Get More Dynamic Lighting with Mixed Color Temperatures

Creative Lighting with Mixed Color Temperatures

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Mixed sources...

jleinung's picture

Back in the day, all we had to worry about was daylight v. tungsten. Things got bit more complicated with the addition of non-continuous spectrum lights, first "traditional" fluorescent lights, with their severe spike in the green part of the spectrum. Now we have CFLs, which are "better" but still contain several spectral spikes, and LEDs. LEDs are available in a range of "color temperatures" but still do not fully smooth out the spectrum -- there's a "valley" in the Cyan, a peak in the Yellow or Yellow-Orange range, and a rapid fall-off in the reds. In most circumstances we can still get good skin tones, even in mixed situations, with the usual camera white-balance function. But, if you're shooting in a large public space, lit by daylight, CFL, LED, *and* tungsten sources, it can be difficult to recreate foreground, mid-ground and background on video as what your eye/brain sees. Or, if shooting color-critical wardrobe or product even under uniform sources, the interaction of non-skintone colors with the non-continuous spectrum of your lights can also make post-production color correction quite an adventure. Yes, it's a brave new (if more energy-efficient) world!