The Color of Light

Any photographer worth his salt will tell you that photography is all about light.  By definition, photography is nothing more than drawing or painting with light.  Light therefore is the name of the game.

However it is not that simple, because light is a complex subject.  There are different kinds of light, (e.g., hard light, soft light, ambient light, diffused light, warm light, cold light and the list could go on and on.  Different photography tricks are used to modify the light reflected by the subject being photographed.

The tools to modify light are called light modifiers. Light modifiers are tools for controlling light, where you can get softer flattering light, or you can direct the light to fall on the specified places on the subject or near the subject, depending on the effect you are going after.The most commonly used are softboxes, umbrellas, snoots, beauty dishes, ring flashes, grids, barn doors, and. board reflectors.

Light doesn’t always has the same color based on the frequency of the light.  This frequency is measured in Kelvin degrees.  If you take a look at your DSLR camera, you will notice that White Balance can be divided into several categories such as:

  1. Daylight light  is equivalent to 5,200 degrees Kelvin
  2. Shade light is equivalent to 7,999 degrees Kelvin
  3. Cloudy light is equivalent to 6,000 degrees Kelvin
  4. Tungsten light is equivalent to 3,299 degrees Kelvin
  5. White Fluorescent light is equivalent to 4,999 degrees Kelvin
  6. Candle light is equivalent to 2,000 degrees Kelvin
  7. Moon light is equivalent to 8,000 degrees Kelvin

Whenever the lighting conditions change, it is necessary to adjust the scene with the appropriate color temperature to ensure that the colors of your photographs are accurate. White balance is the process of adjusting your camera to reproduce white indicated previously.

Color temperature refers to the characterization of the spectre properties of a light source (i.e., color).  If you are serious about photography, this is a subject you should master.

It is important that when an scenario changes, you should adjust the white balance setting of your camera to reflect how warm or cool your shooting scene should be.if you want true colors..

This is reason I purchased an 18 percent gray card from Amazon which had a price tag of only $7.50.  Haven’t used it yet,  but it is in my bucket list.  The name of the item is “Lightdow 12 x 12 inches white balance 18 percent gray reference reflector gray card with carrying bag (folded version).”  The reference photograph of the gray card has already been taken and the camera has been set to Custom White Balance.

I’m ready to go when the opportunity arises.  Below is a picture of the gray card reflector and the small bag in came with.

Photograph by ©Omar Upegui R.
Picture of the small bag which houses the gray card.  It is made out of a thin fabric similar to the one used to make parachutes.  The diameter of the circular black bag is only 5.25 inches when folded. Photograph by ©Omar Upegui R.

This blog post wraps up my last purchase of photography stuff to improve my work.  Now it’s time to start taking  pictures and polishing up the craft.  So much to do and so little time to do it.

Good Day!

Suggested Reading:  Quick Tip How to Set Custom White Balance on a Canon DSLR by Photo

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