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Bright Light, Big Color: Using EV and White Balance to Make Your Photos True to Life

Oct 25, 2007

by terrain

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Taking a great photo is all about managing light. Nothing is more frustrating than photos that turn out too dark, too washed out, or off-color. It’s a particular challenge for sellers who have to use artificial light rather than natural light due to time constraints or inclement climates. Luckily, your digital camera has a few handy tricks — exposure value (EV) and white balance — that can help you overcome these challenges and snap your way to better, brighter photos.

How Does EV Work?

Evaluative metering is the term used to describe how the camera divides an image into different zones for light metering — it evaluates the lighting conditions and makes adjustments to exposure based on the position of the subject, the brightness, direct light and backlighting, and a multitude of other factors. Essentially, evaluative metering performs the same functions as the human eye.

However, cameras are not as perfect at adjusting exposure as our eyes. In overly bright or underlit conditions, a little manual compensation is required. Exposure values are the numeric values (+1, -2, etc) which describe a particular combination of shutter speed and lens aperture. On most cameras the exposure values are measured at one-half or one-third stops. The default or no-compensation level is set at 0. By raising or lowering EV from 0, you adjust the shutter speed/lens aperture which allows either more or less light to reach the camera’s sensors, thereby brightening or darkening your photograph.

How to Use Exposure Values (EV) and Evaluative Metering:


photos by terrain

1. Even a basic digital camera should offer evaluative metering. Use your camera’s manual to locate the evaluative metering function. The icon typically looks like this [ (o) ]. Your camera may have other light metering modes such as centre-weighted averaging and spot AE point, but for now, make sure the regular metering function is selected (it is most likely the default setting).

2. You should also have an exposure value (EV) scale associated with the evaluative metering function on your camera. The icon for this scale will often appear as “+/-0”. Select this icon and you will see a simple scale with 0 in the middle and a +1 and +2 on the right or top, and -1 and -2 on the left or bottom.

3. Aim your camera and focus on the object you are photographing. Use the arrow keys (or equivalent) on your camera to move up or down the scale. Watch the camera monitor and you’ll see the shot you’ve composed become brighter as you move up or to the right of the scale, and darker as you move to the left or down the scale.

4. If you have a white object in your scene, use it to gauge when you’ve reached the appropriate brightness level, or place a white object temporarily in the picture to judge the light levels. When you’re satisfied with what you see, press the shutter button and you’re done!

Tip: When shooting in low light you’ll want to raise the EV to brighten the shot, but to do this the camera takes a longer time to gather light and take the photo. This can exacerbate “camera shake” (the tiny movements caused by even a steady hand or by the mechanics of the camera itself). To compensate, use a tripod and press the shutter button cleanly and gently. Most digital cameras have a timer function, in which case your finger wouldn’t even be pressing the tripod-mounted camera when the shot is taken.

How does White Balance work?

White balance is the balance between cool and warm light color temperature captured by your camera’s sensors. Color temperature describes the spectrum of light as it is measured in Kelvin, from “warm” light (low Kelvin) to “cool” light (high Kelvin). See the chart below for a range of common light sources and their relative temperatures:

1000-2000K Candlelight
2500-3500K Tungsten household lightbulb
3000-4000K Sunrise/sunset (clear sky)
4000-5000K Fluorescent lighting
5000-5500K Electronic flash
5000-6500K Daylight with sun overhead
6500-8000K Moderately overcast sky
9000-10000K Shade or heavily overcast sky

The lower the temperature of the light, the more of a warm or orange-ish color cast will be visible in your photographs. The higher the temperature, the colder or bluer your photos will appear. Using pre-set white balances allows your camera to accurately judge and compensate for the light temperature of your composition, and the result is a photo with truer, brighter colors.

How to Use White Balance:


photos by terrain

1. Not all digital cameras offer white balance customization, but most offer preset white balance settings that match commonly used light sources. Use your camera’s manual to locate the white balance function. The icon usually looks like a little lightbulb. Select it and you should see several presets from which to choose. You may also see an icon “AWB” which stands for auto white balance, which is the default setting.

2. What kind of light are you using? It is crucial that you match the preset white balance setting to your light source. Natural source presets typically include “daylight” and “cloudy.” Artificial presets may include “fluorescent,” “tungsten” (incandescent), and “daylight fluorescent” (halogen). Note how the color tint on your camera monitor will change if you flip through the different presets. Select the preset that matches your light source and snap your photo.

3. If your camera has a custom white balance setting, take advantage of it! Select the “custom” option icon and place a white piece of paper or cloth in the scene. Aim the camera so that the entire frame is filled with the white object. Press the “set” or “enter” button on your camera. The camera reads the white object and uses the data from it to set a custom white balance for your composition. Now you can continue to photograph your items.

Tip: If using a custom white balance, keep in mind that any changes to your composition will throw off the data used by your camera to make the custom setting. This includes any changes to your lighting and even alterations to backdrops, props and reflective surfaces. If you need to rearrange your scene, be sure to set a new custom white balance.

Using EV and White Balance together:

EV and white balance can be set totally independently of each other, but still used together for maximum results. If you raise EV to brighten a photo but neglect to adjust white balance, you may have a brighter photo that still has a blue or orange tint. Conversely, if you adjust white balance to match your lighting conditions but don’t adjust your exposure values to compensate for an underlit scene, your colors may be true but the photo may remain too dark overall.

Tip:

Because EV compensation requires more fine-tuning than white balance, set your white balance first and adjust EV second.

Happy snapping!

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251 comments

  • cupcake2create

    cupcake2create said 10 years ago

    Great information thank you .

  • IngasGems

    IngasGems said 10 years ago

    Thanks! Very useful info!

  • fuzzyfibers1960

    fuzzyfibers1960 said 10 years ago

    thanks for the info! this is my least favorite part of my creating.

  • Knitsteel

    Knitsteel said 10 years ago

    Thank you. I really needed the explanation on white balance!

  • wunderbug

    wunderbug said 10 years ago

    thanks so much for sharing, terrain!!

  • HeyMichelle

    HeyMichelle said 10 years ago

    Awesome! Very informative!

  • chickadeebeads

    chickadeebeads said 10 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Blondezillabeads4fun

    Blondezillabeads4fun said 10 years ago

    I'll try this today ! Thanks so much for your expertise :D

  • jewelryforallages

    jewelryforallages said 10 years ago

    Thanks, one day I'll get the knack of this.

  • Brooklynbee

    Brooklynbee said 10 years ago

    This is really informative and interesting. Thanks!

  • hobbledehoy

    hobbledehoy said 10 years ago

    Learning those tricks earlier this fall made a *huge* difference in my sales. I went from having really washed out photos to slightly more balanced ones by adjusting the EV. Great lesson!

  • juln

    juln said 10 years ago

    Grand article! I've been trying to figure out what EV stood for for years. I do find that whatever my settings, my photos almost always require a bit of foozling in my photo editing program - 'set white point'.

  • littlegirlPearl

    littlegirlPearl said 10 years ago

    I so appreciated this article. Not only do I struggle with a moving model(my 2 yr. old), but the lighting has been one of the biggest challenges. Tomorrow, I'm off to fiddle more with my camera. Thank you!

  • quirkybags

    quirkybags said 10 years ago

    Thank you for this article, terrain!

  • BlueLadyBeads

    BlueLadyBeads said 10 years ago

    Very informative, thank you.

  • estherly

    estherly said 10 years ago

    Thank you very much for sharing! Definitely a great help for newbie like me :)

  • BKMHattitude

    BKMHattitude said 10 years ago

    Fantastic article, now if I can only find my camera manual. Thanks

  • fernfiddlehead

    fernfiddlehead said 10 years ago

    I feel as though someone just turned on a light. Thank you for this great information.

  • GreenMamba

    GreenMamba said 9 years ago

    Very illuminating, terrain! Thanks!

  • Psculptures

    Psculptures said 9 years ago

    Great info, terrain! I sure needed this important lesson in digital photography. Hopefully it result in much-improved shop photos, thereby increasing sales potential. Thanks so very much!

  • habbags

    habbags said 9 years ago

    Thankyou, alerted me to functions I didn't know I had on my digi camera...big learning process, but such fun, especially snapping in very different environments!

  • LillyRoseBowCompany

    LillyRoseBowCompany said 9 years ago

    Thanks a bunch! Very imformative and helpful. I will get to work tomorow improving my photos, therby improving my shop!

  • windyhilldesigns

    windyhilldesigns said 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing this info. I'll be changing my photos tonight.

  • desertnana

    desertnana said 9 years ago

    your ability to explain step-by step- is extraordinary and receiving a standing ovation from me!!!!!! Now can you write a complete Manuel encompassing absolutely everything involved in setting up and Etsy shop from start to finish?? =)

  • ThePeachTree

    ThePeachTree said 9 years ago

    Great tutorial! You make it sound so simple!

  • agapegems

    agapegems said 9 years ago

    Thanks so much!! Your explanation is much clearer than the manual that came with my camera!

  • AmandaYuDesign

    AmandaYuDesign said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the useful info. :)

  • spunsilver

    spunsilver said 9 years ago

    Just what I was looking for!

  • kylieB

    kylieB said 9 years ago

    Oh wow fantastic, Thank-you!

  • soapychica

    soapychica said 9 years ago

    this is such a great article-even I can follow it -Thank you so much!

  • curlsofsunshine

    curlsofsunshine said 9 years ago

    this helped a lot...there are things on my camera I did not know I had!

  • breedingfancy

    breedingfancy said 9 years ago

    Very informative. How did I not see this article sooner? Thanks!

  • cushylife

    cushylife said 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing these very useful information!

  • meraldesigns

    meraldesigns said 9 years ago

    how informative, thank you so much....

  • charleneofdomus

    charleneofdomus said 9 years ago

    thanks very helpful. I just pulled out my user guide

  • MonasMane

    MonasMane said 9 years ago

    Thanks, before this I didn't even know what ev and white balance was!

  • TwilightKnits

    TwilightKnits said 9 years ago

    Oh I'm so glad I found this article! My pictures needed to be better!

  • hipclothing

    hipclothing said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the tips!

  • nadessicco

    nadessicco said 9 years ago

    Ooooh! Great!! Thank you so much for sharing the very useful information!! I'll use it everytime from now on for a snap!!!

  • moonpics

    moonpics said 9 years ago

    Thank you!! About the WB I knew, but I'm going to try the EV adjusting straight away!

  • mpaperarts

    mpaperarts said 9 years ago

    Can't wait to try this out - I am dying for consistant photos and no more orange glow!

  • StudioYTE

    StudioYTE said 9 years ago

    Always looking for ways to improve...many thanks!

  • LuminousMom

    LuminousMom said 9 years ago

    GREAT information... I will openly admit I never had a clue what those settings were on my camera, lol

  • krystalsbykrystallee

    krystalsbykrystallee said 8 years ago

    Wow... this was the best info I have found! Thank you....

  • suzicook

    suzicook said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I'm off to the FUJI site to find out where these settings are located on my camera.

  • worksandfinds

    worksandfinds said 8 years ago

    Thanks for great info. Pictures are my sore point. I'm going to work on it.

  • Jewelry4AllTime

    Jewelry4AllTime said 8 years ago

    We plan to use this info. with the new "Studio Photo Box Tent Kit Photography"when it is delivered. Thanks for the article! Great info!!

  • thebline

    thebline said 8 years ago

    Helpful info! Thanks!

  • dropyourdrawers

    dropyourdrawers said 8 years ago

    so helpful thank you!

  • pleinair47

    pleinair47 said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! Now I have a better understanding of the terms and functions on my digital camera.

  • TheBornAgainBoutique

    TheBornAgainBoutique said 8 years ago

    yay! a straight forward answer with easy instructions - I'm off to go play!!

  • colorpoetry

    colorpoetry said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much! Instead of buying a new camera I now see that my current one will do everything I need.

  • Lesbijouxcrealune

    Lesbijouxcrealune said 8 years ago

    very helpful, thanks!

  • Waterrose

    Waterrose said 8 years ago

    Thank you. I'm experimenting tomorrow!

  • peaseblossomstudio

    peaseblossomstudio said 8 years ago

    LOL, I just read this and never heard of EV! Thanks so much terrain! I still bought a new camera today, though. ;-)

  • ChattyCatsArtWear

    ChattyCatsArtWear said 8 years ago

    A thousand thanks! I have a great camera, the Pentax Optio, which I love...however, it fights me every step of the way with regard to lighting. Now that I know it's actually me that's the dummy, I expect to create finer photos. This was especially helpful, since I've had the camera several years (and several moves), and finding the manual that came with it would be nearly impossible!!:)

  • KatieAnnCreations

    KatieAnnCreations said 8 years ago

    I am definitely going to try this thanks!!

  • reneeandriole

    reneeandriole said 8 years ago

    Great article, I have such issues with the photos sometimes

  • 1ForYou

    1ForYou said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the tips! I can sure use them.

  • ClareBears

    ClareBears said 8 years ago

    Wow - that's really useful. It's been of help already!

  • agmode

    agmode said 8 years ago

    Very useful info. Thank you!!

  • JanFairhurstPottery

    JanFairhurstPottery said 8 years ago

    excellent-- just the info i needed!

  • ArtBalance

    ArtBalance said 8 years ago

    Thank you for a wonderful, accessible article! Fab writing.

  • eileensf

    eileensf said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the tip. I'm going to try it.

  • acousticdragonfly

    acousticdragonfly said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for sharing. I appreciate your time, and your talent. :-) Have a great day, Lisa

  • rlevenkron

    rlevenkron said 8 years ago

    I never knew about all this - thanks for the tip!

  • RJBDesigns

    RJBDesigns said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for the tips! Amazing how many things I have learned from Etsy in the last week! What a great place to shop, work and learn:)

  • SparkleRocks

    SparkleRocks said 8 years ago

    Oh perfect, I really needed this. thanks!! :D

  • CandiedBeauty

    CandiedBeauty said 8 years ago

    incredibly helpful!! i was looking everywhere for camera settings..thanks to this article i am now getting a mostly white background when i use my handmade light box. Thank you SO SO SO much! YOU R AWESOME!

  • MessyJesse

    MessyJesse said 8 years ago

    definately have to try this out!

  • FiddlyFingerWork

    FiddlyFingerWork said 8 years ago

    It's so helpful to have someone explain these things - I've really been struggling trying to understand the workings of my camera and how to get a good picture from it, thank you

  • violetribbon

    violetribbon said 8 years ago

    I can't wait to get started on my shop photos after reading this great information. Thanks.

  • sivylla

    sivylla said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for the useful info. I really appreciated your effort :-) I think i'll have to photograph all my items all over again :-)

  • TheFourStore

    TheFourStore said 8 years ago

    Amazing!! I can't wait to shoot good pictures finally!

  • peagreenboatdesign

    peagreenboatdesign said 8 years ago

    Mysterious camera settings are explained so clearly that they make perfect sense now. This is great information - thank you!

  • shopgoodgrace

    shopgoodgrace said 8 years ago

    fabulous. Thank you!!

  • TheArtOfJoy

    TheArtOfJoy said 8 years ago

    What a HUGE help! Thanks!

  • AryalAmesJewelry

    AryalAmesJewelry said 8 years ago

    Wow! I need to print this out and start putting this to work... thank you!

  • ArrayedAndAdorned

    ArrayedAndAdorned said 8 years ago

    Thank you!

  • ladnamedfelix

    ladnamedfelix said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the very informative and simply-explained article! This should really help a lot of Etsy users - including myself!

  • dolliecs

    dolliecs said 8 years ago

    great tips and tricks. lighting, finding the ultimate "sweet spot" is always my goal. thank you.

  • magartsypartycrafts

    magartsypartycrafts said 8 years ago

    I was having issues with taking photos in my studio space with my digital camera and this really helped me figure out where I was going wrong! Merci

  • wildcubs

    wildcubs said 8 years ago

    Was fun playing with custom white balance. But, sometimes even that is not enough. :)

  • pixiecampbell

    pixiecampbell said 8 years ago

    thank you, terrain! i need all of the photo help i can get!

  • kendraha

    kendraha said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the great info! I am going to go work on them right now with the feature I just learned my camera has. I know my photos need a lot of help! Thanks again!

  • ChampagneandBaubles

    ChampagneandBaubles said 8 years ago

    Geat info.! Thanks so much. Every piece of advice or help is greatly appreciated.

  • CoeCreations

    CoeCreations said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the great tips. Showing off your creations through a picture is tough.

  • ParisPennsylvania

    ParisPennsylvania said 8 years ago

    Thank you for sharing a great and informative article. I learned a lot....Linda

  • ArtByHandz

    ArtByHandz said 8 years ago

    I was having a lot of work before those tips having to take pictures with my cell phone after having all my camera stuff stolen and no money to invest on new ones, now I found out I need no fluorescent lamps anymore and I even can take night pictures with daylight options and ev automatically adjusted from my cell phone, didnt even know my phone had those....you roxxxxx as always, im so glad I read this post, thnkssssssssssss

  • rmcotton

    rmcotton said 8 years ago

    This is the best article I have read yet! Thank you so much for the help and the pointers. I just pulled out my little booklet and my camera and I learned so much! Get ready, Etsy! My photos are gonna be the bomb!

  • Jrisco

    Jrisco said 8 years ago

    thanks! I think I am finally grtting CLOSE to getting it... :)

  • jubileebags

    jubileebags said 8 years ago

    thank you, can't wait to try these tips!

  • AChildsDreamParty

    AChildsDreamParty said 8 years ago

    So invaluable! Thank you SO MUCH for offering this - I just got feedback that my pics can use a make-over, and this helps a ton! Can't thank you enough...

  • craftaria

    craftaria said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the info!

  • jennydebs85

    jennydebs85 said 8 years ago

    i love your advice i hope i have the patience to set my camera, you explained it beautifully.

  • steampunkjewelry

    steampunkjewelry said 8 years ago

    Pictures are so vital, great! great! great! article, thanks!

  • pascalepetit

    pascalepetit said 8 years ago

    Just got a new camera! I will try this today! Great article!

  • TheBeadMall

    TheBeadMall said 7 years ago

    Great Information!! Really helped me a bunch!

  • eroa

    eroa said 7 years ago

    awesome! thank you!

  • JCMCREATIONS

    JCMCREATIONS said 7 years ago

    Absolutely wonderful information! I've just started on some new things and I need all the help I can get. Thanks, again!

  • JCMCREATIONS

    JCMCREATIONS said 7 years ago

    Wonderful tips! Thanx so much, I can use the help!

  • BigFatArtBarn

    BigFatArtBarn said 7 years ago

    This was a great article,cleared up some questions I had,thanks so much!

  • FullThrottleGypsy

    FullThrottleGypsy said 7 years ago

    Awesome tips...I just finished with a few sample shots using the setting suggestions and my photos are 100 percent better!!! Many thanks!

  • ranrandavid

    ranrandavid said 7 years ago

    great tips :P

  • MyVintageCollections

    MyVintageCollections said 7 years ago

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Taking photos of my vintage china is so challenging, i.e. getting the right light, angle, and setting, and I appreciate all the advice so much!

  • amoebahandmade

    amoebahandmade said 7 years ago

    Hi thanks for the article. I am already using white balance, but the EV is new to me. BTW - I don't get the Kelvin values - did you get these in the right order? Surely a bright sunny day is higher than a dull dark cloudy day? Happy to be corrected! ;)

  • Stoneberri

    Stoneberri said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the "how to's".

  • lilabelledesign

    lilabelledesign said 7 years ago

    great tips, thank you

  • LifeSongHeirlooms

    LifeSongHeirlooms said 7 years ago

    Hard to believe how much great information is here ! THanks for the article !

  • SewObsession

    SewObsession said 7 years ago

    white balance i always wanted to know what that was all about, thank you for the extremely helpful information

  • Scrapboarding

    Scrapboarding said 7 years ago

    I am practicing as we speak! Thank you!

  • marjoriescorner

    marjoriescorner said 7 years ago

    This is very helpful. Helped me to better understand the white balance feature of my camera.

  • psalmsoflove

    psalmsoflove said 7 years ago

    i see that i really need to use these tips. thank you!

  • beautifulchaos

    beautifulchaos said 7 years ago

    marking

  • BHBKidstyle

    BHBKidstyle said 7 years ago

    The most useful article on item photography I´ve ever red. NOW I UNDERSTAND IT! Thank you ever so much!

  • paperpaloozagirl

    paperpaloozagirl said 7 years ago

    I dreaded referring to my camera's user manual, as I didn't understand most of the features... WOW, now I can use that manual and know more what I am doing! Thanks for the explanations! Excited to experiment!

  • lovelui

    lovelui said 7 years ago

    Thanks so much your article was extremely helpful, I look forward to taking my photos now - with more accurate settings.

  • DareDevine

    DareDevine said 7 years ago

    Thank You! Much needed info, very helpful :)

  • KatieHepworth123

    KatieHepworth123 said 7 years ago

    Great info. Now all I need is the instruction book for my camera!

  • CustomWired

    CustomWired said 7 years ago

    Thank you SO much. After a 6 year hiatus, and committed to staying home with my children, the net was the only logical choice to begin selling my jewelry again. I bought a used camera, I bought a light system and I have spent SO MUCH time taking pictures, only to be terribly disappointed in the color quality. I felt ready to quit. After reading your article on white balance, I used the custom setting on my camera and the difference!!! Wow, I am so relieved and happy I could cry. Thank you for the pointers. I am going to retake all my pictures, but it is going to make a huge difference.

  • CustomWired

    CustomWired said 7 years ago

    Your pointers are going to make SUCH a difference in the quality of my photos. Thank you.

  • NowSoLA

    NowSoLA said 7 years ago

    I just got a new camera & greatly appreciate your photo advice. Thank you!

  • NoniBam

    NoniBam said 7 years ago

    Thank you so much for these great tips. It's amazing how much my photography has improved since I started putting my energy into it... and it's relatively simple once you get the main concepts...

  • ArtistsInMind

    ArtistsInMind said 7 years ago

    Wow! I finally found the answers to the questions I've had for years about lighting. Very easy to understand! Thank you so much.

  • SSDesigns4

    SSDesigns4 said 7 years ago

    Thanks for posting this information. Extremely helpful!

  • vintageprecious

    vintageprecious said 7 years ago

    Off to play with my camera, thanks! ~vintageprecious

  • Lilywinkel

    Lilywinkel said 7 years ago

    Very helpful! I took my first photos and realized I needed to do a better job next time. Lighting is the trickiest thing, and you've clearly explained how to make the most of it! Thanks.

  • RebirthRecycling

    RebirthRecycling said 7 years ago

    Very en "lightening"...thank you.

  • SueveDesigns

    SueveDesigns said 7 years ago

    I can't wait to apply these tips to my pictures. I know they are in need of photographical help. - Thanks!

  • sweetbellacards

    sweetbellacards said 7 years ago

    This is so wonderful! Thanks so much for the info :)

  • theclassicfarmhouse

    theclassicfarmhouse said 7 years ago

    I cant believe I totally missed my ev setting until now! Makes such a huge difference! Can't wait to take more photos :0) Thanks for the info!

  • EponaJewels

    EponaJewels said 7 years ago

    Now if I could just find my camera manual! LOL

  • zipchan

    zipchan said 7 years ago

    Oh sweet, I've learned a lot from this! Thank you so much! :D

  • DotD

    DotD said 7 years ago

    Very, very helpful. Thanks much.

  • LAtraffic

    LAtraffic said 7 years ago

    great info. thanks!

  • WalterSilva

    WalterSilva said 7 years ago

    Big Hug!!! Thank you for this information, I have been frustrated with my photography....

  • belleskincare

    belleskincare said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing, very useful information.

  • LilahBelleVintage

    LilahBelleVintage said 7 years ago

    marking for later ☺

  • AngelasAlchemy

    AngelasAlchemy said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I'll have to read it again with camera in hand :)

  • underanewlight

    underanewlight said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the tips. Your are giving me the tools to this beginner camera lady. I will put this on practice! :)

  • sistersilver

    sistersilver said 7 years ago

    Now it makes more sense! I have played with EV and didn't know what I was doing, so it didn't mean much. White light, I kinda figured out from someone's advice. I a off right this moment to see if I can overcome having to take pictures at a certain time of day to get them to turn out. Thank you, thank you!

  • tricotaria

    tricotaria said 7 years ago

    Very useful information! Thanks!

  • oberschin

    oberschin said 7 years ago

    I am going to try that right away... :) thank you!

  • AmericanGirlinEurope

    AmericanGirlinEurope said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the advice! I just got a new DSLR and I want to make my photos of European vintage items in European city backgrounds very special. Understanding lighting is everything!

  • swurme

    swurme said 7 years ago

    This was a great article. Thanks for breaking everything down and explaining it so well.

  • yunuengems

    yunuengems said 7 years ago

    A very useful article, thanks for sharing

  • GoodOldDaysTreasures

    GoodOldDaysTreasures said 7 years ago

    So helpful!!! I have been playing with my camera while reading this blog. I can hardly wait to take new pictures! Thank you!

  • fashionL

    fashionL said 7 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • PatinaVintage

    PatinaVintage said 7 years ago

    Brilliant!! I appreciate your article the best on the subject - it finally make sense to me.

  • buddingcreations

    buddingcreations said 7 years ago

    This has been ever so helpful! Thank you so much!

  • EnchantedEnsembles

    EnchantedEnsembles said 7 years ago

    Very informative! Thank you!!!

  • tinyearsjewelry

    tinyearsjewelry said 7 years ago

    Will have to try some of this... I wish I had more time to fool around with my camera and start out with better photos... I can always Photoshop them, but would rather get them done right the first time. thanks... Casey @ Tin Years

  • aromaticbodyoils

    aromaticbodyoils said 7 years ago

    Nice. Taking your pictures in natural sunlight also helps.

  • aliceandrabbit

    aliceandrabbit said 7 years ago

    This is just what I needed. I actually didn't realize I could get better pics out of my camera but you just taught me I can. Thanks! :)

  • ShinyRockDesigns

    ShinyRockDesigns said 7 years ago

    Very interesting! I can't wait to try out your tips!

  • Vidalbuttons

    Vidalbuttons said 7 years ago

    Cool tips, I do the EV, Macro and White Balance, specially playing with Ev. That is the trick! :D

  • just2cuteaccessories

    just2cuteaccessories said 7 years ago

    Thank you!!!

  • bonhomiejewelry

    bonhomiejewelry said 7 years ago

    i'll admit to not COMPLETELY understanding the specifics of what you were saying but i've understood enough to learn to which settings i should be paying attention and how to alter them to my benefit. thank you!

  • newhopebeading

    newhopebeading said 7 years ago

    My light tent and photolights have helped a lot with this

  • NSpottery

    NSpottery said 7 years ago

    Wow, I think I need to take a photography class... there's so much to know!

  • MySongsDesigns

    MySongsDesigns said 7 years ago

    Thanks! Great information! Was able to read and adjust camera at the same time, can't wait to test it out. over 200+ of my last photos from last week didn't turn out, had to manually adjust each one of them on my photo wizard and still had so many duds. Feels like such a waste of time.

  • miracatta

    miracatta said 7 years ago

    Thank you so much for this very helpful tutorial!!

  • SparkleLynn

    SparkleLynn said 7 years ago

    Yay! New camera on the way, I hope that means better photos to follow. This will help! :) Thank you for sharing

  • JANICERDESIGNSNZ

    JANICERDESIGNSNZ said 7 years ago

    Hi Great information for someone like me, who is yet to make my first sale. Many thanks to all those who contributed.

  • den10studio

    den10studio said 7 years ago

    Great tips. I starting playing around with the EV in natural light and it makes all the difference.

  • naturalblendings

    naturalblendings said 7 years ago

    Great info!!! I just got a new camera, and this article explains all the lighting issues that come up when trying to convey your item in a picture. Thanks!!

  • susissatchels

    susissatchels said 7 years ago

    As usual, great info! Thank you!

  • asioriginals

    asioriginals said 7 years ago

    Hello: Absolutely great information. If I could get my pictures to really reflect the colors and dimensions of my lovely jewelry - this would complete the deal for sure. Thank you for making me (I hope) a better photographer.

  • ArtOnPurpose

    ArtOnPurpose said 7 years ago

    Great info, thanks!

  • daisydesignsgallery

    daisydesignsgallery said 7 years ago

    Getting my pictures to look good is a real challenge! Thanks for your help!!

  • Freyasstudio

    Freyasstudio said 7 years ago

    I've got to try this! With all the rain and darkness here in Montana I can't do outside photos anymore! Thanks for the great information!

  • luxe

    luxe said 7 years ago

    fantastic article. i am deciding whether i can pull off getting some commercial shots done professionally because i am never happy with my photos, but i think this might really make a big difference. i learned on a manual camera and have never fully adjusted to digital, just aspire to getting a dsl...

  • jenhough

    jenhough said 7 years ago

    This will help so many people if they take the time. Thank you, my eyes thank you!

  • coloradokathleen

    coloradokathleen said 7 years ago

    Very helpful, succinct, article. It's helped me with my new camera. Thank you.

  • KnittiGritti

    KnittiGritti said 7 years ago

    So helpful - thanks!

  • orsinimedici1951

    orsinimedici1951 said 7 years ago

    OK, I give in!! Time to read my manual about white balance!! I'll probably kick myself for not doing it ALOT sooner!!!

  • orsinimedici1951

    orsinimedici1951 said 7 years ago

    Ok, I give in!! Time to read my manual about white balance!! I'll probably kick myself for not doing it ALOT sooner!!

  • phoenixmtncreations

    phoenixmtncreations said 6 years ago

    Great information! Thank you!

  • WillaminaVintage

    WillaminaVintage said 6 years ago

    White balance, well I'll be damned. I thought these newfangled cameras just did it all for you! Wrong.

  • birdsandthebeads

    birdsandthebeads said 6 years ago

    Really helpful. Great explanations. Thank you!

  • peetred

    peetred said 6 years ago

    Thanks so much!

  • PrettyBloom

    PrettyBloom said 6 years ago

    wonderful tips! thank you so much!

  • AuburnFair

    AuburnFair said 6 years ago

    Thank you for making a complex subject a little more understandable! I'll keep on trying for a nice, balanced pic!

  • WendyExpressions

    WendyExpressions said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. . .i love to learn all i can about photography from different people. . .thanks again!!

  • magpieshideout

    magpieshideout said 6 years ago

    very useful!

  • retroreclaim

    retroreclaim said 6 years ago

    okay I am going to try this for my next set of photos.. let's hope I can pull it off! thx so much!

  • ihearttoys

    ihearttoys said 6 years ago

    This information was super helpful! Thank you! Time to go back and do a little tweaking.

  • malvaly

    malvaly said 6 years ago

    Taking good pictures is so difficult!

  • schnibbitymom

    schnibbitymom said 6 years ago

    Well, I'm glad I read this early on in my Esty experience. Like so many others on here, I really had no idea what so many of those different symbols meant. Just point and shoot??? NOT!!! Thank you!

  • ElektraLoaded

    ElektraLoaded said 6 years ago

    AWESOME POST! I have my pics in my light tent mastered (harder than you would imagine to get the background so crisp and clean and white)...but my pics on a black necklace bust can often be difficult to get just right...this helped a lot!

  • bubicha

    bubicha said 6 years ago

    Excellent information! Thank you for taking the time to write and post it.

  • SandyNewhartDesigns

    SandyNewhartDesigns said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the great information! I've have had such great advice for my shop and taking the photos is something I do have to improve on! So glad you posted this! Thanks for the education :)

  • spinman

    spinman said 6 years ago

    Very understandable explanations. I'll try to follow these. Now I understand white balance.thanks. sandman

  • SigalFJewelry

    SigalFJewelry said 6 years ago

    Thanks for all the helpful explanations and tips. I'm finally starting to understand all the functions in my camera. Will give it a shot...

  • deeneysdesigns

    deeneysdesigns said 6 years ago

    I have been searching for tips on taking photos without natural lighting and this artical has been most helpful. When you work full time during the day, photo ops in the evening makes it difficult to have bright colorful images. :)

  • catmacdesigns

    catmacdesigns said 6 years ago

    Good info! I really wish my cameras "how to use" booklet was not online.....would help to have it with me to refer to when I need it. But 120 pages is too much to print off.

  • BluebirdBijou

    BluebirdBijou said 6 years ago

    Thank you I really struggle with the blue tint- will start adjusting my white balance. Thanks for taking the pain out of taking photos!

  • mylovelysunshine

    mylovelysunshine said 6 years ago

    Thanks a lot for the Great explanation. I have been using white balance but not the Exposure Values. I might try that together as you suggested.

  • PaintingsandThings

    PaintingsandThings said 6 years ago

    Very helpful article, thank you

  • LisasPaintbrush

    LisasPaintbrush said 6 years ago

    Excellent information! Just what I needed, time to mess with some item photo shoots!

  • DevineCollectible

    DevineCollectible said 6 years ago

    When I purchased my new cyber shot camera I had bad advice, I can't wait to puchase a new camera telling me that "I'm not a photographer" which somebody on Etsy did was hurtful and I choose not to be mean in kind,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, thanx for all the good advice, peace and love, karen DevineCollectible

  • DevineCollectible

    DevineCollectible said 6 years ago

    When I purchased my new cyber shot camera I had bad advice, I can't wait to puchase a new camera telling me that "I'm not a photographer" which somebody on Etsy did was hurtful and I choose not to be mean in kind,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, thanx for all the good advice, peace and love, karen DevineCollectible

  • Vintagefix

    Vintagefix said 6 years ago

    Wow, this is such helpful info! I Can't wait to check my camera for all these cool features! Thanks!

  • StrangePuppy

    StrangePuppy said 6 years ago

    I'm going to master this yet! TY TY TY! I have FINALLY found the dang EV thing. And I read the book that came with the camera! ((((((HUG))))))

  • receivingcuddles

    receivingcuddles said 6 years ago

    THANK YOU! I have both, but did not know about the white balance.

  • receivingcuddles

    receivingcuddles said 6 years ago

    THANK YOU! I have both, but did not know about the white balance.

  • lanadearg

    lanadearg said 6 years ago

    very helpful! Thank you!

  • KeepsMyHandsBusy

    KeepsMyHandsBusy said 6 years ago

    Is the LCD brightness the same as what you are talking about? I was able to find that on my camera and it gives me a range starting at 0 and going + or - 1, 2 and 3....? Not so sure about white balance or where I can find it on my camera or if I have it tho.

  • HighPriestess

    HighPriestess said 6 years ago

    Thanks, great post. I need all the help I can stumble upon for improving my photos. I'm improving slowly but surely thanks to knowledgable advice like yours. Appreciate it..... Cathy

  • CreativityHappens

    CreativityHappens said 6 years ago

    Super! So glad I stumbled on this!

  • EGVintage

    EGVintage said 6 years ago

    Thanks so much for your helpful article. We find photography to be one of the most challenging aspects of running our business. We know a great photo shouldn't be a "happy accident". Your tips will help us work toward consistency! ~Judy and Alisa

  • JewelsandCrafts

    JewelsandCrafts said 6 years ago

    I could use these tips. Thanks! I've gotten so frustrated trying to take photos with different backdrops and in different lighting. I'll try to figure out how to apply your tips to my particular camera.

  • MariaBjork

    MariaBjork said 6 years ago

    Thank you this was so helpful! :)

  • miffimifster

    miffimifster said 6 years ago

    Super useful info! Thank you for posting this. ^__^

  • crismadeit

    crismadeit said 6 years ago

    OMG. . . I see the light! too bad the sun is on its way down right now but come morning . . . well let's just say I'm doing lots of retakes for my shops! muchisimas gracisas!

  • janetzeh

    janetzeh said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the tips and great explanation. Now I get it!

  • KristinNoelDesigns

    KristinNoelDesigns said 6 years ago

    Great tips. This is exactly what I have been working on.

  • pienchips

    pienchips said 6 years ago

    Sigh, I miss my old manual Pentax, lol. Thank you for the help. :)

  • mykonos

    mykonos said 6 years ago

    Thanks!! useful information and will try!!

  • DonnasArtisanDesigns

    DonnasArtisanDesigns said 6 years ago

    I wish I had read this a couple of hours ago...before I shot and edited27 pics that turned out below average..Oh well..I know now!!

  • pookdesignz

    pookdesignz said 6 years ago

    Thanks for your informations - it certainly helps a bunch!

  • beautyforever

    beautyforever said 6 years ago

    Exactly info I was looking for.. tnx.

  • PicsandThings

    PicsandThings said 6 years ago

    Once again thank you so much.Your labs are helping. Its retake time... for some of my displays

  • charlenesbags

    charlenesbags said 6 years ago

    Thank you. This helps a lot as I am a beginning photographer. My photos can use improvement.

  • littlelemonade

    littlelemonade said 6 years ago

    Thank you for demystifying white balance and EV! This is giving me a great chance to learn more about my camera. I really appreciate this "how to."

  • JansCopperCreations

    JansCopperCreations said 6 years ago

    Well written! Thanks

  • jes7707

    jes7707 said 6 years ago

    Thank you. Great information and so practical. I appreciate this. All the best.

  • CaraMiaBella

    CaraMiaBella said 5 years ago

    Great article! I linked it in my blog http://caramiabella-art.blogspot.com/2012/01/manifesting-success-taking-great-photos.html Thanks for all the info! It helped alot! ..Carrie...

  • LeylasPaintings

    Leyla from LeylasPaintings said 5 years ago

    Thank you for sharing! It looks like I got some work to do over the next few weeks:)

  • MsMiscellany

    Marcy from MsMiscellany said 5 years ago

    Thanks so much. I'm trying this today!

  • sebestyentimea

    Sebestyen Timea from LuckyPoppies said 5 years ago

    Very helpful, thanks!

  • PerfectlyTwisted

    Susan from PerfectlyTwisted said 4 years ago

    wonderfully helpful, thank you!

  • inspiringanchors

    Megan Braswell from inspiringanchors said 4 years ago

    Very helpful! I am about to go try it out. I have a new item to post today!

  • HandcraftedByDebbie

    Debbie Grimmett from HandcraftedByDebbie said 4 years ago

    Thank-you so much for this information. Taking pictures is the most frustrating part of listing my items. Now, I will try these tips on my camera!

  • SimpsonCraftWorks

    Justin-Sherry Simpson from SimpsonCraftWorks said 4 years ago

    Great info- Thank you!

  • merrittkelly

    Kelly Merritt from HappyThisAndThat said 4 years ago

    Thank you, I really needed this info.

  • donniemcavoy

    Donnie McAvoy from FarmhouseFactory said 4 years ago

    Thanks so much, never knew this

  • PreciousMetalsStudio

    Laura Rose from PreciousMetalsStudio said 3 years ago

    Extremely helpful! I'm going to get out my camera and give this a try. Thanks!

  • floraltimes

    yukun sun from floraltimes said 3 years ago

    learned a lot,thank you

  • OpusMuse

    Nicole from OpusMuse said 3 years ago

    Very useful tips! Thank you for sharing!

  • charmsnnuggets

    charmsnnuggets from CharmsnNuggetsCrafts said 3 years ago

    Awesome, awesome, awesome! I discovered the EV and White Balance in my camera a few months ago and tried a notch here and a notch there, but didn't really understand it. Now I do!!! Thank you so much!

  • 38 Photography Resources: Learn to Create Etsy Listing Photos that Boost Sales! - Handmade Income said 3 years ago

    […] Etsy Blog – Bright Light, Big Color […]

  • stasherdragon

    Donna Bohdanyk from StasherDragon said 3 years ago

    *facepalm I thought EV was short for Exposure Value.

  • Luz y color: EV y Balance de blancos para lograr fotos fieles a la realidad | Etsy habla Español said 3 years ago

    […] de Bright Light, Big Color: Using EV and White Balance to Make Your Photos True to Life de […]

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  • ckarigan

    claudia karigan from YourFinalTouch said 2 years ago

    Great information-Thank You

  • jillcoppock

    Jilly from JillyAtlanta said 2 years ago

    Even though this was written years ago, it has been quite helpful for me today!! Thank you for posting this!

  • caralec1

    The Young entrepreneur from GsKookycrafts said 2 years ago

    Thank you this article was sooooooo helpful

  • miladiessewingbasket

    Pinky from MiladysSewingBasket said 2 years ago

    Ive read this article a thousand times and every time I read it I understand a bit more. You don't say whether the WB should be matched to the light source regardless of what you see in the LCD or despite it.

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