Photography and Text©2008 Michael Lustbader
Ihave to chuckle when I read onepundit or another hold forth on the“new” concept of “
White Balance inDigital Photography”
.White balance is,of course, not a new concept at all, butone that photographers have beendealing with, in one way or another,since the invention of color film.Whenever you placed a UV,1A, or 81series filter in front of your lens, youweredealing with white balance.When you loaded a roll of tungstenfilm in your camera instead of daylightfilm because you planned to shootindoors without a flash, you weredealing with white balance. When youput an FD-Lfilter on your lens tophotograph under fluorescent lights,you were dealing with white balance.So, what does it all mean?Light, as well as Benetton, comes indifferent colors. It can appear blue, likethe fog of an overcast morning on theOregon coast, red, like sunset reflectedoff Navajo sandstone, or bright white,like noon at the beach. Without goinginto a full-fledged physics lesson, thecolor of light is measured in degreesKelvin (written as K, not °K). Think of
Not a racial concept...
ABOVE:In this photograph of a crab spider on datura, thereare three different whites. All three have different casts, but I wanted them to be as neutral as possible, neither particularlywarm nor cold.UPPERRIGHT: Green tree frog taking refuge in iris. A“cool-toned” image.