Have you ever taken a photo and the color came out totally wrong? I was at an aviation event recently and was able to shoot a few photos. I didn’t review as I was shooting, and when I sat down to look at them, had to laugh. I usually leave my White Balance on “Auto” to let the camera guess the setting and then adjust later in Adobe Lightroom. In this instance, I had changed the setting and forget to reset it to Auto. Always check your settings before starting a shoot! It is basic rule, and I forgot it. At least it was an easy fix, but, could have been a bigger mess if I didn’t shoot RAW most of the time.
What is White Balance? Simple explanation is that light has temperature associated with it. If your camera think you are shooting indoors under incandescent light but you are outside, it will adjust the sensor temperature incorrectly. This is far from the best scientific explanation, but it works in my brain and help me (usually) remember to set the WB correctly.
Here is one of the photos – the first image is with no corrections or adjustments, just the RAW image exported to a jpg image. Notice the blue tint to the entire photo.
The next image is the final product. The first correction was to the white balance, you can see that the blue tint has been replaced with a correct tint. Additional corrections were made to exposure, contrast and highlights. With a bright day and minimal cloud cover the day this was shot, the paint had a tendency to get very bright where the sun hit the rounded corners, this is an overexposure or “blow out” and Adobe Lightroom was able to fix this.
Camera: Nikon D3100
Lens: Nikon 35mm f1.8
Settings: 1/640 at f/4.0, ISO 100, 35mm fixed focal length