Now, white balance (WB) is the process of removing unrealistic color casts, so that objects which appear white in person are rendered white in your photo. Itâ€™s got to do with color temperature. Normally our eyes compensate for lighting conditions with different color temperatures. But a digital camera needs to find a reference point which represents white. It will then calculate all the other colors based on this white point. For instance, if a halogen light illuminates a white wall, the wall will have a yellow cast, while in fact it should be white. If you donâ€™t get WB right, your picture will have yellow, blue, red, orange or even a green color cast.
Photos: Sean McHugh/Cambridge in Colour
How do you avoid it? You can rely on the AWB or some other setting in your camera if youâ€™re a point-and-shooter, or if youâ€™re the sophisticated type like pro photographer Ed Hidden, you use BalanceSmarter.
Itâ€™s a flexible disk with a carefully calibrated white and grey on each side where you aim your camera to get a reference. After that, the pictures you shoot will have the correct white balance.