Nikon D7000, Selecting a White Balance

This probably seems like a no-brainer. If it’s sunny, select Daylight. If it’s overcast, choose the Shade or Cloudy setting. Those choices wouldn’t be wrong for those circumstances, but why not get creative? Sometimes you can actually make the mood of the photo more intriguing by selecting a white balance that doesn’t quite fit the light for the scene that you are shooting.

Figure 7.4 is an example of a correct white balance. It was late afternoon and the sun was starting to move low in the sky, giving everything that warm afternoon glow. The white balance for this image was set to Daylight.

But what if I want to make the scene look like it was shot in the early morning hours? Simple—I just change the white balance to Fluorescent, which is a much cooler setting (Figure 7.5).

Using the correct white balance produces an appealing image.
Figure 7.4 Using the correct white balance produces an appealing image.
Changing the white balance to Fluorescent gives the image a totally different look and feel without the need to go into postproduction software to change the look.
Figure 7.5 Changing the white balance to Fluorescent gives the image a totally different look and feel without the need to go into postproduction software to change the look.

You can select the most appropriate white balance for your shooting conditions in a couple of ways. The first is to just take a shot, review it on the LCD, and keep the one you like. Of course, you would need to take one for each white balance setting, which means that you will have to take about seven different shots to see which is most pleasing.

The second method doesn’t require taking a single shot. Instead, it uses Live View to get perfectly selected white balances. Live View gives instant feedback as you scroll through all of the white balance settings and displays them for you right on the LCD. Even better, you can choose a custom setting that will let you dial in exactly the right look for your image.

When you switch on Live View, you get feedback on all your white balance options and can even choose a custom setting.
Figure 7.6 When you switch on Live View, you get feedback on all your white balance options and can even choose a custom setting.

To use Live View to preview the white balance, first you need to turn Live View on or off by simply rotating the Live View switch clockwise as indicated by the arrow in the image of the back of the camera (Figure 7.6).

Canon PowerShot G12, Selecting a White Balance

This probably seems like a no-brainer. If it’s sunny, select Day Light. If it’s overcast, choose the Cloudy setting. Those choices wouldn’t be wrong for those circumstances, but why limit yourself? Sometimes you can change the mood of the photo by selecting a white balance that doesn’t quite fit the light for the scene that you are shooting. Figure 7.4 is an example of a correct white balance. It was late afternoon and the sun was starting to move low in the sky, giving everything that warm afternoon glow. But what if I wanted to make the scene look like it was shot earlier in the day? Simple; I just changed the white balance to Tungsten, a much cooler setting (Figure 7.5).

You can select the most appropriate white balance for your shooting conditions by scrolling through the options in the Function menu; the LCD updates to preview each look as you select it. Even better, you can choose a custom setting that will let you dial in exactly the right look for your image.

Changing white balance settings

  1. Press the Function/Set button to activate the Function menu. The White Balance control is at the top of the list and automatically highlighted.
  2. Use the Control dial to select the white balance setting.
  3. Optionally make finer adjustments using the Front dial.
  4. Press the Function/Set button to lock in your change and resume shooting.
Using the “proper” white balance yields predictable results.
Figure 7.4 Using the “proper” white balance yields predictable results.
Changing the white balance to Tungsten gives the impression that the picture was taken at a different time of day. [
Figure 7.5 Changing the white balance to Tungsten gives the impression that the picture was taken at a different time of day.

Canon EOS 60D Selecting the Proper ISO and White Balance

We’ve already discussed setting your exposure and using a tripod; the next important factor to consider is the ISO. Since you’re already shooting with a slow shutter speed, you are free to shoot with a very low ISO, such as 100. By using a low ISO you’ll introduce very little digital noise into your images, thereby increasing the detail in your shots (Figures 5.4 and 5.5).

FIGURE 5.4 I used a long exposure to photograph star trails, and there was enough ambient light to capture the image at a low ISO.
FIGURE 5.4 I used a long exposure to photograph star trails, and there was enough ambient light to capture the image at a low ISO.
FIGURE 5.5 When zoomed in, there is some noticeable grain in this ISO 400 image, but it’s still a small amount when compared with a much higher ISO.
FIGURE 5.5 When zoomed in, there is some noticeable grain in this ISO 400 image, but it’s still a small amount when compared with a much higher ISO.

A high ISO will not only add noise to the image; you’ll also notice the colorful dots in the shadows. This is something you should generally try to avoid in order to create high-quality photographs (Figures 5.6 and 5.7).

FIGURE 5.6 I used a very high ISO in order to capture the stars at a fast exposure time and prevent creating star trails.
FIGURE 5.6 I used a very high ISO in order to capture the stars at a fast exposure time and prevent creating star trails.
FIGURE 5.7 The grain in this ISO 3200 image is very noticeable, detracting from the quality of the photograph.
FIGURE 5.7 The grain in this ISO 3200 image is very noticeable, detracting from the quality of the photograph.

You’re going to want to capture your image with a proper white balance, and with landscapes your options (such as the Daylight and Cloudy settings) are more straightforward than with some other types of photography. If you’re shooting in RAW, you have some leeway when selecting the white balance in-camera, because it’s easy to change it nondestructively after the fact. But my philosophy is that it’s always best to get things right in-camera.

Just because there is a “correct” white balance for each scene doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to stick with that setting. Try experimenting with different white balance settings to give your landscape images new looks. Changing the white balance in an image can even give the feel of photographing a landscape at different times of day (Figures 5.8 and 5.9).

FIGURE 5.8 This image was photographed at sunset with the “proper” white balance—in this case, the Daylight setting.
FIGURE 5.8 This image was photographed at sunset with the “proper” white balance—in this case, the Daylight setting.
FIGURE 5.9 Switching the white balance to Fluorescent creates the impression that this image was taken in the early hours of the morning.
FIGURE 5.9 Switching the white balance to Fluorescent creates the impression that this image was taken in the early hours of the morning.

WARM AND COOL COLOR TEMPERATURES

These two terms are used to describe the overall colorcast of an image. Reds and yellows are said to be warm, which is the look that you usually get from the late afternoon sun. Blue is usually the predominant color when talking about a cool cast.

Canon 7D, Selecting a White Balance and Picture Style

You’ll probably want to capture your image with a proper white balance, and with landscapes your options (such as the Daylight and Cloudy settings) are more straightforward than with some other types of photography. If you’re shooting in RAW, you have some leeway when selecting the white balance in-camera, because it’s easy to change it non-destructively after the fact. But my philosophy is that it’s always best to get things right in-camera.

Just because there is a “correct” white balance for each scene doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to stick with that setting. Try experimenting with different white balance settings to give your landscape images new looks. Changing the white balance in an image can even give the feel of photographing a landscape at different times of day (Figures 5.8 and 5.9).

WARM AND COOL COLOR TEMPERATURES

These two terms are used to describe the overall colorcast of an image. Reds and yellows are said to be warm, which is the look that you usually get from the late afternoon sun. Blue is usually the predominant color when talking about a cool cast.

I really like to use Live View to make changes to some of the settings, such as white balance. We discussed this feature in Chapter 1, but did you know that you can also use the same method to change your Picture Style settings? You may already realize that the likely picture style to use is Landscape, but maybe you want to try out some of the other styles or make detailed changes to their settings and see how it affects your image. Using Live View is an excellent way to preview those changes even before you take your fi rst shot.

FIGURE 5.8 This image was photographed at sunset with the “proper” white balance— in this case, the Daylight setting.
FIGURE 5.8 This image was photographed at sunset with the “proper” white balance— in this case, the Daylight setting.
FIGURE 5.9 Switching the white balance to Fluorescent creates the impression that this image was taken in the early hours of the morning.
FIGURE 5.9 Switching the white balance to Fluorescent creates the impression that this image was taken in the early hours of the morning.

USING LIVE VIEW TO PREVIEW DIFFERENT PICTURE STYLE SETTINGS

USING LIVE VIEW TO PREVIEW DIFFERENT PICTURE STYLE SETTINGS

  1. Make sure the Live View shooting button is set to the white camera, and then press the START/STOP button.
  2. With Live View activated, press the Picture Style Selection button to the left of the LCD Monitor.
  3. Use the Main dial on the top of the camera to select among the different base picture style choices (A).
  4. Once you’ve selected a picture style, you can change any of its four parameters by using the Quick Control dial to
    scroll among them (sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color tone). Once you’ve selected a parameter, use the Main dial to adjust its settings (B).
  5. Press the Set button to lock in your changes.

Canon PowerShot G12 Set the Correct White Balance

White balance correction is the process of rendering accurate colors in your final image. Most people don’t even notice that light has different color characteristics, because the human eye automatically adjusts to different color temperatures—so quickly, in fact, that everything looks correct in a matter of milliseconds.

When color film ruled the world, photographers would select which film to use depending on what their light source was going to be. The most common film was balanced for daylight, but you could also buy film that was color balanced for tungsten light sources. Most other lighting situations had to be handled by using color filters over the lens. This process was necessary so that the photographer’s final image would show the correct color balance of a scene.

Your camera has the ability to perform this same process automatically, but you can also choose to override it and set it manually. Luckily, you don’t need to have a deep understanding of color temperatures to control your camera’s white balance. The choices are pretty simple:

  • Auto: The default setting for your camera. It is also the setting used by all of the Scene modes
  • Day Light: Most often used for general daylight/sunlit shooting.
  • Cloudy: The choice for overcast or very cloudy days. This will eliminate the blue color cast from your images.
  • Tungsten: Used for any occasion where you are using regular household-type bulbs for your light source. Tungsten is a very warm light source and will result in a yellow/orange cast if you don’t correct for it.
  • Fluorescent: Used to get rid of the green-blue cast that can result from using regular fluorescent lights as your dominant light source.
  • Fluorescent H: Used for fluorescent lights that are balanced for daylight. Flash: Used whenever you’re using the built-in flash or using a flash on the hot shoe. You should select this white balance to adjust for the slightly cooler light that comes from using a flash. (The hot shoe is the small bracket located on the top of your camera, which rests just above the eyepiece. This bracket is used for attaching a more powerful flash to the camera.)
  • Underwater: This will reduce the blue color cast that comes from shooting underwater. (Note: A waterproof case for your G12 is sold separately.)
  • Custom1 and Custom2: Indicates that you are using a customized white balance that is adjusted for a particular light source. To set the custom white balance, point the center box at something white and press the Display button. You can then select that Custom setting to shoot using that white balance value.

Setting the white balance

  1. Select one of the Creative shooting modes, such as P (you can’t select the white balance when using any of the Automatic modes).
  2. Press the Function/Set button in the middle of the Control dial to bring up the Function menu. Navigate to the White Balance setting (at the top of the menu).
  3. Use the Left and Right buttons or the Control dial to select the proper white balance for your shooting situation.
  4. Press the Function/Set button to lock in your selection.
  5. Check the LCD to ensure that the proper white balance is selected. You can see right on the display how changes to the setting affect the color in your image.

The G12 takes the white balance control a step further by letting you make a manual adjustment that applies to all the presets. If you prefer a cooler image or want to correct for a color cast, for example, you can adjust the white balance range to be more blue, no matter which setting you choose (including Auto).

Adjusting the white balance

Adjusting the white balance

  1. Choose any of the white balance presets using the steps outlined above.
  2. Rotate the Front dial to adjust the white balance point toward B (blue) or A (amber).
  3. For finer adjustment, press the Display button.
  4. Rotate the Front dial to adjust between B and A, and rotate the Control dial to adjust between G (green) and M (magenta). You can also press the arrow buttons to position the white balance point in the adjustment field. To reset your changes, press the Menu button.
  5. Press the Display button to exit the screen.

 

Nikon D7000 Set the Correct White Balance

Color balance correction is the process of rendering accurate colors in your final image. Most people don’t even notice that light has different color characteristics because the human eye automatically adjusts to different color temperatures—so quickly, in fact, that everything looks correct in a matter of milliseconds.

When color film ruled the world, photographers would select which film to use depending on what their light source was going to be. The most common film was balanced for daylight, but you could also buy film that was color balanced for tungsten light sources. Most other lighting situations had to be handled by using color filters over the lens. This process was necessary for the photographer’s final image to show the correct color balance of a scene.

Luckily, you don’t need to have a deep understanding of color temperatures to control your camera’s white balance (Figures 1.1 and 1.2). The choices are given to you in terms that are easy to relate to and that will make things pretty simple.

camera’s white balance

Your white balance choices are:

  • Auto: The default setting for your camera. It is also the setting used by all of the automatic scene modes.
  • Daylight: Most often used for general daylight/sunlit shooting.
  • Shade: Used when working in shaded areas where sunlight is the dominant light source.
  • Cloudy: The choice for overcast or very cloudy days. This and the Shade setting will eliminate the blue colorcast from your images.
  • Tungsten: Appropriate for any occasion when you are using regular householdtype bulbs for your light source. Tungsten is a very warm light source and will result in a yellow/orange cast if you don’t correct for it.
  • Fluorescent: Gets rid of the green-blue cast that can result from using regular fluorescent lights as your dominant light source. Some fluorescent lights are actually balanced for daylight, which would allow you to use the Daylight white balance setting.
  • Flash: Used whenever you’re employing the built-in flash or a flash on the hot shoe. You should select this white balance to adjust for the slightly cooler light that comes from using a flash. The hot shoe is the small bracket located on the top of your camera, which rests just above the eyepiece. This bracket is used for attaching a more powerful flash to the camera
  • Pre: Indicates that you are using a customized white balance that is adjusted for a particular light source. This option can be adjusted using an existing photo you have taken or by taking a picture of something white or gray in the scene.

camera’s shooting modes

Your camera has two different “zones” of shooting modes to choose from. These are located on the Mode dial, which separates your choices into automatic scene modes and what I refer to as the professional modes. None of the automatic modes, which are chosen by turning the Mode dial to Scene and then rotating the Command dial to choose a particular mode, allow for much customization, including white balance. The professional modes, defined by the letter symbols M, A, S, P, U1, and U2, allow for much more control by the photographer (Figure 1.3).

Setting the white balance

  1. After turning on or waking the camera, select one of the professional shooting modes such as P (you can’t select white balance when using any of the automatic modes).
  2. Press and hold the WB button (A) on the back of the camera to activate White Balance, visible on the control panel or rear LCD.
  3. While pressing the WB button, use your thumb to rotate the Command dial to the appropriate White Balance setting, and release it to make your selection (B).

Setting the white balance

Canon EOS 60D Set the Correct White Balance

White balance refers to the process of balancing the color temperature to the light in the location where you are shooting, so that the colors appear “normal.” Our eyes have the ability to adjust to these changes so quickly that we don’t even realize that certain lights give off different colors.

Most of the film used in traditional film photography was daylight balanced, meaning that the color in photos taken outdoors or with a flash looks correct. Another option, tungsten, balanced film for indoor use. But anything beyond that had to be adjusted with colored filters to match the light. With the advances in digital photography, we are able to input any color temperature we want to balance the images with the surrounding light.

It’s extremely important to set the white balance in your images correctly, especially if you are shooting in JPEG mode. (With RAW images you can adjust the white balance in editing software, but the color information in a JPEG image is permanently embedded into the file, so trying to bring the image back to its correct color temperature can be a difficult task.)

The 60D can perform this task automatically, and it usually does a pretty good job, but your goal should be to maintain as much control as possible with your images. You don’t need to have a deep understanding of color temperature to find the correct white balance. Your camera comes with easy-to-understand presets and even an option to customize or preset your white balance in the camera. Your white balance choices are:

  • Auto: The default setting for your camera. The camera determines the color temperature of each photo based on the available light coming through the lens.
  • Daylight: Most often used for general daylight/sunlit shooting.
  • Shade: Used when working in shaded areas that are still using sunlight as the dominant light source.
  • Cloudy, twilight, sunset: The choice for overcast or very cloudy days. This and the Shade setting will eliminate the blue colorcast from your images.
  • Tungsten light: Used for any occasion when you are using regular household-type bulbs as your light source. Tungsten is a very warm light source and will result in a yellow/orange cast if you don’t correct for it.
  • White fluorescent light: Used to get rid of the green-blue cast that can result from using regular fluorescent lights as your dominant light source. Some fluorescent lights are actually balanced for daylight, which would allow you to use the Daylight white balance setting.
  • Flash: Used whenever you’re using the built-in flash or a flash on the hot shoe. You should select this white balance to adjust for the slightly cooler light that comes from using a flash. (The hot shoe is the small bracket located on the top of your camera, resting just above the viewfinder.)
  • Custom: This setting gives you the option of photographing something that is pure white and using it as the baseline for your color temperature. The camera will balance its color temperature settings with that particular photograph.
  • Color temperature: Here you have the option to actually dial in the Kelvin temperature that matches the light in your setting (from 2500-10,000).

SETTING THE WHITE BALANCE

Canon EOS 60D Set the Correct White Balance

  1. After turning on or waking the camera, select one of the Advanced shooting modes, such as P, Av, or Tv (you can’t
    select a white balance when using any of the Basic shooting modes).
  2. Press the Menu button on the back of the camera to bring up the menu list.
  3. Use the Multi-Controller to select the second menu tab, and then with the Quick Control dial, scroll down to the
    White Balance menu item (A). Press the Set button.
  4. Use the Quick Control dial to select the white balance setting you would like to use (B). Then press Set.
  5. You can also change the white balance by using the Quick Control screen—just press the Q button to access the screen, scroll down to the white balance setting in the middle of the screen, and make your changes directly on the LCD Monitor (C).

LIVE VIEW AND WHITE BALANCE

One really cool feature of the 60D is the ability to shoot in Live View. This feature can also come in handy when changing settings such as the white balance. To give it a try, press the Live View shooting button on the back of the camera to activate Live View (Figure 1.4). Then press the Quick Control button and scroll down to the white balance setting to make your changes. You will see an immediate change in the colors of your image as you set it on different white balance settings (Figure 1.5).

LIVE VIEW AND WHITE BALANCE

These six images are examples of what it looks like to use the Live View feature to preview white balance settings for your image. It’s easy to identify which setting will give you the correct color temperature even before taking your photograph.

WHITE BALANCE AND THE TEMPERATURE OF COLOR

When you select different white balances in your camera, you will notice that underneath several of the choices is a number—for example, 5200K, 7000K, or 3200K. These numbers refer to the Kelvin temperature of the colors in the visible spectrum. The visible spectrum is the range of light that the human eye can see (think of a rainbow or the color
bands that come out of a prism). The visible spectrum of light has been placed into a scale called the Kelvin temperature scale, which identifies the thermodynamic temperature of a given color of light. Put simply, reds and yellows are “warm,” and greens and blues are “cool.” Even more confusing can be the actual temperature ratings. Warm temperatures are typically lower on the Kelvin scale, ranging from 3000 degrees to 5000 degrees, while cool temperatures run from 5500 degrees to around 10,000 degrees. Take a look at this list for an example of Kelvin temperature properties.

KELVIN TEMPERATURE PROPERTIES

KELVIN TEMPERATURE PROPERTIES

The most important thing to remember here is how the color temperature of light will affect the look of your images. If something is “warm,” it will look reddish-yellow, and if something is “cool,” it will have a bluish cast.