White balance is somewhat of a new effect and is a term used only in the digital photography world. It’s extremely important for interiors and especially weddings to make sure white is white (or a neutral gray).
A lot of people use a “gray card”. I don’t. I don’t care if the white balance is “correct”, I care if it looks good. I’ll often make a portrait warmer or a food photo cooler. I also shoot in raw, which allows me to adjust the white balance in post without data loss. If you don’t shoot in Raw and you’re a photographer you should.. but that’s a whole other post for another day.
Take this photo I took for example of Yellowstone Lake at Yellowstone National Park.
It’s pretty, warm, cozy and energetic. The oranges in the sunset are beautiful.
But what if I changed the white balance…
Take this photo. Same scene, same time of day with a different white balance.
In this case, one is not better than the other. They just have different feels and different moods to them.
The colors here feel relaxing, cool, crisp. This is the same photo essentially but with a different white balance to create completely different effects.
Most photos will not work like this however, but the really great, well lit photos will. And one more little tip, as a last resort, if your colors really really aren’t working, because you have multiple light sources that are different color temperatures or etc… you can always make it black and white. That’s a little industry secret. A black and white post is coming soon. 🙂
Originally posted 2010-09-30 15:00:00.