White Balance (Two Photographs)
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Having talked about ISO in my last three posts, I thought it might be interesting now to look at white balance. Cameras generally do a good job with auto white balance. However if you shoot in RAW, as opposed to JPG, you can adjust the white balance. White balance in Adobe products is referred to as temperature (measured in Kelvins) because the white balance adjustment reflects the temperature of light. There are at least three reasons why you might want to alter your white balance in post-processing: color casts, creative control and for accuracy. Finding a neutral color in your RAW file is relatively easy with most software. It’s usually a color picker tool that gives you the values of the color under the picker and it allows you to look for and set your white balance on something where red, green and blue are of equal values. Often minor color casts can be fixed just by moving the white balance slider to get a more natural color. White balance allows you to cool down the photo (add blue tones, lower Kelvin) or warm it up with warmer colors (orange, higher Kelvin). Adjustments like this can give a fall or winter feel to your photos. For example, in the first of these two photographs I have adjusted the white balance on the duck to a slightly warmer light, the effect is exaggerated for the purposes of this post, but I think it makes the point.