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Old Jun 3, 2005, 1:58 PM   #1
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My camera doesn't have names such as "sunny," "cloudy," indoors," and whatever.Instead, it has numeric settings that dragged me kicking and screaming into learning about the Kelvin temperature scale. This scale is used to describe the color of light. A few typical temperatures are candle flame at 1800º, tungsten at 3000º, daylight at 5500º, and bright shade at 7500º. These are only typical numbers since each type of light can vary.

I created a chart using my camera manual openedto the page on setting white balance. (Clever, no?:ideaAnyway, I photographed the book just barely out of the sunshine, and progressed up the Kelvin scale from 3000 to 7500. As you can see, it wasn't necessarily spot on anywhere, but it was closest at 6500º.




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Old Jun 3, 2005, 2:11 PM   #2
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ohhh very cool!
mine does this in the raw converter (but has the special names as presets you can use)

here's a good example of how WB can be chosen just by personal taste...
i think somewhere in between 5500 and 6500 would make it 'correct', but i love warm colors..so would probably go with the 7500 :-D

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Old Jun 3, 2005, 2:31 PM   #3
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Comparing reality with the photos, it seems that around 6000º would have been the correct setting...which my camera doesn't have.

You brought up an interesting point, Vito, when you mentioned your preference for warmer colors. Somewhere or other I read that such things are cultural and that, for instance, the photo industry purposely leans toward warm tones for customers in the West and cool tones for those in the East I wish I could find an explanation for these tastes. I seriously doubt it's the result of physical differences.

--Barbara
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Old Jun 4, 2005, 12:11 AM   #4
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bcoultry wrote:
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Comparing reality with the photos, it seems that around 6000º would have been the correct setting...which my camera doesn't have.

You brought up an interesting point, Vito, when you mentioned your preference for warmer colors. Somewhere or other I read that such things are cultural and that, for instance, the photo industry purposely leans toward warm tones for customers in the West and cool tones for those in the East I wish I could find an explanation for these tastes. I seriously doubt it's the result of physical differences.

--Barbara

I don't know if this is the correct explanation, but in my experience, the difference is in the quality of the light we are used to seeing by. I know there is a difference, but am not sure what the cause is. It may be due to the West being generally dustier and drier, (Pacific NW excepted). Here in Northern Vermont, the sky can be clearer than any place other than tall mountain peaks. It would seem to me that the higher latitudes would tend to have cooler daylight than the lower, and if so, the balance would favor Southern areas for warmer lighting. But I'm rambling and I just wanted to say this is an interesting topic, and I like your example.

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Old Jun 4, 2005, 9:40 AM   #5
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VTphotog wrote:
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I don't know if this is the correct explanation, but in my experience, the difference is in the quality of the light we are used to seeing by. I know there is a difference, but am not sure what the cause is. It may be due to the West being generally dustier and drier, (Pacific NW excepted). Here in Northern Vermont, the sky can be clearer than any place other than tall mountain peaks. It would seem to me that the higher latitudes would tend to have cooler daylight than the lower, and if so, the balance would favor Southern areas for warmer lighting. But I'm rambling and I just wanted to say this is an interesting topic, and I like your example.
Interesting thinking. So maybe the quality of light is different in Japan than it is here, and this is what accounts for the way film and digicams are balanced differently for different parts of the world.

This reminds me of the English landscape artist, Turner, whose paintings all had a red-orange cast to them. It wasn't just a matter of tastewith him; it was reality since he was painting during a time when there'd been a huge volcanic eruption that had spewed so much stuff into the atmosphere that the sunlight was filtered and gave an actual red-orange glow to the world.
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Old Jun 4, 2005, 12:51 PM   #6
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Finally had some time to look carefully at what you did, remarkable. I actually gota better understanding of the process. It helps to have a full sequence of shots to accompany the explanation.

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Old Jun 4, 2005, 1:10 PM   #7
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selvin wrote:
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I actually gota better understanding of the process. It helps to have a full sequence of shots to accompany the explanation.
I've understood color temperature for a long time because of working with metal: metal that glows red is at a lower temperature than metal glowing yellow, which, in turn, is at a lower temperature than if it were blue. But understanding something in theory and watching it in practical action with the camera are not necessarily the same thing, particularly since, as Cal said, the setting on the camera is used to counter the specific colors of light. So, for instance,a low temperature setting on the camerais referring to the low temperature ofthe tungsten light glowing in the living room, not to the temperature being applied by the camera. The camera is actually choosing a high-temperature blue.

You got a better understanding by what I did, but believe me, so did I!
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Old Jun 5, 2005, 6:50 AM   #8
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Very nice example of a scale of change - very helpful. Thanks!

Caroline.
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Old Jun 5, 2005, 10:48 PM   #9
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Great example of how you placed the WB diagram with the corresponding degrees... I would say that the 5500 setting would work for me. :-)
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Old Jun 6, 2005, 3:31 AM   #10
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bcoultry wrote:
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....the photo industry purposely leans toward warm tones for customers in the West and cool tones for those in the East I wish I could find an explanation for these tastes. I seriously doubt it's the result of physical differences.....
Well, within your own N.American photographic population of Kodak devotees you could do a fascinating study. As I'm sure you'll remember, they divided (and probably still do) neatly into the warm Kodachrome lovers and the cooler Ektachrome ones. Fujichrome always looked distinctly green to me, while Agfachrome was a bit blue.

I myself loved whichever slide film was cheapest, provided it wasn't absolute rubbish.
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