Exercise 3 & 4: Judging Colour Temperature

In this exercise and the next I am tasked to look at colour temperature and white balance, how we judge it while photographing and how different technical facilities in camera and later in software editing programs can solve the tonal or colour cast differences in an image. I have combined both colour temperature exercises into this post.

Colour temperature is broadly the spectrum of light that is radiated from a blackbody with that surface temperature, a blackbody absorbs all incident light rather than allowing it to pass through or reflecting it.

The characteristics of visible light result in the differences in colour temperature, colour is measured in a unit of absolute temperature called Kelvin (K). Colour temperature over 5000K are generally considered to be cool colours, while lower down the scale at 2700-3000K are the warmer colours.

DCM125.shoot_basics.indd

Taken from http://www.digitalcameraworld.com after reading it in one of there publications.

Shown in the diagram above the range of colour temperature far out ways the technical ability of most cameras, the human eye is far better at differentiating white under different light sources however the camera can struggle resulting in most likely blue or orange colour casts.

The daylight selection of white balance works well for both midday sun and late afternoon sun, the later afternoon sun is notably warmer with a more a more yellow colour on the background and wood surrounding the focal point which in itself is subtly altered in hue with the red becoming warmer. The daylight image is a very good representation of what was seen at the time, the white of the base is true. Both daylight and low sun images have acceptable white balance the shaded image is a far more muted and uninteresting, the red is noticeably duller. A very big difference in these images is also the shutter speed that were required to capture them, from 1/1000 in the midday sun then to 1/500 in the shade and again lower at 1/350 in low sun.

In this next section, what would be judging colour temperature 2 I have again followed the instructions aiming to produce something along the similar lines, this time photographing a pair of colourful shoes, taking three groups of images varied by group by in daylight, in shade and in low light then each group varied with the white balance selection of daylight, shade and auto.

In this first group of image s they were taken in midday sun.

In this next group the images were taken in the shade.

As a noticed rule throughout this part of the exercise I have noticed when looking at the image how the automatic correction is cooler and with slightly more blue tones than the daylight, which in this situation and conditions would be me correct choice. Personally I find the warmer tones of an image to be more inviting and perhaps aesthetically pleasing, and is something intrinsically connected with light and the conditions. However I do find white balance to be an interesting tool that can alter the first impression of an image, giving an illusion of the photographers ability or style and also how the image is to be perceived and how they wanted the viewer to feel be it cool or warm.

I have found this exercise to improve my understanding not only of white balance and colour temperature but also how individual colour temperature situations can be altered and manipulated in a creative manner to further influence the final product.

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