Camera refers color balance as White Balance. In past 7 years, we discussed about White Balance aka Color Balance trough some articles – Color Balance in Digital Photography, White Balance to Get Correct Colors, Grey Card for White Balance and Color Temperature in Digital Photography. Is There More Easy Way To Remember Which Color Balance Mode to Use on DSLR in Which Situation? It is practical to shoot as natural possible. My skin color is pale. A white American’s skin will be more pale than me. On viewfinder often we tend to beautify the image and tend to hide the “pale feel”. In many situations, our skin does not look great. But we have to shoot RAW image as faithful as possible. We can always beautify photograph later on Adobe Photoshop.
As camera’s image processor judge the color balance from a set value; situations like candlelight, sunrise/sunset, late afternoon or early morning light, nightlife/neon, etc hugely suffers. Either they looks like washed with blue tint or as if some color filter used.
Camera’s default White Balance is usually set to AWB (Automatic White Balance). But that automatic settings do not faithfully capture the colors of the scene when light is lower.
Color constancy is a subjective constancy and feature of the human color perception which ensures that the perceived color of objects remains relatively constant under varying illumination conditions. Unlike camera, our eyes do not see peculiar color casting.
Which Color Balance Mode to Use on DSLR in Which Situation
In our linked previous articles on Color Balance, we discussed in details about the strict methodologies to use sense to realize grey card is grey. Human eye is faithful to perceive white color in an assumptive manner. We understand the object and our brain probably process color in that way. This forces us to repeatedly talk about balancing color through settings.
Light sources emit color in different temperature ranges which is referred and measured in Kelvin unit. Without boring everyone out of their mind, I use this following example to explain the difference of kelvin. Film actually offered two main types of color films – regular and tungsten. Digital cameras offers too many options. As the thing is not quite older (unlike matters such as f number), in-depth writing is very less in number all over the whole internet.
You can actually use mode like Cloudy or Shade to cover most situations. AWB is probably not a good setting. Of course you can change the mode or best, manually set the value in Kelvin. Setting a manual white balance, often called a custom white balance is easier. You need to shoot a grey card (and/or color cards) and understand how your camera handles custom white balance and what your senses expect. The regular of Film is closer to Cloudy or Shade on most of the digital cameras. Our senses expect photographs to have a romantic color casting. That is because brain tries to match color scheme.
Color gamut is defined as the entire range of colors available at an output, be it a TV, a projector, a monitor, a printer, anything. It is about the output. Digital cameras are input devices. They only measures the light and the concept of the color gamut is not relevant. Gamut is a subset, a sensor responds to all visible colors present and capable of responding to color at very low luminescence levels. Human ability to discriminate colors is lower.
There are some tools to help around calibration :
Using Cloudy or Shade automatic modes will not hugely help you. You need to work at least once to set a custom value by manual work with Grey card and printing the image. You’ll need 2-3 such settings to cover most of the situations.