• Jennifer
  • posted by Jennifer

  • Today we are going to talk about the temperature of light, and why you would want to manually set your white balance. We talked about color cast and we talked about white balance and using your presets in your camera to overcome color casts.

    According to Wikipedia, color temperature of a light source is the temperature of an ideal black-body radiator that radiates light of comparable hue to that of the light source. Color temperature is conventionally stated in the unit of absolute temperature, the kelvin, having the unit symbol K.

    Color temperatures over 5,000K are called cool colors (blueish white), while lower color temperatures (2,700-3,000 K) are called warm colors (yellowish white through red).

    For lighting building interiors, it is often important to take into account the color temperature of illumination. For example, a warmer (i.e., lower color temperature) light is often used in public areas to promote relaxation, while a cooler (higher color temperature) light is used to enhance concentration in offices.

    As an introduction, here is a chart of light sources and where they fall on the spectrum of Degrees Kelvin.

  • color temperature in photography

  • In film cameras, where we can't set the degree kelvin that we want as our white balance, filters on a camera lens, or color gels over the light source(s) may also be used to correct color balance.

    In digital cameras, there are a few reasons why it's best to set your degree kelvin for your white balance verses using a camera's presets. Not all cameras presets are the same so using degree kelvin would be more accurate. And if you are shooting in a team, as we often do at The Memory Journalists, and if using different model cameras, using degree Kelvin is precise over the built in presets to ensure that all our photos are of the same white balance. Even if we are off by a bit, at least all photos will have the same color cast and in can be fixed more quickly in post production.

    Start looking through your owner's manual and find how to set your Kelvin for white balance! It's enough to learn a few of the basic numbers such as indoor incandescent (tungsten) lighting, florescent lighting, full midday sun, cloudy, full shade. From there you can start to enhance your photos!

    You can get back to the monthly table of contents of Taking Better Blog Photos via our Day 1 post.

    To join this FREE 31 Day series simply sign up HERE to have each day's topic delivered to your inbox. Eventually this series, as well as other photography tips will be added to my new site www.healthylivinghappyhome.com (which is not up yet), so another reason to sign up now is that you will be the first to receive new information as the new site goes live!

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