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Getting Creative With White Balance

Here's how you can use white balance creatively on your Nikon camera.

| Nikon D5300 in Digital Camera Operation
Getting Creative With White Balance: WB Tungsten | 1/5 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
WB Tungsten | 1/5 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
Getting Creative With White Balance: WB Fluorescent | 0.6 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
WB Fluorescent | 0.6 sec | f/8.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100

Nikon cameras offer several white balance options, which will enable you to create a different look to your images simply by adjusting to a different preset. 

If you leave the camera's white balance on auto, then it will determine what it thinks to be the best white balance for the situation. But, if you're looking to get a bit more creative with your images, or simply want to experiment, then the built in white balance presets are a great place to start. 

Here are the white balance settings available on the Nikon D5300

Incandescent - Incandescent gives the image a blue, cold feel. It can work well for intensifying the blue of the sky, or for photos taken in the rain or snow. It is a white balance mode that helps to enhance the colour that's already there in the shot, and can give a slightly abstract feel to portrait shots.

Flourescent (7 types) - The fluorescent presets are designed for shooting under different types of fluorescent lighting, which can cause the image to have a green or yellow tinge, depending on the types of lighting used. The fluorescent setting helps you achieve a more natural looking image under artificial light. It can make images taken in sunlight or in cloudy conditions appear a bit dull and lacklustre, so it might work well when trying to achieve a spooky or foreboding look to a landscape image. 

Direct Sunlight - This mode exposes for sunny conditions. It gives a yellow, warm glow, which can be ideal for shooting indoors, too, it will add extra colour to a roaring fire, for example. 

Cloudy - The cloudy white balance setting gives colours a richer edge, accounting for the fact the cloud cover is diffusing the sunlight. In the same way as the sunlight preset, it can also be used in indoor situations and to give a warmer cast to scenes that might often look a little cool. 

Shade - The shade setting provides a really warm, orange colour cast as light in the shade is bluer compared to that of direct sunlight. It can also be used when shooting in backlight, when most of the light on the subject is not coming directly from the sun. It's good for making things look inviting and warm. 

Preset manual - If none of the above presets produce the effect you're looking for, then you can set your own by using the preset manual option. This lets you set the white balance in degrees kelvin (colour temperature), or by using the 'PRE' setting, where you photograph a piece of white card and the camera then tells you the colour temperature of the light reflecting off the card. 

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Photographs taken using the Nikon D5300

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guganjoshi Avatar
8 Apr 2014 4:39AM
very informative

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