White balance is an adjustment to the camera ensuring all colors are represented faithfully. The reason for white balance is that different light sources are completely different colors. Unnoticeable to you because the human brain has an auto white balance that’s way better than any machine. Manually white balancing your camera is accomplished by filling the frame with a solid white object. This object must be lit by the light source you're balancing your camera to. Then with the push of a button you're telling the camera that under this light source… this is white.

Light is rated under a color temperature scale called Kelvin. Sunlight has a color temperature of about 5500 degrees kelvin at noon on a bright sunny day and has a blue tint to it. Incandescent or tungsten lights average 2900 to 3200 degrees kelvin and have an orange or red tint. Florescent lights are usually around 7000 degrees kelvin and have a green tint. Although some florescent light manufactures are making florescent lights with photography in mind and making 5500 kelvin fluorescents to match sunlight.

Remember when I said sunlight is about 5500 kelvin at noon on a sunny day. Well, the suns color changes dramatically throughout the day. Sunlight is more like 2800 degrees kelvin at sunrise and sunset. and up to 8000 degrees kelvin in shade at midday. So… if you are shooting outside all day, be sure to re white balance often.

White Balance

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