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johnriley1uk’s latest blog : the colour of light

johnriley1uk's latest blog : cool activities on the streets of manchester

The Colour of Light

26 Aug 2020 12:27AM  
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Photography is all about light, but very often we neglect the colour of that light. It’s all very well using AWB or making our images neutral so the colours are “accurate” but in the end it’s an emotional response we are looking for, and the colour of the light used can really add a new dimension to our images. Because I shoot in JPEG I do pay attention to the WB setting and routinely use Daylight rather than AWB. The reason is that I don’t want the camera to try and take the colour bias out of a scene where the colour of the light is paramount. For example, I don’t want a red sunset diminished as the camera tries to measure an overall neutral grey. When it’s cloudy I use Cloudy to warm the image, when it’s very overcast the shadows can be very blue/purple, so I use Shade. For good measure, there’s nothing wrong with using the wrong colour balance if a special effect is required.

But let’s go a step further today and have a look at some images that use the actual colour of the light source as a major part of the effect, rather than just the colour of the subject matter. Colour balance can be thrown out of the window and we are here just looking for the colours we want, be they accurate or not.

The ballet – all about dramatic colour

Night Frog

Frankie Valli & Robby Robinson – stage lighting

Concentration, and wonderful ambient lighting from the tablet

Kyle, macabre green

A tinge of red light from a subtle sunset

Red Light Boogie

The Blue Room, a stage setting

Kelly by Candlelight

Mevagissey at Night

The Vampire, inspired by Night Vision Most Haunted

Cassie lit with red gels

Andrea by Candlelight



Developing a print under red light

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