After taking a picture, did you ever asked yourself why your subjects looked so yellow? This has to do with white balance (WB). It is very important to understand the concept when you are taking pictures to avoid making the environment and/or your subjects look unnatural.
When we want to capture what we have seen, it is important to know how to set you white balance. When we are looking at a white piece of paper in an office, it looks white to us. When we are outside looking at that same white piece of paper is seems just as white to us as it was looking when we where inside of the office. We believe what we see, but actually there is a huge difference in color temperature. Our brain is set with certain white color and adjusts automatically, the camera doesn’t.
Most light sources do not emit purely white color and have a certain ‘color temperature’. These color temperatures are measured in Kelvin (for example 6000K). There is no wrong or right time to set your WB, this is one of the great features of digital photography. When you are shooting your pictures in RAW format, you have the option to retouch your picture and adjust the values. To conclude, there are no specific WB values you will have to set your camera to when you are shooting, as long as you shoot in RAW. If you do shoot in JPEG, you will need to set your WB before taking the picture.