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color balance

n. ~ 1. The overall color of an image, especially as regards deviation from the accurate reproduction of tones. - 2. The ability of photographic materials to reproduce colors accurately.


Images with an inaccurate color balance1 have a general cast, often subtle but sometimes quiet pronounced. For example, as color photographs age, their color balance may shift from neutral to a distinct hue due to the relative instability of the dyes. In some processes, yellow dyes often fade more rapidly than other dyes, and images may take on a magenta cast over time. In other cases, a layer becomes uniformly stained, giving the image a yellow cast. - Color balance2 may be distorted by using materials designed for use with the wrong type of light source. For example, color film intended to be used outdoors will appear yellow if exposed under incandescent lights or green if exposed under fluorescent light.