If you are anything but a complete beginner photographer, I suspect you already have a decent grasp of white balance and what it’s meant to do. Every digital camera has a white-balance function. Put simply, this is designed to the neutralise colour casts produced by different types of lighting. In practical terms, white balance is replicating the job our eyes do naturally – compensating for the different colour ‘temperatures’ of light so that photos look like they were shot in daylight.
But colour temperature also plays an important creative role in photography. A change in colour tone can drastically change the mood of an image and the viewer’s perception of a scene. Despite this, however, most photographers are happy to rely on their camera’s auto white-balance (AWB) setting, and completely overlook the creative potential of setting white balance manually. If this describes you, then read on…
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