Chasing the Light

January 13, 2010

I took my photos so “— insert store name here —-” and the colours are all wrong

This week at the studio was fairly busy – trying to get Valentines photos done before the big day – I will not be posting pictures because – well they are gifts
but I have resolved to create a post weekly -
this week I was approached by an aquaintance saying I took my pictures to store x and store y to have them printed and the colours are all wrong. How could this happen .

Well, this is a fairly common problem in photography – In what my son would call the olden days – back when pictures were taken on film – this issue was caused by choosing the wrong film – most film was designed for taking pictures in sunlight – sunlight has a particular colour temperature (55000K – )  so if you take a piture of outside it would render the colours well – camera flashes were designed to mimic the colour of sunlight as well as possible so if you took a flash picture with this film it too would do a good job of capturing the colours as you remembered them, but if you took a picture where the scene was lit by a lightbulb – regular tungsten light bulb – your picture would take on a yellowish colour — all of your colours were shifted towards yellow – or would appear “warmer” – and if you shot a picture shot under flourescent tube lighting you would notice that all of your picture would be bluish – or all of your colours would be shifted towards blue or cooler. Same thing is true when you are shopping – the keen coloured pants you buy in the store – are not the blah pants you see outside.
So in the old days you could buy film that was designed for your lighting – like a tungsten film – or you could use a coloured filter to shift your light towards where you want it – For example if you shoot in scene lit by flourescent lighting – which would make your picture blue – you can warm it up with a filter that is more yellow (well actually more of a brownish yellow – because the opposite of the bluish from the lights is actually magenta – the girl from Rocky Horror picture show- but this is a techy detail)  and this would balance your colour to the way you have remembered it.

But that was the old days- now cameras do not use film they use silicon and magic pixel dust – which is actually catures your picture in black and white – but that is a topic for another day.If you were hard up for fun you could still use filters in the same way – however your camera can take care of this for you . Your camera will have a control called white balance. the idea being if you balance for a neutral colour – such as white, grey and black – all of your other colours will be rendered properly.
so your white balance control allows you to chose the light source that best matches your scene – so if you are using old style tungsten light bulbs – there will be a tungsten setting – usually it will have a picture of a lightbulb. the same is true of sunlight, cloudy, shade, flash. Accidently chosing the wrong white balance can seriously alter the colour of your photos.
Auto white balance – is a setting where the processor in your camera has a look at the scene you are capturing – and the magic pixel dust does some guzzintas abd it makes a best guess as to what your light source is and caputres the image accordingly. Auto white balance is not perfect – but it has come a long way – and in the majority of cases it will do a fairly reasonable job of capturing your colours.
However one thing to be aware of is that the very calculations it uses to perform all of the guzzintas can – in some situations cause the discolourations. so if there is a large item in the scene that contains a colour this can shift your colour, or if the walls have ben painted pepto bismal pink and the light from your flash is bouncing around off the pink walls and to your camera – this too can fool the pixel dust and shift your colours.

Great so next time I will turn the dial on my camera to adjust my white balance – what about the pictures I have already taken – can they be fixed.

luckily the answer is yes to a point they can atleast be made closer though there may be some degredation of the picture – where possible it is best to always shoot with the correct white balance and exposure.

As I briefly mentioned earlier your camera actually captures the scene in black and white – if you have shot your picture in a format called raw you can adjust the way the colour is calculated or adjust the white balance as you convert the picture from raw.
even if you have shot the picture in jpeg you can still get your colour closer. If you are using photoshop or elements or gimp – you can electronically add the photo filter to your picture and shift your colour back to the way you remember it.
if you need to know how to do this feel free to contact me, or if you do not have photoshop or gimp give me a call – maybe I can do it for you

January 7, 2010

Long time no see

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:48 pm

wow – looking at my website it would look like nothing is going on at the studio – luckily that is not exactly true – infact the opposite is quite possibly closer to the truth. it seemed like we were just getting ready for Halloween then suddenly here it is a whole new year. I was suggested I hire someone to write all my post – some sort of ghost writer – I attempted to hire one or two – but it just did not feel right – it did just not feel like me -any way I since it is new year and all I have decided to resolve to be much more active with the blog thing and I will atually write it myself.

back to the busy times at the studio – some of the hilites were

 Babies babies babies, hockey, daycares

there were also a couple of weddings, corporate christmas parties family bookings ect. But enough about what was – this week we are starting the valentines shoots – Afew special shots for your special someone – there are still limited spaces available for these shoots – but please call soon as I would want you to have your prints before the big day.

On the children’s side we are working quite hard on the set for the limited edition faerie portraits – shooting for these will be in march – pencilled in for the first and third saturdays – but I will keep you posted

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