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01.30.2020

Get to Grips with Custom White Balance

When lighting is tricky, it can be difficult to get accurate colors in your photos. The answer is to create a custom white balance preset that’s perfectly suited to your conditions.
 
It’s often tempting to not give white balance too much thought, since the auto white balance setting on X Series cameras is great at setting the right temperature and tint for almost any situation. However, setting a white balance preset can give you a lot more creative freedom, especially in mixed lighting conditions or if you need to maintain levels of consistency across multiple projects.

Learn photography with Fujifilm, Get to Grips with Custom White Balance

You can also create your own white balance preset, which will work just like the DAYLIGHT, SHADE and INCANDESCENT settings you know from the White Balance menu, but will be specially created to suit a specific set of lighting conditions perfectly.

Learn photography with Fujifilm, Get to Grips with Custom White Balance

To make a white balance preset, you’ll need to activate the on-screen WHITE BALANCE menu (usually done with a function button or by pressing a WB control). Move to one of the three CUSTOM settings, indicated with a [ Learn photography with Fujifilm, Get to Grips with Custom White Balance  ] icon, and scroll right.

Learn photography with Fujifilm, Get to Grips with Custom White Balance

You’ll be presented with a rectangle in the middle of the screen. To create the custom preset:
 
STEP 1: Place the target in the scene, under the same lighting conditions as the subject.
 
STEP 2: Fill the rectangle with the target and make sure your exposure is accurate.
 
STEP 3: Take a picture – the camera will set and store the new white balance preset.
 
You can create up to three custom white balance presets, for instant recall at any time from the camera’s menu.
 
There are a number of neutral targets available, made specifically for measuring and setting white balance. Have a look at the ColorChecker White Balance from X-Rite, which is designed to deliver really accurate results.

Learn photography with Fujifilm, Get to Grips with Custom White Balance

While you can try using other white or grey objects to set your custom white balance – like sheets of paper – these won’t give you the same accuracy as a purposely designed white balance target. It’s also important to get the exposure as near to correct as possible in order to create an accurate white balance. If you don’t, the camera may tell you that the result is under- or overexposed. If so, adjust your exposure and try again.

Your Next Steps

  • CHALLENGE Shoot a colorful portrait and use a custom white balance instead of your camera’s auto setting. How does it change your subject’s skin tone? Which picture do you prefer and why?  Post your results to social media with the hashtag #MyFujifilmLegacy. You can also submit your work here for a chance to be featured on our social media channels