White balance explained: how cameras correct the color of different types of light

White balance explained: how your camera corrects the colour of different kinds of lighting

How to preset white balance

You can use this to get neutral colours under artificial lighting

How to preset white balance: step 1

01 Preset option
On most DSLRs you’ll find this on the Shooting menu (the pro models have a slightly different arrangement). Select White Balance, then scroll down to PRE (Preset manual). Now press the right button on the multi-selector.


How to preset white balance: step 2

02 Measure your target
You can measure the White Balance from a shot you’ve already taken, or use the Measure option to photograph a special test target like ours, or even just a sheet of white paper. The camera will warn you if there’s not enough light.

SEE MORE: Download our free Exposure Triangle cheat sheet which illustrates how this works

How to preset white balance: step 3

03 Data acquired
If your test shot is successful and the camera has captured the data it needs, it will display a ‘Data acquired’ message. The camera will now work out a White Balance setting that renders your test target as a neutral grey.


How to preset white balance: step 4

04 Using your preset
This new White Balance preset is saved by the camera, and you can use it at any time by picking ‘PRE’ from the list of presets. If you need to measure the White Balance again, repeat the process – this replaces the existing preset.

PAGE 1: White balance explained
PAGE 2: How to preset white balance manually
PAGE 3: White balance fine-tuning
PAGE 4: White balance and raw converters


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