camera-white-balance-01Buenavista, K. (on date) ‘How To Choose Your Camera White Balance.

For this weeks practical task, we learnt all about lighting. I was, at first, very apprehensive to learn about lighting. This is because I didn’t understand how much lighting could change a scene. Now I have learnt that just a tiny change in lighting can change the look and atmosphere of a scene completely. This is such an exciting thing to think about, as it is incredible that you can set up a scene and use lighting to evoke so much emotion in a scene.

 

White Balance:

White balance means balancing the colour of your image. The idea of white balance is to get rid of any colour that may look really unnatural or unrealistic in a photo. It is used to balance the temperature of the image, adding cooler or warmer tones depending on how the shot comes out. For example, if the photo was shot under a Tungsten Light inside with no exterior light, the photo would most likely come out very orangey. To change this and to balance to colour, cooler tones would be added to balance out the orange in the original photo. This will give a more natural and realistic look to the photo.

 

Colour Temperature:

Each colour has a different temperature. You need to know the different temperatures of each type of light so you can balance it all out. To measure this we use some thing called the ‘Kelvin Scale.’ :

kelvin-temp

“Using RGB LED’s and a potentiometer to control colour based on Kelvin scale” (bdurak 2014)

Here is a diagram of the colour temperatures in the Kelvin Scale. This shows the temperature of each different types of light.

 

The White Balance Function on a camera:

On a camera there are a variety of different options when it comes to balancing out the colour in photos:

white-balance-01NoGreenSquare (2014) ‘Macro Lens and Extension Tubes’

These options can be easily selected on your camera by going to white balance and then going through each option. I will now briefly explain what each one will do to your image and why.

  • Auto White Balance ( AWB )  – Auto white balance is the setting your camera should automatically be set under. AWB will automatically changes the white balance to what it thinks looks best. This is okay for some photos, but if you are looking for a more accurately white balanced photo, you’re better off working out what type off setting or light you have, and selecting a more specific option.

 

  • Tungsten – This mode is used when shooting using a light from a light bulb (Tungsten.) Tungsten bulbs produce an orangey colour and so this means that the feature on the camera will give the image cooler tones to balance out the image.

 

  • Fluorescent – Fluorescent light will give a photo yellow and greener tones and so on the camera, fluorescent will balance out these tones by using slightly cooler tones to create the most natural shot possible.

 

  • Daylight – This mode on the camera is used when shooting in the daylight. Balancing daylight can often be quite hard as obviously it varies throughout the day, but, on average, daylight is often quite balanced anyway, but the camera can add slightly warmer tones just to balance it all out slightly.

 

  • Cloudy – On a cloudy day cooler tones are often present. This is why on this mode the camera will add warmer tones to the image to balance out the photo. This mode would be perfect to use when shooting outside on a cloudy day.

 

  • Flash – Flash is used when there is not enough light to produce a clear image.

 

  • Shade – In the shade, cooler tones a often present, this is why when using this mode the camera adds warmer tones to the image to create a balanced photo.

 

camera-white-balance-01Buenavista, K. (on date) ‘How To Choose Your Camera White Balance.

Here is another clear example of white balance settings, colour temperature and each different light source.

 

Here are some examples of some shots taken from different places. All of the photos you see below were taken my group and I. It was a really eye opening experience and helped me to learn a lot more about lighting, and how to use the camera to its best ability:

 

 

Here are the six photos that me and my group took to show the different white balance settings on the camera using an exterior light source. When shooting these photos the weather was reasonably cloudy, this means that the images would naturally have cooler, blue tones running through.

Which photos were most successful and why?

The most effective photo I would say is the one we took using the mode cloudy. I would say that this is closely followed by auto white balance, as I feel as if the photo looks quite natural and realistic here. The cloudy filter was most affective as, on a cloudy day, cooler tone are often present and so on this mode the the camera will add warmer tones to the image to balance out the photo.

Which photos were least successful and why?

The modes that were the least effective when using an exterior light source were tungsten and fluorescent. Using these modes when using an exterior light source such as a cloudy day gave the photos a very cool and blue look. It doesn’t look natural and looks very artificial, which in some cases could be a positive thing, if it is what you want in the scene, but here we just want to white balance the photos, and that hasn’t happened here. This hasn’t happened because the tungsten and fluorescent filter add cooler tone to the image as they are usually used when using an interior light source such as a tungsten bulb, which gives off a very orangey light.

 

Here are the six photos that me and my group took to show the different white balance settings on the camera using an interior with exterior light source. When shooting these photos the weather was reasonably cloudy.

Which photos were most successful and why?

The most successful photos from an interior with an exterior light source were the photos using the mode fluorescent and auto. This is because auto white balance automatically changes photo based on where it is and so this is going to be quite effective anyway. But I thought the most successful was fluorescent. This is because of fluorescent filter will get a photo that has yellow and green tones slightly cooler tones to create the most natural photography or shot possible.

Which photos were least successful and why?

I personally think the least effective modes when using an interior and exterior light source were shade and tungsten. First of all let’s talk about the photo that uses the mode ‘shade’. This photo is far too orange and yellow. This is because in the shade cooler tones are often present this is why when using the mode ‘Shade’ the camera adds warmer tones to the image to create a balanced photo. But overall the image didn’t need any warmer tones as the overall image is quite equal anyway and so only needed some very small touches to make it balanced. The other mode that I thought wasn’t very successful was tungsten this is because it gave the photo a really cool tone with a very high colour temperature, when the photo didn’t need too much tweaking to make it balanced.

 

Here are the six photos that me and my group took to show the different white balance settings on the camera using an interior light source.

Which photos were most successful and why?

The most successful mode when using an interior light source I personally think was fluorescent. This is because I think this is the image that looks the most balanced. The image is balanced because the fluorescent mode balances green tones by using slightly cooler tones to create the most natural photo possible.

Which photos were least successful and why?

In my personal opinion the least successful photo when using an interior light source was the mode ‘shade.’ This is because it gave the image a very intense orange colour, which is not very natural and realistic. This has happened because the mode ‘shade’ warmer tones to an image to create a balanced photo, but an interior light source will already have quite a warm range of tones and therefore doesn’t need any more.

How did I find this task?

I personally found this task to be really informative. I will admit that at first I did find the concept of colour temperature and white balance a little confusing at first, I now understand what they are and how I can use this to change a photo to create a balanced photo, or a photo that matches the theme I am going for in a photo or scene.

 

A Continuation:

What is light?

Light is a wave. Visible light is the amount of light that the human eye can see. It is fascinating that we are only able to see a tiny fraction of the amount of light that there actually is in the universe. Each colour actually has a different frequency, and so they Here is a diagram of the electromagnetic spectrum and visible light:

the-electromagnetic-spectrumhotovoltaiclightinggroup (2013) ‘Visible Light- What The Human Eye Sees.’

3 point lighting:

Three point lighting is a standard lighting method. It is the most well known method to use when trying to light your subject. There are three different lights involved when doing 3 point lighting:

Back light:

This light is used to separate the subject from the background. Sometimes a person may look like they are blending into the background behind them. This is often how this is prevented.

Fill Light:

The fill light is used to fill in any shadows that may have been created by the key light. If this light wasn’t present the subject may appear too dark, which can ruin the whole atmosphere of the photo or scene.

Key Light:

The key light is the main light that is used to focus on the subject. I remember this by thinking that the key light is key.

Here is a diagram to clearly show how 3 point lighting is used effectively to light a subject.

hola-senoritaCleevely, J. (2015) ‘three point lighting.’

In the final task we took 12 photos. 6 using an exterior light source and a reflector, and 6 using an interior light source and a reflector. We took photos using both a white and gold reflector from 3 different angles to see what photos would come out looking the most effective. Here is the result:

 

img_0761

Exterior – Side – Gold

In this photo the gold reflector was coming in from the side. Although there isn’t a really prominent difference, you can see a slight gold light shining on the side of the face, which creates a really lovely glow. I personally like this photo a lot as I feel like there are a variety of different shadows and lights across the photo. I personally find this photo the most appealing to look at overall, as the shot is very visually stimulating.

 

img_0763

Exterior – Below – Gold

In this photo the gold reflector was positioned below the face. In my opinion this is the least effective photo. I personally feel like this because all of the light is coming from one side, and there is nothing to balance it out on the other side. I have realised that this is sometimes a negative aspect of using completely natural light, as it is harder to control. But, saying that, the face has been given a nice gold glow, because the gold reflector is reflecting up onto the face.

img_0766

Exterior – Above – Gold

In this photo the gold reflector is situated above the face. I really like this image as a feel like the gold reflector has balanced out the light and given the face a lovely gold glow that gives the skin a lovely glow.

Overall Opinion:

To be perfectly honest I did find it hard to find significant differences between each photo, but I have now realised it is more about very subtle differences that can change the whole photo.

The photos above show an exterior light source with a gold reflector from different angles. I found that the gold reflector gave a bold, yellow/ gold shimmer to the face which was actually very effective.

 

 

 

 

img_0770

Exterior – Side – White

In this photo the white reflector is on the side of the model. I feel like this photo is good, but there is too much light, and there are not enough shadows to create a good amount of detail and definition in the face. In the future I will think more carefully when deciding where to set up camera equipment, as this shot could have been really effective if we changed where the natural light was coming from.

img_0772

Exterior – Below – White

In this photo the white reflector is on below the model. I feel like this photo is good, but there is too much light on one side of the face, and not  enough to balance that out on the other side. In the future I will think more carefully when deciding where to set up camera equipment, as this shot could have been really effective if we changed where the natural light was coming from.

Exterior - Above - White

Exterior – Above – White

In this photo the white reflector is about the face. I definitely think this is the most effective photo out of the three here. The photo is balanced well with a range of shadows and light. I think this photo is really visually stimulating for the consumer.

Overall Opinion:

Figuratively, the white reflector should be the most powerful reflector, as white reflects the most light. I do think this is apparent among the images taken. Like I said for the photos taken with an exterior light resource, it was hard to pick up on really prominent changes within the photos but, again, there are a few subtle changes that were really interesting to pick up.

 

 

 

img_0788

Interior – Side – Gold

Unfortunately I really dislike this photo. The gold reflector is present, and it does give the face a gold glow, but unfortunately, because of where the model is situated , the rest of the face is very dark. I do think that the reflector has been used well though.

img_0780

Interior  – Below – Gold

In this photo the gold reflector is situated below the model. This is personally my favourite photo out of the three. This is because overall the face looks defined because of the gold reflector highlighting the most prominent areas on the face and give a really nice glow that lights up the subject.

img_0784

Interior – Above – Gold

Unfortunately this image is also too dark. Although you can still see the effects of using the gold reflector here. You can clearly see a slightly gold reflection on forehead of the subject. Unfortunately this is too intense, and so isn’t very effective in the photo.

Overall opinion:

Overall I don’t think that we picked the best place to take these photos as a group. The images were all really quite dark, and so the quality of the overall photo was much lower. Even so, this task was still really beneficial as I was able to learn about which reflectors were the most effective in a place using an interior light source rather than an exterior one.

img_0778

Inside – Side – White

In this photo the white reflector is on the side of the model. I actually do like this photo as I think that the light and shadow, although they are a little too intense, create a really interesting effect on the photo that I find really appealing.

img_0782

Inside – Below – White

In this photo the white reflector is below the subject. I also like this photo as the image isn’t too dark s the white reflector is reflecting light onto the subject to create really nice soft white effect.

img_0786

Inside – Above – White

In this photo, a white reflector is being used about the model. This is probably my least favorite photo of the three as image is far too dark to be effective. Although you can tell that the reflector is reflecting an intense white glow onto the forehead of the subject.

Overall opinion:

Overall I don’t think that we picked the best place to take these photos as a group. The images were all really quite dark, and so the quality of the overall photo was much lower. Even so, this task was still really beneficial as I was able to learn about which reflectors were the most effective in a place using an interior light source rather than an exterior one.

 

Harvard Referencing: 

bdurack (2014) ‘Using RGB LED’s and a potentiometer to control colour based on Kelvin scale.’ Available at: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=254395.0 (Last Accessed: 1st October 2016)

Buenavista, K. (on date) ‘How To Choose Your Camera White Balance.’ Available at: http://www.photographytuts.com/choose-camera-white-balance/ (Last Accessed: 1st October 2016)

Cleevely, J. (2015) ‘three point lighting.’ Available at: http://jackcleevelyasmediastudies.weebly.com/blog/three-point-lighting (Last Accessed: 1st October 2016)

NoGreenSquare (2014) ‘Macro Lens and Extension Tubes’ Availabe at: http://nogreensquare.com/tag/camera/ (Last Accessed: 1st October 2016)

photovoltaiclightinggroup (2013) ‘Visible Light- What The Human Eye Sees.’ Available at: http://www.solarlightaustralia.com.au/2013/02/20/visible-light/ (Last Accessed: 1st October 2016)

 

 

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