White balance and colour cast: Exercise 10.

There are different aspects to this.  One is the effect that ambient lighting is going to have as a colour cast in your image.  Different light sources have different colours.  In the old days (apparently)  there were really only 3 light sources:  Daylight/white, Tungsten/Orange and Fluorescent/green.  If you were shooting indoors with normal daylight balanced film under tungsten lamps they gave the photo a nasty orange cast.  If you want to see this for yourself look back through an old photo album.  Fluorescent lamps turned everything green and daylight was good old reliable white.  unfortunately nowadays there are so many different lamps that it’s not so simple anymore.  What looks like a tungsten lamp can give a green colour cast and what looks like a fluorescent lamp can be orange.  Not to mention all of the other possibilities.  Here are a series of shots taken under what looked like fluorescent lamps

The left hand image is taken with the camera set to auto white balance.  The middle is set to fluorescent and the right hand is tungsten.  Of the three the right hand looks the most correct but the bulbs looked like fluorescent.  On strobist.com David hobby recommends shooting some test shots with different settings to see which looks best and I think that’s a good idea.  Of course this is only a problem if you have two light sources like tungsten and daylight for instance.  One will be a different colour to the other.  Another option is to remove one from the photo so you could switch off the fluorescent or tungsten or close the curtains to remove the daylight.  Here is an example of mixed light sources:

To illustrate the issues I have shot this with a flash which is approximately the same colour and temperature as daylight and also two CFL lamps.  The CFL lamps look much more orange than the flash.  Its being able to compensate for the two that the trick.  As I have said one option is to remove one light source altogether.  Another option with artificial light is to change the colour of the light by adding a coloured gel.  The most interesting aspect of this to me is to use it creatively.



About briancooney123

HOW I GOT HERE Of course, I wasn’t always a full time photographer. I spent a lot of time in the corporate world. I had a job which paid well, but just didn’t excite me. I remember the day when I had had enough. Enough of selling myself short, enough of dreaming too small, enough of doing what others expected of me. I had put away my dreams and told myself I would get back to them later, but somehow there always seemed to be something else that had to get done first. A friend of mine had recommended I take the NLP Business Practitioners course, and although I was really busy, I decided to do it. During that time, I began to imagine the different paths my life could take from here. While I had a hazy picture of what this other life might look like, I had a clear picture of where my current life was going if I didn’t change. It was a scary moment, a bit like standing on the edge of a cliff deciding whether to jump into the great unknown or stay on the cliff, safe but trapped. I jumped. The transition to the life I wanted was challenging The transition to the life I wanted was challenging but I would never go back. After that day I resolved to do what I love, to follow my bliss.  Picking up a camera after several years away, I found that many things had changed, the digital age had arrived. In the intervening years, I was too busy to pay any attention to my photography, and occasionally when I took something I really liked, I would think “how do some photographs seem so captivating and others leave me completely cold?” I knew this is what I was meant to do Somehow though, I knew this is what I was meant to do. I dedicated myself to learning everything I could about being a photographer. I took many, many courses and I read every book I could get my hands on, I still do. Since then, I have dedicated myself to helping other creative photographers achieve the results they want. And what a journey it has been. Last year I qualified as a coach. My main area of interest is creativity and helping others to express their vision. WHAT I BELIEVE Along the way, I’ve learnt that there are no rules. Experiment, explore, play. My advice is to make your art from your heart, not for the praise or the money.  Lighten up. It’s important to take your photography seriously, but it's a mistake to take yourself too seriously. Finally, you get what you want when you never, ever give up so enjoy every minute of it and just do it!
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