“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”
—Jonathan Swift

Welcome back photographers! I hope your winter break was refreshing, exciting, relaxing and wonderful to it’s full extent! Let’s dive in, shall we?


There comes a time in every photographer’s life, where they need to focus on white balance. If you ever snapped a photograph, looked at the screen and noticed that everything has either an orange or blue tint… you have encountered the frustrations of white balance. The struggle is very real. Rest assured however… there are some very easy ways to compensate for it!


Light comes in many shapes and forms. Well… that’s not true, light is pretty much the same. Except… that it comes in different colors. These different overall colors are categorized into a scale called Temperature.  Your overall image temperature is categorized as either warm or cool. When you are outside in the shade you will notice your images have more of a blu-ish tint, this is a cool temperature. While photographs you capture inside your house with house lights, have an orange-ish tint, called warm temperature

Every photographer should know how to adjust their white balance using these two options:

  1. The general presents in the “WB” white balance camera menu.
  2. Custom setting the white balance using a white card.

If you are photographing Grandma and Grandpa in the backyard on Easter Sunday… and your photograph comes out like this image below, I want you to know what needs to be done to fix it.

White Balance Presets

Your camera has some built in white balance presets. They are represented as easy to understand icons that look like or are similar to these:

They are all pretty self explanatory. Your Auto WB means your are trusting your camera to know where you are and what white balance needs to be used. A lot of the time your camera will be pretty close, but it will never be precise. There will also be times where your camera is WAY off. Most of the time you can get away with AWB, but when you are doing a more professional portrait, product or event photography… You need to be more accurate.

When you are taking some photos outside and you realize the image has a strange tint, open up the WB settings on your camera and select on of these other items (daylight, cloudy, shade, tungsten, florescent, flash). These lets your camera know the general lighting conditions you are on. It will give you a closer to perfect white balance.

Watch the video below. It is VERY helpful with understanding white balance!

Custom White Balance

For those times when you want precision perfect white balance, you need to use the last option in the menu, the custom setting. You can look this up in your manual for instructions on how to do that. We went over this in class. For those of you who were not able to come to class and still want to learn how to do this, you will need to schedule a time to meet with me. Setting your custom white balance means you need to have a white card on you.  

These come with a lanyard and are very helpful! I will show you also how to use the grey card for a perfect exposure, every-time! Like I said though, if you missed the demonstration, please schedule a time during my Extra Meeting hours to go over this again.

Grey/Black/White Card Set – $6.75

TIP: Always make sure you dial in your exposure before custom setting your white balance. Every time your exposure changes, you need to readjust your white balance.


Now that you have all this control over your camera: ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, White Balance, etc… it’s time to really show me what you can do!

In class we did what I call the “Peanut Butter Challenge”. After taking several food photography photographs, I challenged everyone to take step-by-step instructions on how to make a peanut butter sandwich. These will be shared with you all soon! 

Product Shoot Setup

There are a few main things to consider when setting up mini product shoots in your house.

  1. SOFT NATURAL LIGHTING – always use the soft natural light that is coming in through a window. Set your still life with the light coming in from the left or right side of your subject. (TIP: Make sure to turn off any nearby lights, because it will throw off your white balance and create odd light reflections.)
  2. FILL THE SHADOWS – Prop a thick piece of white paper, matte board on the opposite side of the window to bounce the light back onto your subject to fill the shadows.
  3. NEVER USE A FLASH – Never… never… never…..
  4. SET WHITE BALANCE – Your white balance will need to be set for “Shade” or even better, custom set with a white card.

Food Photography

Here are some great food photography tips to make food look it’s yummiest!

  1. Make sure the food is overflowing in it’s bowl, plate, etc.
  2. Stack flat foods to create height (pancakes, cookies, etc.)
  3. Use color! Bland colored foods need color in the background.

WEEK 11 Project#1 – Instructions

Create an Instructional “How To”. I want you to choose ANY cooking or arts and crafts Valentine’s Day instructional topic OF YOUR CHOICE. For example:

  1. How to Make Valentines
  2. How to Make Valentines Day Sugar Cookies
  3. How to Pipe Chocolate
  4. How to Write a Poem For Your Valentine
  5. How to Make A Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich, Cut Into A Heart
  6. How to Make Valentines Day Cupcakes
  7. How to Make Valentines Day Gag Gifts
  8. How to Sew A Heart Shaped Pillow

Then, you need to set up a still-life like we discussed above. Photograph each step, being as through as possible. Visually demonstrate to your audience how to do the task.

Once completed, these photographs (with your parent’s permission) will be shared – live on Bread & With It. This website receives 20,000 page views a month, so yes it will be seen!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!  You need to email me your topic by Monday January 18th, and your photographs are due Thursday January 28th. DO NOT EDIT OR CROP ANY OF THESE IMAGES. I must have the original.

After your photographs are completed you will need to begin writing the steps that go with your work and a short bio about yourself. If your “How To” article includes a recipe, make sure you include that as well (type or scan). Anything your write needs to be approved and reviewed by your parents. I will provide a permission slip that your parents need to fill out and sign before your photographic instructional article will go on display.

Please comment below with any questions you have about this assignment. I highly encourage group discussions about this! 


DUE: Thursday January 28, 2016