Site Links
Color And Temperature; What Are These Words Doing In The Same Sentence?:
Bookmark and Share

During the middle of the day when cloud cover has obscured the sun, the minute water droplets of the clouds absorb a certain percentage of the red and yellow wavelengths of light. The colder end of the spectrum, the bluish wavelengths, pass through unimpeded. As a result, landscapes and outdoor portraits will have a slight bluish cast even during midday. This also happens in thick fog (#6). In deep overcast, the blue color becomes more pronounced as it did in (#7). This is a tree stump that had been buried by a glacier for thousands of years, and in dark conditions under a thick cloud cover it went an intense blue/cyan when using a daylight film (this was taken in the 90s). If the cool tonality is unappealing to you, set the white balance to cloudy. However, if you like blue tonality in your shots, by photographing at dawn or twilight, the color can get quite intense. I photographed a foggy forest in Italy at 6 o’clock in the morning (#8) on a daylight white balance. Look how blue it is.




In digital photography you can tweak the color temperature in Photoshop to a certain degree, but it’s much easier to work on color temperature issues in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom because you have so much control. That’s one reason why it’s so important to shoot in Raw mode.

Many photographers use their cameras on Auto White Balance all the time. I feel this is a mistake especially when shooting outdoors. AWB wants to convert the golden light of sunrise or sunset into white light, and this is not what you want. In fact, it really destroys the beauty of what you’re trying to capture. I would strongly encourage you to take your camera off Auto White Balance and use instead Daylight WB or 5500? K. I leave my camera on this setting for everything I shoot except when I am photographing indoors and using tungsten lighting (and then I use a Tungsten White Balance setting) or when I’m shooting fluorescent lights (and then I use AWB). If you take comparison shots between shooting at sunset with a Daylight White Balance setting and photographing with an Auto White Balance setting, you will immediately see the difference. I think you will agree with me that the Daylight WB setting is much better.

If you shoot in Raw mode, you can tweak the color temperature in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom. However, if you shoot in JPEG mode, you cannot effectively alter the color temperature as you might want to do it. Personally, I prefer to not depend on manipulating color temperature in ACR because I like to see the rich, saturated golden colors of sunrise or sunset as soon as I open the images on my computer.

Article TOC
Page 1
Page 2

Learning Center

Stereophile    ::     Sound & Vision    ::     AudioStream    ::     AnalogPlanet    ::     InnerFidelity    ::     Shutterbug
Home/Latest • Print & Web Media Kit • Privacy • Terms of Use

Copyright © THE ENTHUSIAST NETWORK All rights reserved.