Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ah white balance..

It's tricky taking pictures of parrots.
And when natural light fails you, when adding a flash to the mixture it's a whole different experience.

I've been learning over the past few months about taking pictures of the birds with the flash while not trying to blind them. They actually don't seem to mind the flash, I guess I was just being paranoid.

I normally bounce the light from the flash off the ceiling; it's big and white and acts as a pretty good light diffuser.

However...sometimes I have to battle with other things, such as the lighting provided by whatever bulbs (fluorescent, CFL, etc).

Take this picture of Pixel. I love it, but it has a bit of a yellow colour to it, given I shot towards another source of light (the lamp is in the back there). When I opened the picture in Photoshop, it was quite blue in tone - I guess I should mention that while I shoot on manual settings for aperture and shutter speed, I normally leave my white balance setting at auto figuring I can always tweak that in post. So I tried warming the picture up a bit but couldn't really get what I wanted. Either it was still rather blue or a bit too yellow. Ultimately, the slightly warmer version won so here is what the final picture looks like.

So, other than playing with the overall picture temperature (and incidentally playing with the tones), I enhanced a vignette that was already present and adjusted the contrast a bit.

Oh and one last thing, I shoot in RAW, not in JPEGs, since I get so much more freedom after the fact but I have to say I'm curious as to how my camera would have processed this one had I been shooting in JPEG format..

1 comment:

Michael, Kili, Truman said...

I would like to file a complaint that pixel isn't featured in the site banner. I am sick and tired of watching Pixie treated like an outsider and will stand and fight for her rights too!