How Daylight White Balance Can Make You a Better Photographer

For the past year or so, I’ve been doing a special experiment with the way I shoot photos: I’ve been working almost exclusively with daylight white balance. Crazy, right? Especially when these days the auto white balance setting seems to do such a great job. Plus, when you consider how easy post-production is these days, it almost makes no sense. But indeed it does. Shooting a bit more restrained lets you think in a different way.

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Useful Photography Tip #174: How to Make a Scene Shot During the Day Look Like Night

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I’m going to let you in on some knowledge that cinematographers have known for years, but that photographers have greatly underutilized for a while–and it has to do with a simple white balance trick. The situation: let’s say you’re shooting a scene during the day or maybe sometime at dusk but you’re trying to make it look like a scene shot at night. Sometimes that’s very tough to do and at other times you simply just don’t have the time to go shooting at night.

This is a longer Useful Photography Tip, so I implore you to hit the jump for more.

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Digital to Analog: Daylight White Balance in Various Lighting Scenarios

As more and more photographers start going from digital to analog, we wanted to teach everyone about a big part of how you not only see light, but also color. Note that most film is balanced to daylight, so if you go about shooting with it in various situations, you’ll either like the results or you won’t.

So with that said, we’ve compiled a number of images from our archives showing you how colors in a scene render when using daylight white balance. This post encompasses mostly digital photos, and you should know when you go into a film lab to get your images developed, sometimes a technician will try to “fix the images”. But you should keep this in mind regardless to get your most desired results.

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