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Nikon D3200 Digital Field Guide by Alan Hess

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Setting the White Balance

The white balance settings are designed to even out colors of light in your photos because all light actually has color in it. It doesn’t matter if the light is from the sun, a fluorescent tube, or from the built-in flash, it all has color. And the color of the light can affect the color in your images.

Your brain and eyes adjust the color of light automatically. For example, if you take a piece of white paper and look at it outside in direct sunlight, it appears white. If you take the same piece of paper into a room and look at it under fluorescent light, it still looks white. The sensor in the camera can’t make the adjustments for the different colors of light on its own, so to the camera, the paper does not look the same in both situations unless you set the correct white balance.

The color of light can be described using temperature on the Kelvin scale. The Kelvin scale is based on the color emitted when a theoretical black-body radiator is heated. On the Kelvin scale, cooler temperatures are yellows and oranges. As temperatures increase, the colors change to blues and, eventually, white. Think of something being heated—as the temperature rises, the color goes from very red to very white (like the phrase white hot). There are two places on the Nikon D3200 in which you can set the white balance: On the information display screen or in the Shooting menu ().

Follow these steps to change the white balance through the information display:

1. Press the ...

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