White balance is how the camera will work to get true colours.
In different light conditions the colours in a photograph will show differently as all light has a colour attached to it. This can sometimes be disappointing when they don’t reflect what you see in front of you and your photograph of a white object ends up with a distinct blue tone. Most cameras are set to auto but have a few other options.
What you want is that whites will appear white rather than grey or a blue white etc.
There are two different types of lighting; natural and artificial I have listed some examples below
Artificial lightening Natural lighting
Halogen/strobe lights sunlight/moonlight
fluorescent lights northern lights
tungsten firelights -natural and not candles
laser lights lightening
White balances available in most cameras when taken off auto are as below:
- Auto the camera sets the white balance, resulting in colours not being true
- Sunlight the sun gives off an orange cast this will counter this
- Cloudy when cloudy there is a blue tone to the photos
- Shade again blue tones are in shade
- Tungsten orange colours appear under this lightening
- Fluorescent this lightening gives off blue tones
- Flash again blue tones will be seen
- Custom you can set your own balance using light metres etc.
The easiest way to test this is to take the same photograph while using all seven (exclude custom) white balances and see the difference in the photograph- make sure there is something white in the frame that you can judge the difference in tones.
we will revisit this showing the scale and what happens when white balance is adjusted
picture pinned from pinterest click for the link
I have taken 6 photos below all without flash and using the same ISO, shutter speed and aperture. By looking at the white page you can see how each setting changes the tone of the white.