Getting the colour right in wedding photography

December 17, 2015

Getting the colour right in wedding photography

Get the colour right for wedding photography

When we look at the world around us, white is pretty much always white, and the rest of the colours fall into place (green grass, blue skies, and all the rest of creation). If we carried a sheet of plain white paper around with us, then it wouldn’t matter whether we were indoors or out, under fluorescent lighting or a clear sky post-sunset that sheet of paper will look white.

Of course getting the colour correct is absolutely vital for portrait or wedding photography, the last thing you need is the Brides beautiful wedding dress to be the wrong colour, after the event its no use trying to remember if the wedding dress was pure white or ivory, I did a wedding a few years ago where the Brides wedding dress was a very soft pink, my exposures and colour balance had to be perfect to capture the colour. (Image attached)

However, the colour of the light around us is anything but constant: the bulbs in our houses are usually a warm orange; daylight is a cooler blue; and that nasty fluorescent light flickering above our office cubicle is likely to be some sort of sickly green shade.

The reason we don’t usually notice this too much is because our eyes and brain our “human visual system” are working together to make sure that white stays consistently white (or as close as humanly possible). If it didn’t do this, then we would find ourselves living in an almost constantly changing kaleidoscope of colour the outdoor world would be a shade of blue; we would live in hot, orange houses; and we would wake in the morning eager to get to our bilious green offices…

Yet that’s exactly how your camera sees the world. Your camera’s sensor isn’t “smart” like your eyes and brain it has one fixed response to the colour of light. Consequently, it needs a little bit of technological know-how to help ensure that your whites stay white, which is where ‘ white balance” comes in.

I must admit this is where shooting RAW comes very much in handy, if you shoot an image in a challenging situation and your camera is set to AUTO WB it can get the colours completely incorrect, you look at the image later and realise that your camera didn’t quite understand what it was supposed to do with the colour. I very rarely set the white balance (oops) yes you have all the different WB settings on the cameras and you can even set a manual WB before taking the photo, if you are in a location (Studio) where you know the lighting colour will remain constant then this is great because you can be sure that everything will be correct however as a wedding (reportage) photographer this would become a near impossible scenario! And believe me i’v tried it!

So with all the blogs and articles with regards to RAW versus Jpeg, if you want to capture those living images or haven’t got the pleasure of time in order to set the WB manually, then this is definitely one major argument in favour of shooting RAW. – for more info and tips for your photography.

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