White Balance

And no, it’s not a post about Hillary, or Barack, or Trinity United Church of Christ, or any of those things.

It’s about camera settings.

We had another of those little pop-up thunderstorms this afternoon.  There may be more tonight.  But I was looking out the window at work, and thought “Almost all the pictures I’ve taken have been in nice, sunny conditions.  Why not shoot one or two in the rain?”Rain Shade

I was shooting on the “Aperture” setting, which allows for changes in the white balance.  I don’t know a lot about white balance, other than news shooters are forever white balancing their ENG cameras with a piece of paper.  But these two photographs, along with yesterdays, show the importance of the correct white, and how it can be an interesting tool in creating different colors and moods.

The picture above was taken with the white balance in “shade” mode.  I’d had it set there yesterday when I shot some pictures of a lizard on the tiki torch outside.  I neglected to change the white balance when we were out on the boat, and I started shooting in the bright sunlight.  You can see the what that did to the pictures in the sun here and hereHere, however, is the picture of the lizard actually in the shade, and you can see the colors are pretty true. 

So, when I adjusted the white balance to “Cloudy”, and shot almost exactly the same scene, I got this.

Rain Cloudy   

You don’t see the rain quite so distinctly.  Again, I was concentrating on the aperture, and not the shutter speed, so I didn’t stop the raindrops.  I probably could have, and might try that next time.  But I didn’t touch contrast, color, brightness … all I did was shift the white balance.  In the second shot, to me, the greens are far more vivid, and the contrast is more distinct.  The top picture looks to me almost like it could be titled “Breaking the Drought”, but we haven’t had a drought. At least not this year.

All this to say, I have a lot to learn about this camera, which I think I’ve had for 8 months or so.  But it’s time to get away from being in constant “point and shoot” mode, and really dig into what it can do.


Meanwhile, our computer guy at the office forwarded what he called “The most pointless 5 seconds on YouTube”.  From someone who spends a lot of time online with computers, that’s saying something.  I spend some time online too, and I have to say, I don’t disagree.






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Filed under Photography, Video, White Balance

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