Simple Mom | Capturing your Kids

Capturing your kids: white balance

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About Angie

Angie Warren lives in Northern California with her husband, 3 kids, and German Shepherd pup. She has a background in writing, photography, and art; and is currently teaching a photo course at a local High School.

The way your camera deals with various colors of light is known as white balance. White balance determines the color balance of your photos, which is our topic for today. If you’re just tuning in, we’ve been talking photography for a while now. Catch up here:

White balance is a key concept in digital photography. Did you know that light has different color temperatures? Have you ever noticed a photo take on an orange tint, or perhaps blue? This happens because various sources of light possess different color temperatures.

White Color

If you take a photo out in the bright sun, you’re the closest to true color balance, as there is a broad spectrum of colors there. This is sometimes called white sunlight.

Simple Mom | Capturing your Kids

Orange Color

When taking a picture under tungsten light (typically found in your household light bulbs), you’ll notice an orange hue.

Simple Mom | Capturing your Kids

Blue Color

Shooting under fluorescent lighting will result in a brighter, bluish shade.

Simple Mom | Capturing your Kids

Good news! It’s possible to shift the color towards a preferred temperature with good understanding of your WB (white balance).

Because different light sources come with various color shades, taking a photo under artificial light actually transmits a low heat into your camera’s sensor – unless you have control over your white balance settings, that is.

What happens is that the light touches the color, in turn resulting in a blue, green, or reddish hue. Our eyes are able to adjust, but the camera needs a bit of help.

Have you ever noticed these settings?

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Most cameras these days have the option of different WB modes. If you aren’t sure, do a simple online search for your camera’s manual, and you can download the PDF right to your computer or phone!

Here is a brief rundown on what they mean (keep in mind your camera may offer other modes or could be missing some of these, but this is a general idea).

Simple Mom | Capturing your Kids

As the winter months approach and you find yourself shooting indoors much more (or even in the brightness of snow), give the WB dial a spin! Playing around with the settings on your camera, trying, and practicing, are the greatest ways to learn what works for you and doesn’t.

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Comments

  1. I am pinning this! This is going to be so helpful this winter. Last winter I ended up bringing all the things I wanted to photography for the blog outside on my covered porch in freezing Midwest winter temperatures to get good light. I caught my neighbors staring at me. Who knows what they think of the crazy lady shooting pictures of stew on her front porch in the middle of winter.
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  2. Thank you for the rundown! I am finding this series so useful and getting some great shots of my little girl because of it – thank you!!!
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  3. I am so bad about taking everyday pictures. I need to look at the settings a bit more too.
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