Understanding White Balance For Astrophotography In 2023

White balance is one of the most important settings in photography that determines the color temperature and tint of the images. In astrophotography, getting the right white balance can make a significant difference in the quality of the final output. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about white balance for astrophotography in 2023.

What is White Balance?

White balance is a camera setting that adjusts the colors in an image to make them look neutral or natural. It’s the process of removing any color cast from the image and making the white areas appear white. In astrophotography, the white balance setting is crucial because it affects the color of the stars and the sky.

Why is White Balance Important in Astrophotography?

When it comes to astrophotography, the color of the stars and the sky is important. The white balance setting can affect the color temperature of the stars, making them look warmer or cooler. It can also affect the color of the sky, making it look bluer or redder. A proper white balance setting can help produce a more natural-looking image that accurately represents the colors of the stars and the sky.

How to Set White Balance for Astrophotography?

The first step in setting the white balance for astrophotography is to choose the appropriate mode on your camera. Most cameras have different white balance modes such as daylight, cloudy, shade, tungsten, fluorescent, flash, and custom. For astrophotography, you should use the custom white balance mode.

To set the custom white balance, you will need a neutral-colored object, such as a white card. Take a photo of the white card under the same lighting conditions as your astrophotography subject. Then, go to the camera’s menu and select custom white balance. Choose the photo of the white card and set it as the reference image. Your camera will then adjust the colors in your images according to the reference image.

Other Tips for Setting White Balance for Astrophotography

Here are some additional tips for setting the white balance for astrophotography:

Shoot in RAW

Shooting in RAW format allows you to adjust the white balance during post-processing. This is especially useful if you’re not sure about the correct white balance setting for your subject.

Use a Color Checker

A color checker is a small card with different color swatches that you can use to set the white balance. It’s a more accurate way of setting the white balance than using a white card.

Consider the Moon Phase

The moon can affect the color temperature of the stars and the sky. If the moon is full or nearly full, it can make the sky look bluer. If the moon is absent or in the crescent phase, it can make the sky look redder.

Experiment with Different Settings

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different white balance settings. Take multiple photos with different white balance settings and compare them to see which one looks the best.


White balance is a crucial setting in astrophotography that affects the color of the stars and the sky. By using the custom white balance mode, shooting in RAW, using a color checker, considering the moon phase, and experimenting with different settings, you can produce stunning astrophotography images with accurate colors. We hope this article has been helpful in understanding white balance for astrophotography in 2023.