White Balance

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The Rebel has a selection of seven white balance presets plus a Custom White Balance (CWB) that you can measure yourself. Daylight uses Canon's default color temperature of 5200 K; Shade works at 7000 K; Cloudy at 6000 K; Tungsten/Incandescent at 3200 K; White Fluorescent is set to 4000 K (although there are huge color temperature variations in fluorescent lights); Flash at 6000 K.

The Cloudy preset splits the difference between Daylight and Shade.

Flash uses the same color temperature as Cloudy.
Custom is the most accurate white balance.

Auto White Balance (AWB) attempts to neutralize the light of any scene with a color temperature between 2000 and 10000 K, but it can be fooled. If there is an overriding color tone in the background or foreground, the camera may see that as a color temperature that needs to be neutralized. The resulting image may not be as neutral as you'd like it to be.

Auto White Balance (AWB) tries to balance the strong background and clothing color against skin tones to create a true neutral but cannot do so.

Custom White Balance (CWB) doesn't care what colors make up the image, only the color of the light that falls upon it.

Auto White Balance (AWB) tries to balance the strong background and clothing color against skin tones to create a true neutral but cannot do so.

Custom White Balance (CWB) doesn't care what colors make up the image, only the color of the light that falls upon it.

Custom WB


Color space Adobe RGB

Picture Style User Def. 1 Dust Delete Data


Making a CWB is easy with the Rebel (it will even remind you to change the preset if your camera is set for something other than Custom). To do this effectively, you will need to meter and photograph a neutral gray or white card under the light conditions within the frame. If you're working under studio strobes, you will need to use a calibrated flash meter to accurately measure the strength of the light. Either way, it's important to purchase a neutral target. Typewriter paper, tablecloths, bridal gowns, or other objects contain chemicals or bluing agents that make them look neutral, but they will not white balance properly because of that chemistry. A commercially available gray target, such as those sold by Lastolite or BalanceSmarter, will produce the most accurate white balance. Err on the side of caution and fill as much of the frame as you can with the gray target. It's not necessary for the image to be in focus, although a target like this BalanceSmarter, with its printed lines, is helpful because you won't have to disable auto focus to make the shot.

In the Shooting menu choose Custom WB. You will be asked to select an image, but the camera always defaults selection to the last image made. If you're happy with that image, press the Set button.

If your White Balance icon is not already set to Custom, you will be told to set it accordingly. You're now good to go.



Working with the built-in on-camera flash is terrific for snapshots, although the tube is small and produces a bright, specular source that will accent skin shine and show dark (although minimal) shadows. The

flash is placed close to the lens and pops up vertically just above the lens axis. Although this guarantees even light over its effective working distance, the look of the images will actually be flat. It's best, in my opinion, to use the built-in flash only for horizontal compositions. If you turn the camera to its vertical position, the resulting shadows will fall straight across that axis and look unattractive. That said, the built-in flash can be effective as fill flash, a little something to brighten up a shot without overpowering it.

Flash Exposure Compensation is a function on any Canon with a built-in flash. It allows an increase or decrease in the flash output power relative to what the camera tells the flash it needs, a determination the camera will make based on the light at hand and the shooting mode it's in. You are allowed up to two full stops of exposure compensation, over or under what the camera considers to be correct, when you use this function.

We all know that outdoor exposures, even made under diffused daylight conditions, can show shadows that are not especially attractive

Use WB data from this image for Custom WB

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even though the subject may be. If a face is lit from the side, for example, eyes tend to look lifeless because there is no catchlight, no hint of a light source, to give them a spark. Even if the camera doesn't automatically raise the flash (there may be so much light that the camera won't think it's necessary), push the flash button near the lens and pop it up manually. Without making any Flash Exposure Compensation, the camera will use the built-in flash as a fill flash. Comparing a non-compensated image with one deliberately set to -1/3 stop would indicate that this is the camera's default fill flash position.

With further compensation adjustments, at — 2/3, —1 and —2 stops, you can easily see how Flash Exposure Compensation can improve your images when used as a supplemental light source. In each case, look at how much life the catchlights in the eyes add to the shots.

When working with built-in flash indoors, there are a couple of things for you to consider in order to improve the quality of your images. Use a shooting mode that will take ambient light into account. If you use Manual, be sure to set a shutter speed and aperture that will include enough ambient detail to show the background. A shutter speed that's too short or an aperture that's too small will not allow enough ambient light to register, resulting in dark backgrounds with minimal or no detail. Even though the exposure from the flash will be terrific, the lack of ambient detail will result in "tonal merger," a part of the image where dark areas of the subject like hair or clothing

are so dark they become indistinguishable against the background. Photos made with tonal merger lack the three-dimensional quality that makes for a better shot.

Watch for areas where dark objects blend into background shadows.

You'll get better results working in a mode that supports ambient light exposures. On the Basic side of the dial, Portrait, even Night Portrait, will produce great results because the exposure will be made for both ambient and flash. On the Creative side, Av, Tv, even A-DEP will produce nicely lit, dimensional results that balance ambient light to the flash.

Increasing the amount of ambient light exposure decreases the possibility of tonal merger.

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