A quest for the ultimate, beautiful, meaningful picture

End of summertime

Now that in Europe the clocks have been turned back to ‘normal’ time, this photo is quite fitting: it was made during the summer time but is about nights–and we sure will have long nights again between now and March 2010.

Photographer’s dilemma with this photo: what is the ‘right’ colour temperature? Lamp light is not as white as daylight. Lamplight is about 2800 K, daylight 5500 K on a sunny day. If you keep the white balance of your camera to daylight, the lamplight and all else will be awfully yellow. If you take the lamplight as ‘white’ as any RAW-converter will let you do, much of the nighttime atmosphere disappears. My solution: Just try some settings in between the two extremes until you get a satisfactory impression. The disadvantage of tampering with white balance is that you cannot really say that your photo has ‘real’ colours. Then again: your eyes and brain make adaptations to interpret different light settings, so why cannot you do the same in your post-processing of photos? That needs a well-calibrated screen on your computer, of course, but that is a different story.

Photo taken in Piran (Slovenia, Sept. ’09).


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