Monday, October 10, 2005

White Balance

Jana and I currently attend a class on digital photography, our tutor is Gerd Dollhopf. Today we had an evening excursion (from 6pm to 9pm) in the city. We started at the subway station "Woerther Wiese" and first took pictures of the station. Then we continued along river Pegnitz taking some more.

The first picture that I selected for the blog shows the subway station entrance - I used a tripod and changed the focal length of the lens while exposing:


This one is a picture of the river where the camera exposed for 15s - and a bicycle went along. Unfortunately the duck flew away at that time as well:



The different sources of light were quite a challenge for the cameras, so we learned a lot about "white balance". In automatic white balance mode the camera tries to guess the temperature of the light and if it guessed right, a white piece appears white on the photo. Especially with non-natural light, the camera heuristics might fail and pictures appear with a yellow/orange or blue cast. The two photos show an extreme example: For the first one, the white balance was totally off and it is far too red. I held a piece of white paper under the light and used this as a reference for white in the manual white balance mode of the camera and then shot the second one. This looks far more natural.



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