white balance

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by dylancarvalho, Nov 3, 2020.

  1. Hi all,
    I was wondering how you guys could explain white-balance, and why it is important in black and white photography.
  2. It isn't!

    White balance is important in colour photography, so that white objects come out looking white, and grey objects come out neutral grey.

    Incorrect colour balance (flash lighting shot as tungsten):

    Correct colour balance:

    The only time the correct white balance would be important in black&white is if you had a strongly coloured subject lit by a strongly coloured light. And that probably only happens at night under sodium street lighting, which can't be corrected or colour-balanced anyway.
    dylancarvalho and bgelfand like this.
  3. The only time I've bothered with white balance is when doing infrared photography, before converting the results to black and white. I was once told to do a custom white balance with the camera pointed at green foliage, to enhance the rendering of trees etc.
  4. Just FWIW. Black & white conversions of those two colour pictures above come out looking very similar. And in fact the one with the blue cast looks slightly better to me. But then you can filter a B&W conversion to almost any degree you like.

    From correct colour:

    From blue cast:
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  5. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    OP - Is this a question set as an assignment by a school or college?

    NHSN likes this.
  6. Photography is a visual medium, meaning you could try things, such as lights of different colour temperature, and see the result.
    So pick up your camera, OP, and get to work!
    William Michael likes this.
  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    ... and answer questions, please.

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