Color Balance Revisited

Photo 1–White Balance “cloudy” (click photo to see full size)

How important is the correct color balance for a photograph?  Normally, I would say that it is very important.  Recently I was in Maine on vacation.  While in York I took the two photographs on this page.  The day was a bit unusual because one moment it would be bright and sunny, the next moment the clouds would cover the sun (fully cloudy).

“Full sun” and “cloudy” have different light temperatures (and white balances).  I’m not going to explain the physics of light temperature.  Others have done and done it better.

Both of the photos were taken from the same place of the same subject (as you can readily see).  I made one mistake.  I forgot to change the white balance from “cloudy” to “full sun.”  You can see the differences in color rendition in the photos.  There is one small problem.  While the second photo (full sun) renders the photograph the way it actually appeared, something in me prefers the first photo.  I prefer the warmer color renditions in the photo I took by accident!

Photo 2–White Balance “Full Sun” (click photo to see full size)

What’s the moral of the story?  Experiment!  By experimenting with the light temperature/white balance you may take a photograph you really like.  Understand white balance and how it works, but don’t be afraid to adjust your white balance–you may actually like the results of the “wrong” white balance.  When you know the rules, you can bend the rules and even break the rules to achieve the results you want!

Visit the original posting concerning white balance and its importance at:

Jim the Photographer, Manchester CT,


About Jim The Photographer

I am a photographer from Manchester, Connecticut. My photographic interests are many and varied.
This entry was posted in color balance, color temperature, white balance and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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