Photographers will often comment on an image appearing ‘cool’ or ‘warm’ in tone, which translates into whether the photo has more of a red/yellow cast or a blue cast. It all begins with the color temperature because a lower color temperature will emit a warmer cast while a higher color temperature provides a bluish tint. It is important that you are able to gauge your available light’s temperature and adjust when needed through custom white balance settings. Color temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin. For example, tungsten studio lights measure at 3,200K while a sunny day and clear sky will register at about 6,000K. By contrast, a heavily overcast sky reads at close to 10,000K, which explains the bluer tint to images as it is higher on the temperature scale.
The current generation of digital cameras does a pretty good job of using automatic settings for white balance, but this gets more difficult in conditions where there is less light available. If you’re in a situation where the lighting leaves something to be desired, creating a custom white balance for a particular place to be used at that time may yield far superior results.
If you only learn a few key features on your DLSR, creating a custom white balance is one that will come in handy in many situations. If you’re not sure how to do this, give us a call or bring your camera into the store—we’d be happy to help you. You won’t believe the difference in your photography!