February 03, 2010
Categories: Photography
The Color of Light
Today is Groundhog Day…and it is raining! Nonetheless, I must continue my lessons and today’s lesson is “the color of light.” The past few days, (since I’ve been catching up on my 12 Weeks to Better Photos) I’ve been experimenting with modes and settings – I might even understand how to use manual mode (in particular my exposure meter), even if I’m not very fast. 

So, the subject of this lesson is the color of light. All light emits a particular color, so even using natural light, there is often a color cast based on the portion of the color spectrum that we can see. “For instance, on a clear, bright day outside you’ll often encounter a soft yellow cast in morning photography, a cooler, bluer color cast at mid-day, and a warmer, orange cast in afternoon photography.” –this I can use to my advantage. Then we have indoor lighting: fluorescent (green or purplish cast) and incandescent bulbs (yellowish/orange color cast)…often unflattering, indoor lighting certainly requires more work. And that’s where custom white balances come into play! 

I’ve continued to stay indoors for this challenge, but I brought my camera to the office so I could take pictures of something other than my cat or husband – in this case, a funky fish pencil holder. I also have decided to stay in manual mode, thus having full control over my aperture,  shutter speed and ISO settings. Here’s the assignment: 
  1. Photograph an object in your house (my office) the way you typically would, using the auto white balance setting. 
  2. Now select the tungsten white balance setting and take the photo again.
  3. Grab a piece of white paper, poster board, or card stock, large enough to fill the frame of my lens. 
  4. Follow the custom white balance steps and use your custom white balance to take your photo again. 
  5. Upload my photos and compare (see below) – what do you think?