Preset Your White Balance

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I decided to do the standby line for Toy Story Midway Mania so I could enjoy the queue area. I did love all the icons of games and toys I played when I was growing up. I was not too thrilled with the photos I was taking. They were very yellow from the lighting used especially the whites.

I knew to fix this I needed to do a Preset White Balance often referred to as a custom white balance. For my Nikon camera, I pressed the White Balance (WB) button and using the rear command dial to move to the PRE icon on the upper LCD screen. I then released, pressed and held the WB button until the PRE starts to blink. I then filled the viewfinder with a white object (in the case of the TSM queue, I used one of the oversized dice) and clicked the shutter. I checked the LCD screen and it told me I set it correctly by saying ‘GOOD’. If it had said, ‘No Good’, I would have had to try again.

To show you the difference. The first photo was taken using Auto White Balance.

Chutes and Ladders ceiling in the Toy Story Mania queue in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

Chutes and Ladders ceiling in the Toy Story Mania queue using Auto White Balance.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length

The second photo was taken after Presetting the White Balance.

Scrabble and Barrel Full of Monkeys ceiling in the Toy Story Mania queue in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

Scrabble and Barrel Full of Monkeys ceiling in the Toy Story Mania queue using Preset White Balance.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/3.5, ISO 8000, EV +1.0, 28mm focal length

It is a simple process which only takes a few seconds. Just remember to switch back to your normal white balance setting upon leaving the area.

Scott's "Photographic Innoventions" blog focuses on intermediate to advanced photography concepts and techniques relevant for Point and Shoot and Digital SLR cameras.

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