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Canon® EOS Rebel XSi/450D Guide to Digital SLR Photography by David D. Busch

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Customizing White Balance

Back in the film days, color films were standardized, or balanced, for a particular “color” of light. Digital cameras like the Rebel XSi use a particular “white balance” matched to the color of light used to expose your photograph. The right white balance is measured using a scale called color temperature. Color temperatures were assigned by heating a mythical “black body radiator” and recording the spectrum of light it emitted at a given temperature in degrees Kelvin. So, daylight at noon has a color temperature in the 5,500 to 6,000 degree range. Indoor illumination is around 3,400 degrees. Hotter temperatures produce bluer images (think blue-white hot) while cooler temperatures produce redder images (think of a dull-red ...

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