Monday, 8 November 2010

Exercise 10: Colour cast and white balance Part 2 Review

For the second part of this exercise I needed to find and shoot a mixed-lighting source scene. I chose to shoot an image of a local pub at dusk when the interior lights had been switched on. The sun was still out and shining onto the building giving a warmish glow, I think the interior lighting was incandescent. Three seperate shots were taken using three different white-balance settings, Daylight,Tungsten and Auto.


file temperature read 5150

The image shot using the Daylight setting has given the white paintwork a slightly yellow cast, more than the dusky late afternoon sun was producing.The interior walls and logs have a warmer appearance than they should.


file temperature read 3250

This image has a very distinctive blue cast. This has a very unnatural feel about the exterior although the colour of the interior lights are more correct.


file temperature read 4550

The auto white balance has provided the closest colour balance to the scene as perceived by the human eye. As the sun sinks lower in the sky the colour temperature alters to approximately 4000K The camera's automatic setting has read the colour temperature of the outside of the building producing a truer result and the interior colours temperature is not far off. If I had to choose one of these images without any post-processing I would opt for the Auto setting as it is closer to the scene as it was "seen". The interior is not that visible in this particular shot to have been overly affected by the white balance choice. Had the interior been more visible/ or had the shots been taken from inside it maybe that the results would have been different, with the camera taking it's readings from the interior lighting.


As  the images were shot in RAW I could experiment with the settings and sliders to find a compromise shot. To be honest I think my final choice is quite close to the auto setting but possibly a little warmer. When shooting under mixed lighting conditions, if using the cameras built in white balance settings you will need to decide at the outset which light is the most dominant and which will affect the overall outcome and what you are willing to compromise on/perform post production with. If time allows you can set a custom white balance setting.

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