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Even the complete novice in the world of photography

will quickly come to learn that lighting is crucial to the art. And the fact is, there are many, many types of light out there.

In our everyday lives, we see lights of all different shapes and sizes. Some give off a large quantity of light, others are rather dim. Some use traditional round bulbs, others take on a spiral shape. Then there’s the whole thing about the type of light, some of which include the old-school incandescent bulb, florescent tubes often seen in office buildings or highly efficient LED lights just to name a few.

But one of the key factors in lighting for photography is that of light temperature. And no, I don’t mean how much heat the bulb gives off.

While there are any number of charts out there that take a scientific approach to explaining the concept of light temperature, sometimes there’s nothing like real world, practical examples. With that in mind here are a few photos that you might find helpful.

Street lights:

The first example shows a warmer light temperature (orange tint) while the second shows a cooler light temperature closer to that of natural light.

yellow street lights

white street lights


The first car’s lights are a close to the temperature that simulates daylight while the second features warmer light again with that orangeish, yellowish look.

white headlights

orange headlights

Florescent tubes:

This image shows a variety of light temperatures side by side. On the left the temperatures are cooler (blue) while the middle image is white and closer to that of natural daylight. The two lights on the right are warmer in terms of color.

Fluorescent Light

Hopefully this might help you to understand light temperatures a bit better rather than just relying on some rigid chart.


Comments on: "Practical examples of light temperature for photographers" (1)

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