Artificial Lighting

Illuminating a subject with an artificial light source is called artificial lighting in photography. Depending on its source, this light has different characteristics in relation to colour temperature and radiating surface. Both are relevant in photography. The light’s colour composition (colour temperature, wavelength) influences the reproduction of the subject’s colours. Stark contrasts in colour may occur, depending on the light sources which have little in common with the way colour this perceived by the human eye. It becomes more problematic when true colours need to be reproduced (e.g. artwork). In these cases, it is advantageous to use manual white balance and the corresponding colour management.

However, a white balance does not always result in neutral colour adaptation. You will see two images that were illuminated by the fire/candle light. In both cases, the red colour of the teapots has little to do their real colour. Instead, the warm colour has overpowered the image. This image does the atmosphere more justice than it would if a white balance had been used to correct it.

Both images were captured in daylight on reversal film. The daylight-white balance setting on digital cameras would deliver in similar results.

Campfire – Tunisia – 1999

Campfire – Tunisia – 1999

Teapots -  Marocco - 1992

Teapots - Marocco - 1992
You are here: Home The Right Light Artificial Lighting