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Tag Archives: White Balance

6 camera settings photographers always get wrong (and how to get it right)

Want to avoid some of the more common mistakes made by photographers? In their latest guest post the photo management and Canon Project1709 experts at Photoventure came up with the 6 camera settings that many get wrong along with some advice on how to get it right.

6 camera settings photographers always get wrong (and how to get it right)

Common mistakes with camera settings: 1. White balance

white-balance

The vast majority of photographs are taken with the camera’s white balance set to the Automatic option.

It’s an easy choice that gets it right most of the time, but it’s not completely foolproof and many systems have a tendency to correct natural variations in light colour so that images look a bit too neutral.

Warm early morning or evening sunlight, for example, can be made too cold.

When shooting outdoors better results can be achieved in many cases by switching to the Daylight or Sunny setting.

It can even produce better results than the Auto setting in shady or overcast conditions.

SEE MORE: Find out how Canon’s Project1709 platform can simplify your photo management workflow

Most cameras also have Shade or Cloudy white balance options that inject a bit more warmth into images.

In some situations this colour-shift can be excessive, but it’s worth experimenting with your camera to find out how each white balance setting performs in a range of conditions.

For the ultimate in control, use the Custom or Manual white balance option and set the value manually.

Your camera’s manual will explain exactly how to do this, but fundamentally it involves photographing a white or neutral grey target (a piece of card works well) in the same light as your subject and telling your camera to use this image to set the white balance.

If you photograph the white or grey card again after the manual white balance has been set in camera, you should see it rendered neutral.

If you wish, you can use your camera’s white balance adjustment controls to warm or cool the results – or experiment with a non-neutral calibration target. READ MORE HERE

A Beginner’s Guide to Colour Temperature

Before digital became the medium by which we made photographs the control of colour temperature was something that only professional photographers considered seriously. We had colour temperature meters that would read the colour of the light, not the brightness. From that we could deduce the colour correction filters we needed to adjust the colour of light to match the film we were using. Since the advent of digital cameras we use the White Balance controls to manage colour temperature. This article on the Lightstalking site  By explains this process

Lord Kelvin, AKA William Thomson has a lot to answer for. It was this Glasgow University based physicist that developed the scale of measuring temperature that we use in photography today. So why does a scale of temperature have relevance in photography? Well the Kelvin scale also measures the colour of light. The science of this is somewhat complicated but put in it’s simplest terms, if you have a pure black radiating object and heat it up until it is glowing, when the temperature is below 4000K it will appear reddish, above 7500K it will seem bluish.

So why is this important to us photographers?

Well, light at different times of the day and under different conditions will have different colours. Our eyes are so highly developed that we do not see this change, our brain quickly adapts to the difference but colour film and more recently digital sensors cannot adapt.

In terms of film, it can only be set to one color temperature, usually 5500K which is the average colour of the shade on a sunny day at noon, or, 3200K which is the temperature of tungsten light, for example the average household light bulb or professional photoflood studio lights. Digital sensors can be set to a range of colour temperatures but rely on one of two things to get the right white balance – the camera’s metering system or the user setting it manually.

Neither of these are entirely infallible so if we can understand a little of what the colour of the light is in a given scene, we can improve the colour rendition of our images.”.….MORE

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As the camera saw it – Photo by The Odessa Files
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