Posts Tagged ‘color temperature’
The orange cast of domestic tungsten lamps, which is much more obvious to the camera than to the eye, needs white balance adjustment, although not always to the maximum.
Tungsten lamps are the standard, traditional form of lighting for domestic interiors, and this is where you are most likely to find them. Outdoors, and in large interiors used by the public, they have mainly been replaced by fluorescent and vapor lighting. A tungsten lamp is incandescent-that is, it shines by burning-and its brightness depends on the degree to which the filament is heated. As this in turn depends on the wattage, you can get an idea of the brightness, and the color, from the rating of the lamp. The color range, which is between orange and yellow, depends on the color temperature.
Color temperature is perhaps the first thing to think about when shooting by available light in houses. If you enter a shuttered, tungsten-lit room straight from daylight, you can immediately notice how orange it looks. Usually, however, we see tungsten light at night, and it does not take the eye long to adapt and to see it as almost white. However, photograph a tungsten-lit interior uncorrected-that is to say, with a “daylight” white balance setting-and you may be surprised at the orange cast, which will not be what you remembered. The color temperature values for the usual ratings of domestic lamp are lower-that is, redder-than the 3200K rating for standard “incandescent” white balance correction, and so will still appear rather warm even with this setting, although normally this is quite acceptable. As with so many things in photography, the complete answer is not a purely technical one. The ultimate criterion is what looks right, not what measures perfectly. This color temperature, as we will see later in the section on photographic lighting, is normal for photographic tungsten and tungsten-halogen lamps.
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