White Balance Tips

First published on: Tuesday, 17 February 2009

This page is a collection of photography tips, tricks, techniques and examples related to setting white balance.

White balance setting for a sunrise

A gorgeous, orange sunrise hits the scene in front of you. You might be tempted to use of the automatic scene modes found on your digital camera.

Say you choose the Landscape scene mode. White balance is automatically set by the camera when you choose this. As a result, the camera neutralizes the warm tones by adding blue, and what you get is a neutral picture, and photo loses the warm tones bestowed by the rising sun.

If the scene demands it, it’s best to manually select the preset Sunny or Daylight white balance. This lets the camera know that the subject is currently illuminated by sunlight, so the camera doesn’t bias the colors towards warm or cool colors.

See the difference in the examples below:

Automatic White Balance Automatic White Balance Sunny / Sunlight White Balance Sunlight White Balance

If you had shot the photos in RAW mode, you can always change the white balance value in a RAW processing software later.


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