The icons above are representative
of a variety of white balance settings that are found on most
digital cameras. The first three icons represent Kelvin, Custom
and Auto white balances. The remaining preset WB icons (tungston,
fluorescent, daylight, flash and cloudy) are listed in order of
increasing color temperatures.
For most shots taken outdoors on sunny and cloudy days,
the AWB usually works very well. If you are not happy with the
color cast that you see in your preview window after taking the shot,
try using one of the presets that best represents the light you are
in. Indoor shots tend to be a bit trickier unless you are in a
constant light source. AWB, tungston or fluorescent settings
should be used in these situations. The problem comes in when
you are taking a picture where you have multiple sources of different
types of light entering into your shot. You will need to set
your camera to AWB or learn how to use the Custom WB setting when you
run into this situation. AWB will calculate an average color
temperature for the entire scene and then use this for the WB.
If this still is not giving you what you want, you will need to
manually set the WB by using a grey card, shoot in RAW where you can
make corrections in post processing, or by using aftermarket
products such as an Expodisc or similar product.
I will leave you with an example of the AWB not being
able to figure out the proper color temperature for a picture.
The two pictures below were taken by the same camera at the
Convention during the judging of the watercolor botanical art contest.
The first picture was shot using the AWB setting and second was shot
using the Custom WB setting after using an Expodisc.
You can see that the second picture
is much truer in color cast than the first image.