The essence of White Balance

Setting “white balance” with your camera and why it matters

The quality of light that you make available for your image captures will help improve the impact of the images you show to those whom you will wish to present your images to. This post is designed to show you how the “color” of the light in any given situation can affect your images and how you can control and “balance” the color of the light using a white object as a reference to present the colors in your composition as close to their native or “natural” color tone as possible.

The white balance control settings will vary from camera to camera so although the principles of controlling the color quality of light are generally the same, your camera will have its own unique menu system and methods for setting “white balance.”

The “challenge” of getting the colors “correct” in your composition.
If you are taking pictures outdoors when skies are overcast and dull, the tendency of the camera is to produce images with a blue cast. Greens will be unnatural and dull. Whites will have a blue cast and flesh tones will tend to be more lifeless. When you are taking pictures inside using artificial lighting images will tend to be more yellow if the lighting is tungsten (standard light bulbs) based or other odd color casts if captured under florescent lighting.
Here is a good article on what color quality is and how to control white balance in your image capture.