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White balance

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Artificial light appears in a variety of forms - tungsten and fluorescent being two of the most widely used. Each type of lighting produces a different colour temperature that our brain compensates for to make everything appear as though it's neutral light. Digital cameras and film are not so forgiving and record the colour as it really is, so in tungsten light the picture comes out orange/yellow and fluorescent goes green. These colour casts can be corrected using filters on a film based camera, and digital cameras have a white balance setting to make the pictures look like the view our eyes see. Some models have manual white balance control where you select the type of lighting from a list, but most take care of the colour automatically.

Related Terms

An automatic exposure mode which sets the camera white balance to emphasize the red colour of the sky at sunset.