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Class Shot
Finding the White Balance
This picture taken in the
breathtaking area of Fury
Shoals of the Southern
Red Sea, shows how using
manual white balance can
help bring back beautiful
colour into underwater
BluE’s compact camera expert Maria Munn explains how learning to use your manual white
photographs such as the
balance brings out the vibrant colours in your underwater shots.
Gotaya Soraya wreck
here.
Getting to grips with all your camera’s different controls can be extremely daunting when you
start out. Nevertheless, it is worth taking the time to learn those basic features designed to
instantly better your photographs. one really useful tool that most compact cameras have helps
restore colours and gets rid of a blue cast. This is the camera’s manual or custom white balance feature, which is found in the menu functions.
When using this function, however, always remember to keep your built-in flash switched off otherwise you could end up with extremely pink
subjects.
Setting the balance
keeping the sun behind you while on the deepest part of your dive – but
where there is still available light – simply point the camera at a white subject,
such as a white slate, and calibrate the camera. You will notice immediately
that the blue colour cast will have disappeared. Always remember, however,
to recalibrate your camera’s white balance every 5m when you change depth
to allow for the light change. I usually use the white balance feature on my
camera on dives between approximately 5m and 20m, depending on the
available light around me.
The manual white balance tool can be really useful for photographing wrecks
with a wide-angle lens as well as shy subjects that are not so keen on the use
of flash. Be aware that the top half of the photograph may be too pink t if you
are too close to the surface when using the white balance.
If you have a canon compact, there is an excellent feature that is found on its
main camera settings which enables you to calibrate your camera’s manual
white balance with one touch of a button. This means throughout the dive
you simply press one button every time you change your depth.
the same yacht with no manual white balance
4 www.cdws.travel
Issue  october / November 2009
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