Photographers Embarrassing Confession.
I mean – I feel like I’m pretty good at admitting when I’ve been wrong. And maybe wrong isn’t really the “right” word – I wouldn’t say that what I’ve done most of my career is WRONG per say…. I’ve just been cheating a little.
Let me back track a little and apologize to my readers that don’t understand photography jargon. I’ll do my best to explain what I’m talking about as I go.
Ok here we go. I use my camera in ALMOST full-manual mode. I set my aperture, shutter speed, and ISO all manually. I always have. This allows me to get the creamy skin tones, and super shallow depth of field that I LOVE in my portraits. But I have always used my white balance on Auto. I figured I could just fix it in editing later…. which is true. You can. But what I didn’t realize was that I was making my post-production jobs SO MUCH HARDER.
I’m sure all of my photography pals out there are rolling their eyes at me, shaking their heads, screaming at their computers that I’m a fraud…. However – whenever asked, I have ALWAYS admitted that I (used to) shoot on auto-white balance.
No more! I finally have started shooting in Kelvin. For my non-photographer readers… White balance is all about making the “whites” in your images, true white as they appear to the eye. This is achieved by adjusting the temperature. If you’ve ever seen a wedding photograph of a bride in a pure white dress, and the dress has blue shadows – it’s because the white balance is off. The white balance / temperature needs to be “warmed” up in order to eliminate the blues and get the dress to appear white, as it does to the naked eye. On the other end of the spectrum, when you see a photograph of someone indoors under artificial light, they appear very yellow or “warm” – this is when you need to cool down your temperature / white balance to achieve a more natural look.
When you shoot with professional gear, the auto option is pretty darn good… which is why I’ve never really bothered with it much. If it was slightly off, I could fix it in editing later. However, now I am shooting in Kelvin! This allows me to control my temperature in camera, which means later when I’m editing – it’s pretty friggin magical… and I hardly have to do any white balance editing in post. I say “hardly” because I’ve only just started doing this, so my Kelvin temperatures are not perfect… YET.
I was never embarrassed to admit I shot in auto-white balance, until I realized what a HUGE difference it made when I finally began to shoot in Kelvin. It’s like a huge metaphorical lightbulb came on right over my head, so big that it smacked me in the forehead and shattered all over the place. Now I feel crazy for having shot in auto!! It’s definitely not something I recommend to people learning, because it can get frustrating trying to understand all of the settings and knowing where they all need to be. My advice would be to learn your aperture, shutter and ISO first. Once you can walk into a room and NAIL those settings, start learning to set your white balance in Kelvin. It will change your editing life.
So anyway. That’s my confession. Don’t judge me too harshly. I pulled some images from last weekends wedding at Faulkner Winery to share because I shot with natural and artificial light, all setting white balance with Kelvin and it was AWESOME.
For more information on Wedding Photography in Orange County and beyond, please visit our website at http://www.BriannaCaster.com
Venue: Falkner Winery
Florist: A Cottage of Flowers
DJ & Live Band: Still Listening Productions
Photobooth: Westside Photobooths
Videography: Amari Productions
Photography: Obviously… yours truly: Brianna Caster & Co. Photographers