Saturday, February 6, 2010

Project 52

A minor challenge for this project was having to replace the overhead lighting in my office from energy saving bulbs back to Tungsten, fortunately I had kept the bulbs when I switched them out.  The light is a combination of 3x40W spots.

The first image is a shot of the room using a flash gun for light, bouncing the light off the ceiling

5D2, 24mm, f/8, 1/30s, ISO 100

Switching to the room lights, the following sequence is shot with WB set to daylight and bracketed by -1, -1/2, 0, +1/2, and 1 stops.  Exposure is set to f/8 and ISO 100, the shutter speed is varying.  The middle exposure is 6s.

Switching the WB to Tungsten and re-shooting the sequence

As I always shoot RAW, I could also have simply changed the setting in post processing.  In fact the ability to change the WB after the fact means that I mostly leave the WB on auto.  The 5D2 does a good job, although I still carry a gray card for those occasions where this does not work.

After shooting this sequence I turned the camera to the Window, still with WB on Tungten and shot the following

Clearly a dramtically blue caste to the image, resetting to daylight WB:

Finally  lit two candles and took the following two seqeunces, in this case the central exposure is 15s at f/8 and ISO 800:

Looking back on the sequences I have taken in the room, the most neutral lighting is the flash shot at the start, however from a quality of light viewpoint the 0 stop Tungsten balanced image looks warmer and less washed out.  The shadow detail in the over-exposed images has improved, but at the expense of an obviously too bright image.  The most pleasing image is the -1 stop candle list image, casting a beautifully warm light and creating plenty of contrast.  The redder candle light derives from the much lower temperature of the candle flame compared to the white hot tungsten filament in a bulb.

I wonder how much more Tungsten light we will see in the future as energy efficiency drives them out and replaces the warm light with white flat lighting - could be quite a loss.

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