Getting correct white balance is absolutely essential to any image you want to take. Getting your colors right, in fact, is one of the biggest mistakes most photographers make. In this quick guide we’ll show you how to make a custom white balance setting in the blink of an eye.
Ever wondered why the colors in your images look… well… off-colour? Do the whites in your picture actually have more than a hint of green, yellow or blue? If your images are suffering from some dodgy looking colors, then they have probably been taken at the wrong white balance setting.
Most people shoot on Auto white balance, which is often fine, but under more unusual lighting, such as indoors, low light, artificial lighting and heavy shade, images can have a color cast where the whites are no longer white. In these situations, you can customise the white balance to get the colors spot on. Here’s how…
How to ensure correct white balance every time
Use a reference card
Place a piece of white (or 18% grey) card facing towards the camera in the same lighting as your subject. Move or zoom in to fill the frame with the card without casting a shadow onto it, and take a shot. Exposure isn’t critical as long as it isn’t completely under- or over-exposed.
Customise white balance
The camera will use the colour in this image to set the white balance for the subject you want to shoot in the same lighting. Scroll through the Menu to Custom WB (Canon), or the equivalent with other brands. Select the picture of the card, and set this as the white balance reference image.
Get accurate colours
You can now select this custom white balance and use it to shoot your subject. If you shoot in JPEG format, this will ensure accurate colours, and for raw shooters, it’ll save time when processing your images. You’ll need to go through this process again for each different lighting situation though.
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