Category Archives: d – Available light (artificial light)

Outdoors at night

The following photos were taken, all in the same night, around the centre of Tunbridge Wells with a brief to explore the variety of lighting.  I chose a Sunday night as I thought it would be less busy. I started from the Large multi storey car park and then a circuit of the main shopping area.  I used a tripod on all these shots.

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1.  Car Park entrance. I liked the lead in lines of the railings and the lights drawing you into the picture.   1.6 sec at F20 ISO 200 exposure adjustment -2 stops

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2.  Car park. Again I like the X formed by the yellow lines and lights drawing you in to the frame. 5sec at F20 ISO200

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3.  I liked the mix of lighting in this scene and the silhouetted skyline. Its not as sharp as I thought it was when I took so while the composition is, I think, ok the finished result isn’t. 5 sec at F20 ISO 200

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4.  Car park stairwell I liked all the angles in this with the right angle echoed several times across the frame. 0.4 sec at F20 ISO 200

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5.  Rooftops what appealed to me here was the lead of dark windows up to the brightly lit room in the distance. 10 sec at F20 ISO 200 exposure adjustment – 2 stops

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6.  Shop window. I liked the sign in the background offset by the plants in the window. 2 sec at f20 ISO 200 – I.3 stops exposure adjustment.

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7.  I wanted to get both the internal lighting and also the no photography sign on the door. 13 sec at F20. ISO 200

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8.  I liked the frame within a frame effect of this. 2 sec at F20 ISO 200

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9.  I thought the clock face could almost be a moon substitute. 4 sec at F20 ISO 200 minus two stops exposure adjustment

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10.  What caught my eye here was the line of lights taking you deeper into the store. 1.6 sec at f20 ISO 200 minus 7/10 of a stop exposure adjustment.

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11.  I did a portrait shot of the left hand side of this – just showing the window really but preferred this one with overlooking the precinct. 1/60 sec at F20 ISO 200 minus two stops exposure adjustment

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12.  The contrast of the bright advert, compared to the dark precinct, appealed to me here. I wanted to get the idea that you look at the advert and then the path to the right takes you down the shops to the next smaller brightly lit area. 1 sec at F11 ISO 200

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13.  The repeated blue in the frame as well as the contrast between the dark exterior and bright interior drew me to this shot. 1/6 sec at F11 ISO 200 minus two stops exposure adjustment.

 

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14.  In this shot the reflection from the shot opposite effectively overwrites the poster on the left in this window. 0.6 sec at F11 ISO 200

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15.  I wanted the interior shot of what was the only shop open in the whole precinct and hoped that the individual would not move during the exposure. 1 sec at F11 ISO 200

 

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16.  This was shot while a lorry was unloading I liked the detail in windows and the barely seen outline of the lorry. 2 sec at F16 ISO 200

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17.  Compositionally I thought the gentle curve of the path made for a good study and the fact that I got the ghostly figures of a couple of late night walkers was a bonus. 5 sec at F11 ISO 200

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18.  I spotted that the interior of this shop was black and silver so to me it seemed almost to be a monochrome shot (there is a small amount of reflected colour ) and I think it works reasonably well as an abstract. 1/3 sec at F22 ISO 200 minus one stop exposure adjustment.

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19.  Taken from a traffic island looking down the hill I liked the strong lines in the centre and hoe the lights of the cars also act as a lead down the hill. 30 secs at F22 ISO 200

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You can still see the skyline in this and I’m glad there is a group of people in the shot to give a sense of scale and also a bit of atmosphere to what would otherwise be a fairly clinical shot. 3.2 secs at F20 ISO 200

I enjoyed this exercise and was surprised at what opportunities presented themselves.  Its necessary I think to be prepared to use exposure compensation to get the right balance with the strong lighting elements versus the darkness.

 

 

Tungsten and fluorescent lighting

This exercise is all about colour variation.  As the wording to the exercise suggests the human eye, or maybe more correctly the brain compensates for the changes in light source to a degree so the colour change as a result of staring at a dusk sky is adjusted for and nd the yellow tinge of the lighting is gradually reduced.

For the first part of the exercise I shot in spare room .   This is lit by two tungsten lights, and bedside lamp, and is very neutral in colour.

First I took some shots of the differentially lit areas of the room using spot metering:-

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Under the desk .4 sec at F2.8 (widest aperture) ISO100

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ceiling 1/15 at f2.8 ISO 100

 

 

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Light 1/250 at F2.8 ISO 100

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Bedside light 1/200 at F2.8 ISO 100

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obviously the variance in shutter speed may be less if using a different metering method but these four shots do, I think, illustrate the variance of light in the room.

The exercise asks you then to shoot an image covering both the lit interior and the exterior at dusk using three settings of white balance, auto. daylight and tungsten.

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Bedroom window with white balance set on auto. 1/15 @F2,8 ISO 100

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Bedroom window with white balance set on Daylight. 1/13 @F2,8 ISO 100

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Bedroom window with white balance set on tungsten. 1/13 @F2,8 ISO 100

As can be seen the auto setting as noted elsewhere makes a pretty good stab at the colour balance of the interior and is not too far adrift from the equivalent tungsten image.  Daylight creates what is an overly orange cast to the picture but probably represents the sky better by toning down the blueness of it.

For completeness’ sake I took three shots at another angle for comparison.

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Landing window with white balance set on auto 1/15 at F28 ISO 100

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Landing window with white balance set on daylight 1/15 at F28 ISO 100

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Landing window with white balance set on tungsten 1/15 at F28 ISO 100

This time there is a bit more variation between the auto and tungsten shots, the latter representing the interior more accurately while the auto is taking on a very slight orange cast which is significantly increased in the daylight shot.

The next part of the exercise asks you to find and shoot two areas lit by fluorescent lighting and use three settings Auto, Fluorescent and alternative fluorescent.  My camera has four settings for fluorescent:- warm white, cool white, day white and daylight.  I have to say I have not, until this exercise , looked into the differences of these settings but thought it would be useful to do a full comparison of all of them.

The first location I used was the extension, which I thought made a good subject as it was possible to get a bit of the late day sky in the frame.

 

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Extension shot with white balance on Auto. 1/6 sec at F2.8 ISO 100

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Extension shot with white balance on daylight. 1/8 sec at F2.8 ISO 100

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Extension shot with white balance on Fluorescent (warm white) 1/6 sec at F2.8 ISO 100

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Extension shot with white balance on Fluorescent (cool white) 1/6 sec at F2.8 ISO 100

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Extension shot with white balance on Fluorescent (day white) 1/6 sec at F2.8 ISO 100

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Extension shot with white balance on Fluorescent (daylight) 1/6 sec at F2.8 ISO 100

Note how the auto setting corresponds closest to fluorescent day white setting, and both give a reasonably balanced image colour.  On the other hand the daylight setting and its fluorescent equivalent give too much of an orange caste.  The fluorescent warm white gives, as a contrast so to speak, a blue cast which is particularly noticeable both in the sky and the reflected windows.  The fluorescent cool white setting reduces the blue cast but it is still noticeable.  The patch of light coming through the doorway at the right hand side of the extension is from a tungsten bulb and it is interesting to note how that colour of that patch varies in the series.

Similarly, in the following series, the room beyond the door is lit by tungsten lights.  I did consider closing the door but thought that the wall and the wood would be an further indicator of colour change due to the white balance setting.

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Kitchen with white balance set at auto. 1/4 sec at F2.8 ISO 100

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Kitchen with white balance set at daylight. 1/6 sec at F2.8 ISO 100

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Kitchen with white balance set at fluorescent (warm white). 1/8 sec at F2.8 ISO 100

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Kitchen with white balance set at fluorescent (cool white). 1/8 sec at F2.8 ISO 100

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Kitchen with white balance set at fluorescent (day white). 1/8 sec at F2.8 ISO 100

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Kitchen with white balance set at fluorescent (daylight). 1/8 sec at F2.8 ISO 100

Notice how this time it is fluorescent (warm white) that most closely resembles the auto setting although of the two I think auto is closest to my (perceived) reality.   I am unsure as to why daylight, and to a lesser degree, fluorescent (warm white) have a green cast (more pronounced in the former) has such a green cast  but clearly the temperature the camera has chosen accentuates, and unrealistically so, the green already in the image.  As indicated in the course notes I don’t think any of the fluorescent settings are perfect  but they do come near.

What has come out of this exercise is that the auto white balance function does a pretty reasonable job of getting the colour temperature right.  It’s certainly given me reassurance that if I leave the camera set to auto white balance its unlikely (except in extreme situations) to be too far out.