Photography cheat sheet: What is white balance?

The Auto White Balance setting continuously adjusts the camera’s colour temperature over a range between approximately 3,000K and 7,000K. The white balance presets offer a shortcut to specific settings in the same restricted range (Image credit: Future)

White balance in photography refers to the colour temperature – how cool or warm – the colours in your image are. 

The best modern cameras have an automatic white balance setting, but also have a manual white balance control on a camera that enables you to adjust the ‘colour temperature’ of images. 

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Lauren Scott
Freelance contributor/former Managing Editor

Lauren is a writer, reviewer, and photographer with ten years of experience in the camera industry. She's the former Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, and previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer magazine, Technique editor for PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, and Deputy Editor of our sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine. An experienced journalist and freelance photographer, Lauren also has bylines at Tech Radar,, Canon Europe, PCGamesN, T3, Stuff, and British Airways' in-flight magazine (among others). When she's not testing gear for DCW, she's probably in the kitchen testing yet another new curry recipe or walking in the Cotswolds with her Flat-coated Retriever.