White Balance Assignment

White balance is important, of course, to the overall look and feel of a photo, and the age of digital photography has made it easier than ever to control.

I remember once being asked to come down and shoot some slides of an event at the shopping mall where I was working as manager of the Delaware Camera there. Knowing that the room where the event was located was lit almost entirely with fluorescent indoor lighting, I dug into my camera bag and pulled out an FLD filter. The filter has a pink tint to it, and as pink is on the opposite of the color wheel from green, it has the effect of canceling the green tint that fluorescent light gives off. The green tint isn’t apparent to the naked eye, but photos are quite sensitive to it. So my slides, when processed, appeared well-balanced color-wise, although, naturally, areas in the background that were lit by outdoor light or by incandescent light would betray the pink tint.

It’s actually almost difficult on a digital camera to get the color balance wrong. Today’s cameras are quite good at correcting for it automatically, and even when it’s a little wrong, it’s so easy to adjust in iPhoto or Picasa that it’s practically a non-issue. Just the same, I took a whack at it, using a colorful paper pulp sculpture as a model.

ESC assignment – White Balance
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