Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How Color Temperature Affects Your Photography

Photographers will often comment on an image appearing ‘cool’ or ‘warm’ in tone, which translates into whether the photo has more of a red/yellow cast or a blue cast. It all begins with the color temperature because a lower color temperature will emit a warmer cast while a higher color temperature provides a bluish tint. It is important that you are able to gauge your available light’s temperature and adjust when needed through custom white balance settings. Color temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin. For example, tungsten studio lights measure at 3,200K while a sunny day and clear sky will register at approximately 6,000K. By contrast, a heavily overcast sky reads at close to 10,000K, which explains the bluer tint to images as it is higher on the temperature scale.

The current generation of digital cameras does a pretty good job of using automatic settings for white balance, but this gets more difficult in conditions where there is less light available. If you’re in a situation where the lighting leaves something to be desired, creating a custom white balance for a particular location to be used at that time may yield far superior results.

If you only learn a few key features on your DLSR, creating a custom white balance is one that will come in handy in numerous situations. If you’re not sure how to do this, give us a call or bring your camera into the store—we’d be happy to help you. You won’t believe the difference in your photography!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Giving Your Photos a Vintage Feel

Sometimes an image creates a far more powerful response when it has been converted to black and white or edited to create a vintage effect. If you’d like to experiment with this technique, all you need is an image editing program. Many of today’s options have a variety of tools for creating this effect.

In addition to converting an image to black and white, you can also choose the sepia option, which will add more of a yellowish-brown cast to the image. You can also experiment with the midtones of the image to soften the contrast in the photograph. The vignette tool is very popular for adding a vintage feel because it creates a softening effect and gradually takes the image to shades of white around the edges. Other tools such as dodge, burn and sponge can also help you ‘antique’ an existing photograph.