Experiment with White Balance

Fig. 6 Dawn Sky - 1/1250 at f/5.6, ISO 100, 70-300mm at 200mm

Fig. 1 Dawn Sky – 1/1250 at f/5.6, ISO 100, 70-300mm at 200mm

I used this image as part of exercise 16 Horizontal Lines. When writing up the exercise I recalled an interesting piece in Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Exposure (pg. 29)*. He shows an example of a photograph taken on Santorini where he has set the white balance to tungsten giving a blue cast to mimic moonlight. I have had this idea right at the back of my mind as something worth trying if the opportunity arose. I thought it might be worth trying with this dawn sky.

Fig. 2 Dawn Sky - 1/1250 at f/5.6, ISO 100, 70-300mm at 200mm. Processed as tungsten in Camera Raw.

Fig. 2 Moonlit Sky – 1/1250 at f/5.6, ISO 100, 70-300mm at 200mm. Processed as tungsten in Camera Raw.

Fig. 2 is the result. I re-opened the raw image in Camera Raw and set the colour temperature to tungsten. Whist the original is warm this is quite clearly a cold image and the edge of the sun peeping through the clouds has become the moon. However, the overall image seemed to lost some definition even though both are essentially monochrome the blue cast dose not contrast as crisply with the black trees.

Fig. 3 Moon lit Sky - 1/1250 at f/5.6, ISO 100, 70-300mm at 200mm. Processed as tungsten in Camera Raw.

Fig. 3 Moonlit Sky – 1/1250 at f/5.6, ISO 100, 70-300mm at 200mm. Processed as tungsten in Camera Raw.

Whilst I prefer the wide panoramic crop in fig. 1 for the dawn sky it worked better to crop down to 3:2 on the moonlit sky. I attribute this to the fact that the dawn sky is a very peaceful, restful and reassuring scene and the bright light to the right is part of that feeling. The moonlit sky is not as comfortable a image, it is a little edgier and by cropping closer there is a more gothic feel to the trees, it is a shame the bird in flight is so small, a few more birds would have added an even more sinister mood.

I find this comparison interesting. The same image with different colour schemes obviously gives me a different message and the images work best with quite different crops or perspectives.

Sources

*Peterson, Bryan. (2010) Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition, New York, Amphoto Books / Crown Publishing Group

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s