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Posts tagged ‘lighting’

Practical examples of light temperature for photographers

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.


Low light photography

One of the most difficult aspects of working with photography can be dealing with the problem of low lighting and poorly lit shooting locations. Sure some expensive equipment can help but even that doesn’t guarantee success in bad lighting.

So, what can a photographer do to help to avoid the frustration that comes with this common problem? Here are a few things that might help.

low lighting for photography

1. Adjust your shutter speed

Setting your camera shutter to remain open for a longer time period allows more light to reach your sensor and thus a brighter overall outcome. Of course, when doing so you have to be careful to avoid unwanted blur. A tripod can be just the key.

2. Increase your ISO

By increasing your sensitivity, you have the chance to allow more light in and can minimize the need to set your shutter to an excessively long speed. The drawback here is that some cameras struggle with noise issues more than others. And depending upon your model, increasing the ISO can cause unwanted noise.

3, Use your flash

While in general, I avoid using a flash, especially the on-board one built into a camera, it can help to brighten up a dark location. The negative with this approach is that it can result in some over exposed parts of the images and harsh shadowing.

All in all, using these methods carefully may present some other challenges but can surely help to improve shots taken under less than ideal lighting conditions.

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