Quality of Light – Part 2

copyright Karen Ulvestad

These orchids were photographed inside, under incandescent light. The blue background is the window. The camera was set on Incandescent, therefore the daylight turned blue (turning the window blue).

Indoor and outdoor light have different temperatures.  Our eyes automatically adjust to the difference in color, but our camera needs to be adjusted.  The different types of light include Daylight, Incandescent or Tungsten and Florescent.  With film, the type of film had to be changed between indoor and outdoor shooting.  The emulsion dictated how the camera saw the whites in the scene.

With digital cameras, we control how our cameras view light through the White Balance (WB) setting.  Most cameras have a quick button to set the WB, though it is located in different places (per the camera manufacturer).  White balance is how your camera “sees” the tone white.

copyright Karen Ulvestad

The WB setting for this photograph was shade. This setting cuts out the cyan overcast that happens, when the WB is at daylight in this situation.

The WB can be used to correct the lighting situation, or as a creative tool.  The color of outdoor light changes through-out the day, and whether it is shady or over-cast.  Indoor light is more consistent, but there are at least three types of Florescent lights in use.  Some cameras reflect this with three different Florescent WB settings.

When using a flash indoors, the camera’s WB should be set on Daylight.  The flash is the “temperature” of a sunny day.

More Later. . .Karen

copyright Karen Ulvestad

This is an outdoor photograph. It was a sunny day. This was shot with the WB set on Cloudy. The cloudy setting warms up the photo, and the yellows are more vivid.

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