There is something truly magical about the warm glow of shooting sunrise or sunset photography. The gloriously intense colours often inspire photographers to pick up their cameras, but how many times of you been disappointed by your results? Use these tips for fine-tuning exposure and white balance so you never again shoot sunset photography with washed-out colours.
White balance, or WB, is necessary because light doesn’t just vary in brightness, but also in colour. Each light source has its own individual ‘colour temperature’), which varies from red to blue as you move through the visible spectrum.
Are you struggling to get those whites right? Our complete guide to ‘What is White Balance’ will explain how you can make the most of your digital camera’s built-in color balance options.
Below we’ll start by answering some of the common questions and problems with white balance. Then we’ll show you step-by-step how to take control of your camera’s white balance by making a custom setting, as well as show you how to get creative by setting the ‘wrong’ white balance preset, how to cope with mixed lighting and why you have more options when you shoot raw files.
In our new infographic we’ve illustrated the color temperature scale and show you where some of the more commonly used white balance settings sit within it. We’ve also shown where some common shooting conditions, such as hazy skies and sunsets, sit within the color temperature scale and what white balance setting you might want to use to capture accurate colors in these conditions.
Your camera’s Auto white balance setting is great for general subjects, but strong colours can fool it. It can also be difficult to match the white balance presets to the conditions you’re shooting in. In these situations, you can use a Preset Manual (Nikon) or Custom white balance (Canon) setting to get colour spot on.
When you photograph most subjects, getting the colours 100% accurate isn’t usually critical, and if you shoot on Auto White Balance, nine times out ten your digital will do a pretty good job of getting the white balance roughly right, so that whites actually look white, blacks look black, and all the colours in between look how you’d expect.
But sometimes getting colours 100% accurate is critical – when you need to photograph a painting to be reproduced in a book, say. The only way to ensure accurate colours is to get your white balance spot on, and the best way to do this is to use a colour chart.
The coast holds a special allure for many photographers, and it’s easy to see why. The drama of the changing sea can be used to express a wide range of emotions, from the turbulent to the sublime. In this photography tutorial we’ve decided to see if we can capture the sea at the calm end of the mood scale by breaking some of the conventional rules around white balance and capturing realistic tones to create a more abstract picture.