Twilight in Milwaukee:
- 1. Auto: this is where the camera makes a best guess about the light for each shot on an image-by-image basis. For many situations, it’s worth considering, but it is important to experiment with other settings based on the lighting and the individual camera.
- 2. Tungsten: this mode is usually symbolized with a little bulb and is used for shooting indoors, especially under tungsten (incandescent) lighting (such as bulb lighting). It generally cools down the image’s colors
- 3. Fluorescent: this compensates for the ‘cool’ light of fluorescent light and will warm up the image.
- 4. Daylight/Sunny/Fine Weather: not all cameras have this setting because it sets things as ‘normal’ white balance settings. Frequently, this is better to use than automatic white balance when shooting during the day, at sunsets, or sunrises.
- 5. Cloudy: this setting generally warms things up a touch more than ‘daylight’ mode and will provide a pleasing tonality when the grey day exists.
- 6. Flash: the flash of a camera can be quite a cool light so in this setting warms up the image.
- 7. Shade: the light in shade is cooler (bluer) than shooting in direct sunlight so this setting will warm up the image some to adjust for that distinction.
In most cases, an accurate result using the above preset white balance modes will get the colors right. It is important to practice and create in your own mind what works for your camera. Remember, not all cameras are the same in the way they see light.
When I first created images at night, I new little about white balance and how important it was to establish the correct tonality. During an evening in October, 2010 I began to experiment.
Various Loop Buildings (automatic white balance not far from wrong):
In April, after several discussions with photographers in a local
I post this introductory information and images to show how much white balance can affect the results one gets when taking pictures at night. While at first it might seem like, for night photography, an argument in favor of automatic white balance, I will just say, it works with my Nikon cameras very well when there are many confusing light sources. However, I highly recommend capturing images in RAW and using several different white balance experiments to determine what works best.