24 January 2013

Camera settings

The variation in results of photography in the previous post led to some experimentation. The black quilt wadding arrived yesterday evening (Royal Mail delivery people work late!) and was lying on the sofa, relaxing, so I added the black blocks and took a series of photos.

Black is difficult to photograph, and the grey day was still dawning when the pix were taken, so lights were on in the room - four lights, none of them particularly bright. The only adjustment in Photoshop is some cropping (to remove the sofa and rug!).
"Sunny" camera setting
"Light bulb" setting (incandescent light)
Flash - close to (1.5m)
Flash, further away, with zoom (3m)
The camera setting - which takes only 2 seconds to change - makes a great difference to the colour balance, and saves a lot of work in Photoshop, if it's possible at all.

I thought the distance of the flash might make a difference - any difference though, is in the effects of the zoom - it seems to lift the top of the photo towards the camera. Perhaps I wasn't far enough away - the flash has a limited range, as the light disperses over a wider area the further away from the subject you are.
Close up, no flash [uncropped]
As I write, daylight seems to have arrived fully - but it's a grey day and the light isn't good for photography, much too dim. Even so, I turned off all the lights in the room and did another sequence of shots under natural light. Digital cameras work "well" at low light conditions, we are told, so no need for flash...
"Lightbulb" camera setting
"Sunshine" camera setting
"Cloudy" camera setting
"Shade" camera setting

As the camera setting makes so much difference to the outcome, it's worth taking photos at different settings in dubious lighting conditions, especially if your subject is lying there peacefully!

What I didn't notice at the time is that there is an AWB setting on my camera - Auto White Balance - some other time, I'll test that...

2 comments:

Linda Bilsborrow said...

Lots of results - which was closest to what your eyes see?

Hilary said...

Absolutely fascinating, Margaret. I use the WB whenever possible. With my camera I take a white sheet of paper, hold down the WB button and take a picture of the white sheet - which is in roughly the same lighting position as the quilt. The camera then adjusts for me. I wish I knew more and could go in and use the settings within the camera... Thanks for this exercise. Hilary