Manually adjusting your white balance by adjusting the color temperature gives you the greatest amount of control over the colors in your image. Some digital cameras will let you calibrate the color temperature based on a Kelvin scale. Of all the ways to adjust the white balance, I prefer to manually adjust the color temperature. I find that this method is actually the simplest and easiest to use.

The Kelvin Scale
Colors have a corresponding Kelvin temperature. White is considered to be about 5500K. Lower than that indicates a more orange to red color. Temperatures higher than 5500K indicates a more green to blue image.

How To Adjust The Color Temperature
The White Balance is a balancing act. So the idea is not to tell the camera what color you want the image to be, but rather what color the image actually appears. When I talk about the color of the image, I am specifically referring to white and what color the white actually appears.

So, practically speaking you should set the Kelvin temperature to match the color of the white areas in your image, then your camera will balance out the color temperature so that the white and the other colors appear naturally.

Creative Use
Manually adjusting the color temperature is the simplest way to creatively manipulate the colors in your images. Changing the hue of your scenes is a simple matter of “misguiding” your camera.

Instead of trying to match the white color temperature, tell the camera that the scene is more of a certain hue than it really is, then the camera will over-compensate.

Other Ways of Adjusting White Balance
There are several other ways to adjust the white balance. You can set your camera on Auto White Balance, letting the camera make all the decisions for you. Most digital cameras will also have scene selections, so that you can choose among a handful of preset White Balance settings, such as cloudy, or incandescent. Another alternative is Custom White Balance, which adjust the white balance based on the current lighting situation.

Adjusting the white balance manually, using a Kelvin scale gives you the most direct control over the colors in your image. It is also rather simple to use and to understand, and fun to experiment with.