White balance - This is a parameter that helps to correctly build the transmission of a color image.
In short it is called simply BB (white balance), in English literature can be found WB (White balans)that does not change the essence.
This is very important parameter when creating color photography. He is responsible for color accuracy. Roughly speaking, white objects should be white and not have different shades of yellow or blue.
White balance helps the camera determine which light is considered white. Indeed - a camera, it is not the human eye that the powerful (or less powerful) brain carries out adjustments and sets the white color. The camera needs to somehow guess what is considered white. In this difficult task, the knowledge of the laws of physics helps the camera.
Let us superficially reveal the essence of the issue: according to thick textbooks, it is known that white is the color that gives an absolute black body (usually they use platinum), heated to a certain temperature. A certain temperature will give a certain wavelength, and the wavelength determines what we call color. The temperature is measured in Kelvin and, for example, they say that the temperature of daylight white light is 6500 K.
And what will happen if you heat less than 6500? Then we get a lower temperature, and it will correspond to a light of a yellow color - for example, a candle has a temperature in the region of 1800 K. Therefore, the candle gives off a yellowish warm light.
But what if heated more? There will be light with a temperature corresponding to different types of lamps with a bluish tint.
Why is it important to monitor BB? The answer is very simple, setting the correct white balance you can achieve the "right colors" in your picture. For example, for a portrait, the skin should have a natural color. If the BB is not installed correctly, the color will be mixed with yellowness or even worse with a touch of blue. You can see for yourself on the test pictures that are in this article and compare the appearance of the picture with different BB settings. The flowers are illuminated on the left by daylight from a window and from above on the right by an incandescent lamp, in this regard, light from different sources with different color temperatures is obtained and the camera finds it difficult to correctly set the BB. Pay attention to the difference between automatic balance and white sheet balance (predefined).
How to configure BB in the camera? Adjusting the white balance in the camera is simple, as almost all ordinary digital or digital SLR cameras have this function. Typically, the camera offers one of the preset BB profiles, for example, “sunny”, “cloudy”, “reflected light”, “incandescent lamp”, “flash” and, of course, “auto”. These standard settings are usually pictured and intuitive. For example, in the open air on a sunny day it would be wise to set the BB to “sunny” mode and thereby let the camera know that the BB is shifted to a hotter side. Similarly, in the evening with incandescent lamps you need to use the appropriate setting.
More advanced cameras have the ability setting the color temperature in Kelvin. The task is quite interesting and useful for visual study of BB.
How to configure BB in Nikon cameras? Just press the WB button and use the multi selector to choose a preset option. Or select the PRE option, press the WB button again, point the camera at a white object and take a picture. The picture on the card cannot be recorded, but information about the color, which is considered white, will be taken from it. After a successful BB installation, the camera will write Good, if the camera could not correctly read the BB, the message No Good will appear and you will have to repeat the procedure again. You can also store BB samples in the camera’s memory and turn them on as needed. In more detail, only the instructions for the camera will help you, which I highly recommend studying.
Interesting thoughts: if you have an advanced camera and you can choose to set the color temperature manually, I advise you to conduct an experiment - take the same picture at the lowest possible camera temperature and the highest possible temperature, as shown in the examples. After comparison, most likely, understanding of how this parameter works is very fast.
How to configure BB properly? Very simple, you just need to tell the camera what exactly is considered white. To do this, you need to take a test picture in a special mode (the picture is frozen) by placing a white object in the center. Usually this method of installing BB is called white balance on a white sheet. This is the best option. But he, in my opinion, has a drawback. Personally, I often forget that I made a preset white balance and continue to shoot further when changing the location and light for shooting.
Do I need to constantly remember about BB? It all depends on the situation - when there is a lot of time and there is a desire to take the most "correct" picture - then white balance is an irreplaceable thing. But if the scenes and compositions change at tremendous speed, then I recommend using Auto White Balance. Modern, especially digital SLR, cameras do an excellent job of this. But still, in low light conditions, it will be difficult for the camera to choose the right color temperature. For the majority of people automatic white balance is enough, since it is sometimes very difficult to distinguish between pictures with different BBs.
If the white balance was not set correctly, the picture can still be saved. To do this, use a photo editor such as Photoshop or any other. You can set the color temperature in the editor; it is especially easy to do this by selecting a white object in the photo and using a pipette “take” a white sample. Very easy to pull BB out of RAW. I use a little trick when I shoot people, portraits, etc. and I want to stretch the correct white balance with RAW, then I expose the BB by pipetting along the white areas of the eyes.
By the way, professional BB cameras have a separate button for quick setup, just like ISO or image quality. That is, manufacturers themselves place great emphasis on setting the correct color temperature.
Conclusion: in almost all cases, when setting the white balance, you can rely on the automatic mode, in extreme cases, you can correct it with the editor. In an ideal embodiment, the BB is best set using a preset on a white sheet or plot.
Thank you for your attention and do not forget to press +1, tweet and like. Arkady Shapoval.