Importance of white balance in UV-imaging

This thread is about the importance of getting the white balance correct, which will allow for better visualisation of the UV-reflectance pattern in the false colours of the flowers as captured with a digital sensor.

I will illustrate this with some flowers I have taken in the past, comparing the white balance with auto/other setting vs the custom white balance set for UV.

Lily UV - AWB
Asian Lily UV – AWB
Lily UV - custom white balance
Asian Lily UV – custom white balance
Gazania UV - AWB
Gazania UV – AWB
Gazania UV - custom white balance
Gazania UV – custom white balance
Rudbeckia UV - sunny white balance
Rudbeckia UV – sunny white balance
Rudbeckia UV- custom white balance
Rudbeckia UV- custom white balance
Potentilla - sunny white balance
Potentilla – sunny white balance
Potentilla UV - custom white balance
Potentilla UV – custom white balance

As you can see with the above images, the auto or sunny white balance used does not allow for the corrected false colours of the flowers to be apparent. I know I would rather have the images in the custom white balance for UV for the images I post.

BTW, the image below was taken when I was away on holiday in Spain a while ago. Unfortunately I did not shoot it in RAW and did not have the correct white balance set for the shot – in jpeg it will not be possible to rescue the white balance in the image. So while it did capture the UV pattern of the flower, it did not rend the false colours of this flower correctly.

A flower in Spain in UV with wrong white balance
A flower in Spain in UV with wrong white balance

So, try to get the white balance right and shoot in RAW so the colour balance can be adjusted afterwards if necessary.

Boon