Quality of Light

copyright Karen Ulvestad

This photo was shot indoors under tungsten/incandescent light. The background was a window, backlight with daylight. I shot this with my camera set on incandescent WB.

The quality of light will affect the colors in a photograph.  Our eyes adapt to the light without us knowing it.  We see sunlight and artificial light as similar, when they are very different on the color spectrum.

Our cameras are programmed to see light as daylight.  In the film world, we needed to purchase daylight film or tungsten film.  It depended on our needs.  So, what is the difference?

Put simply, tungsten/incandescent film or setting on the camera color correct the photograph for this artificial light.  Used in daylight, it turns the photograph a beautiful blue.  Under tungsten/incandescent light, it color correct the photograph to the colors our eyes see.  By the same idea, daylight film or setting on the camera sees tungsten/incandescent light with a yellow-orange cast.

Our digital cameras allow us to shoot on AUTO or select a White Balance (WB).  By knowing how the settings will affect the photograph, the photographer can enhance the colors in their images.

More later. . .Karen

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