Monday, November 5, 2012

DSLR Tips: Let's Talk White Balance

I will preface this post with the fact that I am NOT a professional photographer. In fact, I am not even claiming the below photos are amazing in quality, but they will prove my point, and hopefully help some of you that have a dslr, but never change from AUTO mode. Most of these were taken only on the 'P' setting on my Canon Rebel dslr. I have learned how to use my camera's manual settings, but sometimes I find it easier with a fast moving toddler to just shoot on the 'P' setting OR on Av mode, where I adjust my aperture, and ISO and White balance and let the camera do the rest. Let's talk photography for a minute, folks.

Let's say, you choose the 'P' or people setting on your dslr. You've just stepped up from AUTO mode, because on AUTO mode, you cannot change a thing. On 'P' mode, your camera is going to do the hard work for you with figuring out your Aperature and your Shutterspeed, but you have the power to now think about two things: your ISO and your White Balance.

We are going to be talking about that White Balance setting and why it makes a difference in your photos and their quality today.

This past weekend, we were raking some leaves and having a blast in them, obviously. I was snapping some photos of our cutie. I want you to notice the warm quality aspect to my above photo, and that is all. On the 'P' setting, I had control of changing my ISO and my White Balance.

Changing your White Balance to the appropriate "light" setting i.e. fluorescent lighting, Tungsten lighting, shady, sunny, cloudy, etc. will change the temperature or 'overal look' of your photos.

For example, these two photos were taken within seconds of each other and all that is different is the White Balance.
 f/3.5, ISO 200, 50 mm lens
The one on the Left (a little more zoomed in) was taken with just the setting that looks like a house, with slants coming off it like shade (the Shade setting). The one on the right was taken with the white balance that looks like a little light bulb, meant for inside photos with inside lighting, usually from light bulbs (the Tungsten setting).

Do you see how different they are? They almost look like two completely different days to me. The left looks warm, sunny, and light, the right looks cold, dreary, and blue.

That is what changing your White Balance can do for your photos, and why even on the 'P' setting you should change your White Balance.

Now, let's say, you have your camera on Auto White Balance, and you think... "Oh, the camera will adjust it all for me. It doesn't really matter. Does it?"

Well, let's see...

Yes, it does make a difference, as you can see. The one on the left is set to the Shade White Balance. The one on the right set to AUTO white balance.

Of course, all this is preference, but if you WANT your photos to look the most natural way possible, then you need to learn to change your ISO and your White Balance on your dslr. If you don't care, you can leave your camera set to AUTO, AUTO, AUTO. I personally, enjoy changing these settings, so that my photos turn out the best way possible!

I hope that was helpful, from a non-photographer to a non-photographer! Thanks!