Wednesday, January 16, 2013

White Balance and Vitamin D

So I finally started taking Vitamin D supplements which are supposed to help with your energy and mood in the sunless months of Winter. And boy do they help. It’s like 'Bam!', suddenly I have my productivity back. So yesterday after my 7 mile run, deep cleaning of the upstairs, and weekly grocery run, I decided to take Sam for a walk in the snow and work on my photography skills. 

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to finally learn to use my Nikon DSLR and I recently pinned this article with tips about photographing in the snow. Enacting things I pin is another one of my resolutions, so two birds with one stone. Vitamin D, I’m telling you! 

So I started reading the article and instantly began nodding off since it was apparently written in one of the fictional languages found in Lord of the Rings. White Balance? Exposure? ISO Sensitivity? What the heck are those? 

Luckily I found this website which is basically ‘Nikon for Visual Learner Dummies’ with tons of step by step videos. I switched back and forth between the two resources and came away with one bit of translated information: 

Your camera automatically balances for white imagery (aka ‘white balance’), and can be a bit confused when surrounded by snow. This can cause your winter photos to have a bit of a blue hue to them. For crisper whites, it helps to change your custom white balance settings to ‘shade’. I did this and here is an example of the difference in color. 
Automatic white balance

Custom White Balance set to 'shade'
Pretty dramatic, eh? 

So with this new tip in my arsenal, Sam and I set off to try it out. And while the photography article went on and on about how to dress appropriately for winter photography, it gave no tips on how to take a stunning photo while simultaneously having your arm ripped off by a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I decided to let him off the leash so as to better focus on taking pictures and with the hopes of maybe even capturing some keepers of the little guy. Instead I was forced to chase him through the snowy trail as he insisted on running at full speed towards a busy street with no intention of coming back to me as I screamed his name. 
Lesson learned.  He’s lucky he’s so cute. 
Here are some of my best ‘white balance’ shots of the snowy scenery taken from our walk. 

When I got home, I decided to work with Bailey a bit, since she is always the cooperative model. 

I really got to play around with some settings and I actually felt like the pictures taken with the white balance setting of ‘full sun’ came out the best...
...which is the exact opposite of what the article told me to do. So basically, I didn’t learn anything…except that I have two very photogenic pups. 

 Then again, I kind of knew that already...


  1. Some body has some beautiful grand dogs

  2. Love the pics of Bailey girl and the one of the pond is stunning esp with the birds flying over!! And good on you for being so proactive with your New Year goals! I need to re-teach myself everything I used to know about my camera, it really does take great pictures!