The colour of light

I was fairly confident when I started this project that I knew what I was doing and what the outcome would be.  Having read about ‘White Balance’ in my photography magazine, how it can affect the colour of the image, I have played around with this a little bit.  What I hadn’t done before though was to take a series of pictures at the same time and in the same conditions but using different settings, which is what I did for the first exercise in this section.

WB set to sunshine – midday

I chose a small ornament of a cat which is pale cream in colour with gold ears and a red bow. To an extent, I did get the results I expected, although there were some surprises.  The pictures with the white balance set to auto were actually quite good; a little white if anything.  Pictures taken in the sunshine with the white balance set to sunshine produced the truest colours.

WB set to shade – midday

Those taken with white balance set to shade, including those actually in shade  were way out and came out much more yellow than the ornament actually is, even when they were taken in the middle of the day, such as the picture on the left here.   Whilst those taken in the early morning did have a slightly golden tinge, it was not as pronounced as I expected and I can only surmise that this was

WB set to sun – early am

because the colour was adjusted by the ‘sunshine’ setting in the camera.

Taken in shade, WB - sun - midday




The setting that gave the oddest result was when I took a picture at midday, in the shade, but with white balance set to sun.  This seemed to totally confused the camera and  the picture has a distinct blue tinge.

What I have learnt from this is that I need to think about the effect I want, the time of day and what white balance setting is best for each photograph.



About Anne Bryson

I live in Gloucestershire with my husband Iain and West Highland Terrier, Isla. I enjoy golf, photography and my grandchildren, not necessarily in that order! Having completed a 10 week digital photography course with the Open University in 2010, I decided I wanted to take my photography further and enrolled for the Open College of the Arts BA (Hons) starting with 'The Art of Photography' which I enjoyed so much that I went gone on to do Digital Photographic Practice and People and Place. In April 2016 I enrolled on my fourth OCA photography course, Documentary. This blog is my Learning Log for this course.
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