Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Taking Good Photos: Ajusting White Balance

I was asked by a reader how you would go about adjusting the White Balance in order to eliminate that yellow-like tinge that you can sometimes get on your mini photos. This is a skill that I've only recently learned, and it has changed the way i take mini photos! Now you can do the same!

The camera i use is an SLR Cannon 1000D, although I'm sure the standard SLR menu set up isn't to dissimilar from the one shown here. Your looking for a button labeled "WB" - which (you guessed it!) stands for White Balance.

Push it!

Once in, you want to set it to "Custom White Balance". For this camera, its the far right setting. NOTE: if you use your camera for more than just mini photos, you'll need to reset your White Balance back to "Auto White Balance" found in the same menu. If you don't then your pictures will be VERY white!!

Next, you need to take a sample photo of your display area. The reason you need to do this is so you can tell the camera what 'White' looks like for your photos. I simply stick a sheet of white A4 onto the back of the light box and take a standard shot. In my light box, white looks like this:

Yeah, i know! No wonder I'm getting a yellow tinge on my photos! You'll need to keep hold of this image for the next step.

So now you need to tell the camera that this is 'white', and input this into the SLR. To do this push the "MENU" button (found on the top-left corner of my SLR). Scroll through your menu options until you find the "CUSTOM WB" option. Select it. This will then take you to through the images stored on the memory card. Find the picture you took of the A4 paper, and then select it. You'll get a confirmation message which you'll need to confirm.

Now your ready to go!

The SLR will now compensate for that yellow tinge now that you've told the camera what 'white' looks like in your photo area. Your photos should now be a lot clearer and cleaner!

Have a crack and let me know how you get on!

The GunGrave


  1. Glad you approve! Let me know how you get on with your pictures!

  2. I have no idea what my (borrowed) camera does when it takes pictures, but I upload most of my pictures into the DakkaDakka gallery, and they have some kind of auto-adjust option, which might be something similar to this. Nevertheless, this is a good tutorial.

  3. You can adjust images after taking them, and lots of editors effectively do what the camera is doing here for you. This should help you avoid having to edit photos though. Which helps maintain the quality.

    Unfortunately, the pictures of my gallery items are all taken on a rather unhelpful black glass table... you can imagine the headaches with geting the colour and reflection to not ruin everything! However, it gives me the best natural light. (Which goes some way to portraying the correct colour!)