What is White Balance?

Photographers can run into issues because color is seen differently from a camera and the human eye.

The light illuminating the scene we want to take is not always the same: sunlight, incandescent bulb, neon lights and so on. But the same “sunlight” and changes a lot depending on the time of day, season and weather conditions. There may be the dominant colour temperatures (for example in the late afternoon), or cold so that the picture will present a bigger load of shades of yellow or blue.

Professional photographers and enthusiasts know that even at the time of the film there was this problem. This was resolved (by choosing the most suitable film to a given light) with experience or with the aid of an instrument of measurement of the “colour temperature”, the termocolorimetro.
Sensors in digital cameras are concerned with the measurement of colour temperature and white balance. Try, i.e., to produce a pure white image and, consequently, correct hues. If the white is a shade of Green – “think” the camera – this will be repeated on the other colours of the image, so you need to subtract one share in the whole picture.

Too complicated? Do not worry, in most shooting situations is the digital camera to deal with, the Automatic White Balance and provide images faithful to the subject.But it is not always so. Consider, for example, to an extension where there are different types of illumination: a ray of sunlight that filters through the window, a table lamp, a halogen lamp, etc.. It ‘s possible that in a circumstance such as this crisis goes on for the automatic white balance. The camera will not be able to give us back images that match the scene.

Manual adjustment

The more sophisticated digital cameras (not just single lens reflex cameras, but also semi-professional compact cameras – the cameras so-called “prosumers” – also allow manual adjustment of white balance. How does it work? Just point the car on a sheet of a paper white spot in the light environment in which we intend to take our picture. The system will adjust so all the colours.For the most accurate exist, sometimes, also the possibility to adjust the balance point of White also through a scale of colour temperature in degrees Kelvin.

Colour: Balanced imagesAt this time, we are ready to make perfectly proportioned images (in which no colour casts).The correction of unbalanced picture ready to be made even after shooting through a good editing program. But everything is easier if there attrezziamo the best before shooting.
Warning! If we set the white balance for a given situation, then remember to reset it when photographed with other lighting conditions.

White Balance and RAW

When we save our images in digital format professional RAW, save the data “raw” image, as recorded by the sensor pixel digital camera without the intervening change in any parameter. In this case, also the White Balance is an operation that takes place later when you convert files in TIFF or JPEG.
E ‘at this point – with the help of conversion software for RAW (the one supplied with the camera, or a specialised program purchased separately) or with Photoshop, if you have the CS version, we can intervene to set the White Balance to our liking.

If the result does not satisfy us, we can always take a step back and try several times again, until we get the desired result.

The options for setting the white balance when converting the image saved in RAW format, and many are related to the software we use.
Here is another of the many advantages offered by the RAW format, which is essential if we make use of our professional or semi-professional digital camera.

 

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