newspaper page.

You need to hold the card under the dominant light source, capture and store the white balance reading and then use this custom white balance setting for the rest of your shots.

The best bet is to shoot in raw format (if your camera supports it) so that you can choose another white balance setting if your manual calibration doesn’t produce the results you want.

PAGE 1: Using different light sources at night
PAGE 2: How to achieve a good mix

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Night photography settings your camera wants you to use
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