Calibrating White Balance for Macro Photos

Macro photos are often so tight that your auto white balance will not be able to make sense of itself. Therefore, you may need to compensate manually.

Examine Your Setup

Make sure that the area in which you are photographing only has one type of light source. A mixture of color temperatures will cause your image to have different hues throughout itself. In close photography, this can become distracting. If you are lighting strictly with available light, try to adjust your environment to a single color temperature. Then, you can set your camera's white balance presets to correspond.  Daylight and tungsten will always be available options.

Using a Flash

When using a flash, the ambient light will again start to create problems. If you are in a room lit with incandescent bulbs, the shadows may appear orange. In a room lit by fluorescents, the shadows will become green. To avoid this, soften your light source so that it wraps into the shadows more. This will help your flash overpower the unwanted colors. Applying diffusion will also lead to a generally smoother image.

Like many other things, white balance errors can be quite noticeable in macro photos. Keep a keen eye out for the many factors that can throw it off.

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