Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesdays Tips, Tricks and Tid-Bits ~ White Balancing

Today's post isn't exactly about food per se, but rather the photographing of food.  So often poor lighting conditions can hamper even the best efforts to get a nice photograph of something you've whipped up.  You spend several hours preparing this amazing meal, only to find that it doesn't look anywhere near as appetizing in the photo.  And if you snap the pic indoors (which I do 99.9% of the time), then you are often left with a yellow, dingy cast to the photo.

So what's a girl (or guy) to do?  Well, [insert drumroll]......white balance!  I'm slightly embarassed to admit that I have had my wonderful and handy Canon Rebel T1i camera for about a year now and have just this past week figured out that you can white balance on the camera.  I think I may have known this, but just never played around with the camera to figure out exactly how to do it.   For some reason I assumed that since my camera was what I would call "fancy" that it would magically produce phenomenal photos on its own.  Not so.

In layman's terms (because I don't possess the knowledge to explain it any other way), white balancing cues the camera in as to what should be the color white despite poor or harsh lighting.   As a result your photo will then look like it would have had you taken it in optimal lighting conditions.

Below are two photos taken of the same vase of flowers in the exact same lighting conditions about 30 seconds apart.  The photo on the left was taken with my camera set to "auto white balance", and the photo on the right is after custom white balancing.  Some difference, huh?

To white balance on your DSLR camera just snap a photo of something white within your desired shoot setting.  For me, this meant taking a quick photo of our white duvet cover.  *Make sure it's a true, bright white!*  Then go to the Menu on your camera and look for the "Custom WB" option.  On my camera this is the second camera settings menu.  You can then flip through your photos stored on your camera and select your desired "white photo" that you just took.

At this point make sure that you have updated the WB option on your quick control function buttons that are located just to the right of your LCD screen.  When you press the WB button you will want to make sure that everything is set to the custom WB option that you just set up, as the camera defaults to the "auto WB option" unless it is set otherwise.

In closing, I promise that my photos will be more vibrant and true to color from here on out.  I'm not saying they will be able to rival The Pioneer Woman's, but at least I won't be posting any more photos where the cream colored frosting looks tan :)

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