Real v/s Hyper-Real secret No.2 revealed :: light temperature


I am back with the second of four articles explaining some of the techniques we use to enhance the photographic services for our clients and - as I like to describe it - to transform our imagery from “real” to “hyper-real”.

This week the revealed “secret” addresses the light temperature.

Here is a photograph of showroom in London, displaying stunning Italian furniture:

Since the shop window is just off-frame on the right and the picture has been taken during daytime, the objects in foreground and on the right hand side are non only brighter than the ones far back in the shop, but also present a visible blue cast, which false the real colour. This unwanted effect, particularly accentuated on the Swarovski crystallised chair and sofa by Edra, is due to the different colour temperature between the sun light (overcast midday light in this shot) and the tungsten/halogen lights of the shop interiors.

Without getting too technical, it is good to know that any digital camera allows adjustment of the colour temperature, but only as a whole on each image. When two or more different kind of light are present in the picture, the photographer needs to make a choice on which one prioritise, or - as I did in this picture - needs to choose a mid value, able to keep the daylight not too blue and the tungsten/halogen lights not too yellow.

But there is another solution, which solves the issue in the best way...

Take a look at this second image of the same display:

Here the exposure (amount of light) is well balanced throughout the whole shop and - most important - the colours of each product are shown correctly. No more blue nor yellow colour cast!

Well, this is not a “normal picture” as the one before, but it describes the reality in a more accurate way… the way that the human eye - which is much more performing than any camera - is able to see colours and adapt instantaneously to different light temperatures.

To achieve this result I had to combine in post-production several images taken from the same point of view, where each visible product has been lighted independently with “gelled” flashes (orange and blue gels in front of the light are used to change its temperature and correct the colour cast).

In my opinion, the second image shows the products on display much better than the first “real picture”; as I like to say - it is an “hyper-real view” or the scene.

Compare again the two images in this animated sequence, which one do you prefer?

real v/s hyper-real
real v/s hyper-real

If you want to see and touch this beautiful furniture - all made in Italy - I heartily recommend to pay a visit to the Clerkenwell’s showroom & wine bar of .it - all about design. You will be welcomed by competent and friendly professionals.

.it all about design, Clerkenwell showroom, London
.it all about design, Clerkenwell showroom, London


Please stay tuned to read more about mjf’s Real v/s Hyper-Real secrets in the next chapters…