Want to avoid some of the more common mistakes made by photographers? Here are 6 camera settings that many get wrong along with some advice on how to get it right.
Common mistakes with camera settings: 1. White balance
The vast majority of photographs are taken with the camera’s white balance set to the Automatic option.
It’s an easy choice that gets it right most of the time, but it’s not completely foolproof and many systems have a tendency to correct natural variations in light colour so that images look a bit too neutral.
Warm early morning or evening sunlight, for example, can be made too cold.
When shooting outdoors better results can be achieved in many cases by switching to the Daylight or Sunny setting.
It can even produce better results than the Auto setting in shady or overcast conditions.
Most cameras also have Shade or Cloudy white balance options that inject a bit more warmth into images.
In some situations this colour-shift can be excessive, but it’s worth experimenting with your camera to find out how each white balance setting performs in a range of conditions.
For the ultimate in control, use the Custom or Manual white balance option and set the value manually.
Your camera’s manual will explain exactly how to do this, but fundamentally it involves photographing a white or neutral grey target (a piece of card works well) in the same light as your subject and telling your camera to use this image to set the white balance.
If you photograph the white or grey card again after the manual white balance has been set in camera, you should see it rendered neutral.
If you wish, you can use your camera’s white balance adjustment controls to warm or cool the results – or experiment with a non-neutral calibration target.