12 Weeks to Better Photos: Week Three, The Color of Light

Welcome to Week 3 and the Color of Light.  We have been learning about the importance of having enough light in our pictures during the Week 1 and Week 2 lessons.  Now we will be focusing on using the type of light that is available to us.  Check out the pdf of this week’s lesson here.

whitebalanceWhat is the Color of Light?

All light emits a certain color.  “Natural” sunlight will be different depending on the time of day or cloud coverage.  The light found inside will vary drastically depending on your light bulbs or even the color painted on your walls.  Your camera will pick up and enhance colors that your eye might not catch causing your pictures to have a much different look than what you had expected.  That is why we have white balance.

What is white balance?

White balance is setting the color temperature of your image.  When you set your white balance, you are showing your camera what is really white. There are two ways to set your white balance.  You are automatically defaulted to Auto (AWB), but your cameras should have other settings built in such as Tungsten, Daylight, and Cloudy.  Your second (and better) option is to manually set your white balance.  Each camera is different, but if you type into the YouTube search box your camera model with “manual white balance” you will find tutorials.  (Canon T3i users, check out this video tutorial.)  ***You will need a piece of white paper or cardstock to manually set your white balance.***

The Assignment: 

Photograph the same subject using various white balance settings (including a custom white balance) to see how your camera adjusts for different types of light.

AutoWhite Balance


I have to say that I love my Manual white balance.  It’s a little bit warmer than I thought it should be, but you can see every detail in the picture and it’s not blown out like in Auto.

All in all, this is a pretty easy feature to set up and I’m looking forward to playing around with it some more (especially indoors on my favorite subject… Dax!).

See you all next week for Lesson 4, Flash!


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