City scenes/Night views – Artificial light

9 Apr

One of the tasks in the material was to go out at night and capture different scenes in a city centre where there are several different types of artificial lights.

As I live close to just a minor city I did what I could do about that and added some other pictures of Northern light that might be interesting to compare even if it isn’t artificial.

One of the main problems when dealing with artificial light and natural light is that they have different colours and in  case of vapour lamps even a spectrum of light that makes it problematic to compensate. The first three pictures are from an earlier exercise and one can again clearly see the problem of what white balance (WB) to choose. One has to decide if to go for a “correct” WB for the artificial light, the natural light or make a compromise.

WB  mixed daylight

WB DAYLIGHT, yellowish inside, tolerable outside

WB  mixed tungsten

WB TUNGSTEN, tolerable inside, very blue outside.

WB  mixed fluorescent

WB FLUORESCENT, good compromise?

It might be good to have an idea of how lights look and what kind of lights there are.

The most common are tungsten lights, fluorescent and vapour. Apart from that you can get a wide variety of different other lights that all have their own spectrum of light.

Tungsten is the “original” light bulb with a yellowish cast everybody recognizes from home. with its warm colour it has a soothing, calming effect on the brain. To me it has a feeling of “now you are at home and can relax”-effect.

Fluorescent is probably widely used in industrial building or office buildings. Here have the colours changed a lot since a while ago when people became more aware about lighting colour. Now you can get normal 3500 or the cooler 5200 K. The cooler the colour the more stimulating it is.

Vapour discharge lights are used in street light e.g., problem here is that they often do not fit into the white balance scheme because they lack different parts of the light spectrum. All that depends on what is in those lamps.

When looking at WB as always your taste and your eyes are the ones deciding what looks best and not normally the correct.

In order to adapt to the lamps that do not fit in the white balance scheme you get often a HUE slider in RAW converters, meaning that you can add more green or red to the picture.

After my night out with different lights I think that the camera got almost all the pictures with o.k. or good white balance that needed not very much adjusting to my taste. Probably the best way to treat the lighting problem is get a neutral-gray-card and take a picture under the light condition that you get. You get the WB and you get an exposure independent of reflectivity of the objects you are taking pictures of, like snow or other difficult things to photograph.

Mixed light, vapour light from the street lighting and the bus place has a daylight lamp. I chose a slightly cooler WB to avoid too yellow ljus on the street.

Mixed light, vapour light from the street lighting and the bus place has a daylight lamp. I chose a slightly cooler WB to avoid too yellow ljus on the street.

Bracketing 1/3 as the scene is quite difficult light conditions. auto WB

Bracketing 1/3 as the scene is quite difficult light conditions. auto WB

Bracketing 2/3 as the scene is quite difficult light conditions. auto WB

Bracketing 2/3 as the scene is quite difficult light conditions. auto WB

Bracketing 3/3 as the scene is quite difficult light conditions. auto WB

Bracketing 3/3 as the scene is quite difficult light conditions. auto WB

HDR with Luminance HDR. Not satisfactory but I still have to learn the software.

HDR with Luminance HDR. Not satisfactory but I still have to learn the software.

One of the main streets in Boden. Mainly gas vapour lights. As it even to the naked eye looks yellowish fell the choice to not change the auto-wb, even if it looks very warm

One of the main streets in Boden. Mainly gas vapour lights. As it even to the naked eye looks yellowish fell the choice to not change the auto-wb, even if it looks very warm

Petrol stations, auto WB with different light sources. Station which is the main point of interest with ok wb

Petrol stations, auto WB with different light sources. Station which is the main point of interest with ok wb

This time with wb adjusted for the light from the overhead street light. too blue for the petrol station.

This time with wb adjusted for the light from the overhead street light. too blue for the petrol station.

Closer look of the petrol station. Excluding street light makes it possible to get better exposure and WB for just the station.

Closer look of the petrol station. Excluding street light makes it possible to get better exposure and WB for just the station.

Biggest hotel in Boden. Mix of coloured fluorescent and tungsten light as well as vapour lamps. Auto-WB with brilliant result

Biggest hotel in Boden. Mix of coloured fluorescent and tungsten light as well as vapour lamps. Auto-WB with brilliant result

Closer look on the entrance. Good compromise between fluorescent and tungsten WB

Closer look on the entrance. Good compromise between fluorescent and tungsten WB

Pedestrian precinct. Mixed light and green glow from vapour to the right

Pedestrian precinct. Mixed light and green glow from vapour to the right

Pedestrian precinct

Pedestrian precinct

Pedestrian precinct

Pedestrian precinct

Pedestrian precinct

Pedestrian precinct

Petrol station with mixed light conditions, mostly fluorescent, Auto WB, slightly greenish cast

Petrol station with mixed light conditions, mostly fluorescent, Auto WB, slightly greenish cast

Petrol station with mixed light conditions, mostly fluorescent, Daylight WB

Petrol station with mixed light conditions, mostly fluorescent, Daylight WB

Different shots from last autumn from our car as my wife was driving. Exposure between 1 sec till 1/30 sec.auto  WB

Different shots from last autumn from our car as my wife was driving. Exposure between 1 sec till 1/30 sec.auto WB

IMG_8206

IMG_8204

Long exposure with two cars passing by

Long exposure with two cars passing by

 

When looking at the pictures and walking through the lonely town I got the same feeling I got when looking at Pictures from Stephen Shores book (Stephen Shore
av Shore, Stephen/Tillman, Lynne, ISBN 9780500542873)

Empty spaces without humans, a little as if after a war or when everyone has left.

 

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