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Photography Question 

White Balance: What, Why, How

What can anyone tell me about white balance? I am considering buying a digital camera and don't understand that. Is it something that you have to set every time you want to take a picture manually, or does the camera set it? If you were going to change from a film camera to digital, would the actual picture-taking process be the same, and you would just need to learn about a program like Photoshop? Or are they two totally different photographic processes? I can't quite decide if digital is for me or not.

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5/21/2004 5:24:06 PM

Nancy Grace Chen
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/18/2004
  White balance has to do with the color of light you're shooting under. There's an automatic white balance, and you can just use that and let your camera decide every time. However, there are certain situations in which you'd probably want to adjust it. For example, if you're indoors, your light bulbs are probably going to be tungsten. If you don't adjust the white balance and don't use the flash, all of your pics will have a yellowish cast because tungsten lights give off yellow light. There are many different lighting conditions (natural light, fluorescent light, etc.), and with digital you have the ability to adjust to those conditions. But if you're not picky, you could just leave it on automatic. You can also change the white balance afterward in Photoshop. But it's usually better to do it when you're taking the pic. Hope that helps.

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5/21/2004 8:09:34 PM

Pam    thank you for your input. Pam

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5/22/2004 12:12:22 PM

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