White Balance and Color Temperature


■ Color temperature ranges from high temperature blues to low temperature reds. As color temperature increases it moves through the colors red, orange, yellow, white, and blue white in that order.

■ If you shoot images in the RAW file format (page 20), you can adjust color balance on your computer after you shoot.

Counter clockwise from top, auto (AWB), daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten, florescent, flash, and custom icons.

Although light from the sun or from a light bulb looks white to us, it not only contains a mixture of all colors, it contains these colors in varying proportions. Light from the midday sun, for example, is much bluer than light from a sunrise or a tungsten lamp. To produce what appears to us to be normal or accurate colors, the image we capture must contain the colors in the original scene as we see them. These colors are affected by the color of the light that illuminates them.

Images can be balanced to match light of a particular color temperature. This is done using a system called white balance that automatically or manually adjusts the image so it renders colors the way we see them regardless of the light illuminating them. The daylight setting compensates for the cooler, more bluish color of daylight. The tungsten setting compensates for the warmer, more reddish color of tungsten lights.

You can check color balance by looking at the captured image on the camera's monitor. If you examine the images closely you may notice that white areas in particular have some color cast to them. If so, you may want to adjust white balance for subsequent shots.

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