Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow & mirrors

Just got back from a late-night run to the airport.  While I was driving around waiting for my husband's plane to come in, I found this awesome building.  I pulled up alongside and took some shots of my car reflected back into it.

This picture is an perfect example of what happens when colors of light mix - and why you need to color-balance your lights.  See how awful the foreground snow looks?  It is dirty, true, but it is also picking up the yellow of the parking lot lights.  The snow in front of the flagpoles is illuminated by my headlights, which are much whiter.  This is why many flash-lit photos look bad - the flash is such a different color of light than the ambient lighting.  Slap a (huge) gel on my headlights, and the whole scene looks a lot more normal.  Gelling your lights also helps with color correcting in post, because then you only have one shade of light to correct for.  Here, if I take out some of the yellow to improve the look of the snow, the lights in front of the car look even more blue-white.

Nikon D90
26mm - ISO 2000 
1/5s- f/5

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