Learn White Balance Basics to Achieve Accurate Colors

We hear about the importance of getting the white balance right all the time. This quick tutorial shows us how we can do that to get great colors in our photos.

How do you make sure the colors in your photos are as accurate as you saw them? You set the white balance on your camera or do it in post-processing. In a quick tutorial by J.T. of the Run N Gun channel, he explains how this is done through a variety of white balance presets and by using your own white balance settings.

Let’s go straight to the video tutorial and dissect it afterwards:

Now, time for a quick rundown of the tutorial. J. T. first explained the purpose and importance of white balance: colors that are as faithful as possible to how you saw the scene or subject you photographed. The main idea behind this is to have a spot with neutral colors to base the white balance on. So some grays, whites, and light blacks would be ideal.

When you shoot a scene with bright colors in auto mode, your camera compensates by either making the photos warmer (if there are lots of cool colors), or cooler (if there are lots of warm colors). This often results in images with some sort of color cast. To prevent this, you can select some white balance presets on your camera, as J.T. has explained in the video. Each of the presets have their own color temperature — the higher the number, the warmer the color.

What if you forgot to set the white balance on your camera? It’s still possible to correct your RAW snaps in post on Lightroom, as the software also comes with its own white balance presets.

Another handy tip mentioned in the tutorial is to use your own, custom white balance settings. With this setting, you’ll have to either select a neutral point in your photo using Lightroom to recalibrate your image, or have a grey card ready as a neutral color reference. You can also dial-in the color temperature (Kelvin) on your camera if you don’t have any neutral color reference.

Check out and subscribe to the Run N Gun channel for more of J.T.’s photography tips and tricks.

Screenshot image from the video by Run N Gun