DPP: Part 2 ? Digital Image Qualities: Exercise 10 ? Colour cast and white balance
April 5, 2013
Part One – Outdoor Scenes
Part one of this exercise is to create three images of scenes using different white balance settings on the camera. The scenes will be in sunlight, cloud and shade on a sunny day. The white balance settings to be used are; auto, daylight, shade and cloud.
These are presented below with my observations
The “coolest” in tone-terms of the images.
The most appropriate setting for the scene and I think the most accurate/pleasing too.
The image has taken on a yellow tinge, which is most obvious in the clouds and white areas.
The yellow tinge is less obvious here than in the ‘shade’ version. In both cases the images look more like evening sun than the late morning sun they were actually shot in.
As before, the “coolest” in tone. As far as I know, there’s no reason that should be the case as a rule.
Less of a blue tinge to this version.
There’s not a massive difference to the ‘daylight’ version, previous. Very slightly warmer but not significantly so.
The warmest of the images, but adding a yellow tinge to the scene. I think the ‘shade’ version looks slightly better.
Shade on a sunny day
Again the coolest toned image of the set.
A warmer tone again. I think is the one I prefer, as the others looked too cold – which the actual scene didn’t appear to be when I was there.
Slightly warmer than the daylight version, cooler than the shade version – but still a bit too cool in tone for my liking.
Part two – indoor/outdoor scene
The next part of this exercise involved a shot with incandescent lighting against a bluish, dusk, sky. Given tungsten bulbs can’t be bought anymore for modern fittings I’ve gone back to an image from an exercise in my first module, and applied different white balance settings in Lightroom. Even then, I think the bulb simulated tungsten but was actually fluorescent; I do wonder whether the course material needs to be updated given it’s simply not possible to do unless you have a stash of old bulbs! The settings to apply were daylight, tungsten/incandescent and auto.
The sky appears to be what I’d expect but the interior is very orange.
The whole image appears far too blue now, even the sky appears too blue.
Slightly more orange than daylight – which includes the sky too.
In the final version I’ve used the white balance picker in Lightroom to select part of the white wall and then adjusted the colour temperature to reach a compromise I think looks like a good balance between outdoor and indoor light.
It’s clear the programmed settings aren’t able to cope with this combination very well, and manually that’s really possible is a compromise – unless selective adjustment of white balance is available.
This has been an incredibly tedious exercise – as I don’t feel I’ve learnt anything I didn’t know before – and it’s been far to involved for no sense of reward. The other exercise, while very technical, at least delivered some sense of new knowledge so haven’t bored me – that hasn’t been the case here. I think I need to try and make sure my assignment involves something creative – else take a break from course photos to focus on a mini-project “just for fun”, as this course’s technical focus does take the fun out of it all.