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White-Balancing Yoda

March 4, 2010

Here is a quick example of how the dominant color of your light source affects your photograph.  The image of Yoda below is white balanced to 4200K.  In the Color Temperature Spectrum (image on the rigth) that’s a Warm Flourescent light shource.

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Next I set up two flashlights each with a color gel on them.  The colors are simple Red and BLUE.  Without changing the color balancing  I turned on the blue light.

BLUE LIGHT SOURCE

Blue Light Camera set at 4200K.  As you can see the image has a slightly bluish tone.

Set the camera at 2500K from the Color Temperature Spectrum above, I white balanced for a dominat redish light source.  As you can see by white balancing for a redding light source even though we have not changed the color of the actual light, red gets taken out and we have an even bluer toned image.

Set the camera to 10,000K.  By white balancing for a dominant blue light source we take out Blue and the once bluish light is not a reddish brown color.

I repeated this with Red.

RED LIGHT SOURCE

Red light source shot at 4200 K.

Red light source at 2500K.  Notice how by taking out the red from a scene with a dominant red light source the image as a whole has a mangenta hue and the shadows take on a very blue hue.

Red light source white balanced at 10,000K.  By taking out the Blue, white balancing for blue, the whole scene takes on a red tone.

Next I turned both the Blue and the Red light on and shot it at 4200K.

BLUE and RED LIGHT SOURCES

Then shot it at 2500K.  Notice how the ligth is much bluer now, also notice how in the hightlights in the background, where the white highlights start to fade into color on the image above it had previously leaned towards a yellowish color.  That is now Magenta on the image below.

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Shot at 10,000K the photograph takes an even Redder tone, and notice how now the previously blue light is green (left side), and the highlights in the background where the two lights meet blend off into yellow.

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