Using histograms to perfect your white balance

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When you're using a split-level histogram, you'll see that your colors are reading differently across the histogram. That's fine - if they were all perfectly stacked, that would mean you have a grayscale photograph. However, if you can see three trends (say, three bumps which fall in sequence) it is the sign that your white balance might be off. If the bumps are roughly equal — like in Figure 3-6 — your white balance is spot-on!.

For a better explanation of the kelvin scale, check out Chapter 2. "Understanding Light".

You can use the split-level histogram to your advantage to set your white balance. To do so, set your camera to manual white balance, and pick a kelvin value that you feel might be just about right. Take a test shot and look

Figure 3-7: A split-level histogram can help you get your white balance right in your photos.

at the histogram. If the right-side of your histogram is primarily red, your images will have a red cast, so your photo is 'running hot'. To adjust this, you have to tell the camera that the light is warmer than you had expected — so reduce the kelvin value, and take another test shot. Repeat until your split-level histograms roughly align, and you've white-balanced your photographs by hand!

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Reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information presented in this book is  accurate. However, the reader should understand that the information provided does not constitute legal, medical or professional advice of any kind.

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