Digital to Analog: Daylight White Balance in Various Lighting Scenarios

As more and more photographers start going from digital to analog, we wanted to teach everyone about a big part of how you not only see light, but also color. Note that most film is balanced to daylight, so if you go about shooting with it in various situations, you’ll either like the results or you won’t.

So with that said, we’ve compiled a number of images from our archives showing you how colors in a scene render when using daylight white balance. This post encompasses mostly digital photos, and you should know when you go into a film lab to get your images developed, sometimes a technician will try to “fix the images”. But you should keep this in mind regardless to get your most desired results.

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High Key vs Low Key Lighting: What’s the Difference?

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Profoto B2 First impressions review portraits with Lauren (3 of 8)ISO 1001-160 sec at f - 2.8

Low Key Lighting, notice the shadows

What is High Key and Low Key lighting? The folks over at Adorama TV try to explain it to you in under three minutes. Dan in the video after the jump explains that high key lighting is when your lighting is very low contrast with almost no visible shadows. This is done often in portraiture and is very forgiving.

In comparison, low key lighting has very high contrast. It can make a subject really pop in a scene.

Dan’s video is after the jump, but we’ve added extra examples of High Key and Low key lighting after the jump.

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Which Light Modifier Do I Choose?

Silver Bounce Umbrella
Silver Bounce Umbrella

Silver Bounce Umbrella

How many of you out there are afraid of, or intimidated by off-camera lighting? Don’t be afraid to admit it; I was in that same boat when I first began too. A favorite quote that I have accepted lately, “If you’re too afraid to try for fear of failure, you’ve failed already” – Anonymous. If anyone knows where this quote came from, let me know in the comments. Okay, back to the subject. You can read an infinite amount of material on off-camera lighting. The problem is that there is almost too much information. You might fall into the trap of info overload without actually learning for yourself with experimentation and practice. My advice would be to read enough information to learn how to get your flash off the camera and then get out there and shoot.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog posting by Travis Lawton, the Lawtographer

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