photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

(what) kind of blue ?

Kodak or common sense ?

in Photography , Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This is something I’ve been dithering about since the dawn of time: the camera, and film in particular, does not see always light the way that we do, or rather the way that our brain interprets it.  With normal open air daytime light, this isn’t usually so obvious, but in shaded light, in morning and evening, and of course in mixed and artificial light, it’s a completely different story. The question is, should it be corrected ? There isn’t a “correct” answer to this - it is down to circumstance, taste, intent, perception and even ability. For mixed artificial and natural light it’s a real dilemma, but since I don’t really do that sort of thing, not for me.  But it strikes in landscape a lot too. Take this shot:

Xpan breggia051212 006

This is pretty much the scene as-is on film. The shadow areas show a strong blue tint, because the light is mainly coming from reflected a cloudless blue sky. In the background, there’s an area lit by the sun, and that looks “normal”. However, if you were actually there, your brain, knowing what colour the rocks and water are “supposed” to be, would tell you it looks roughly like this:

Xpan breggia051212 006 pip

So, which one to go with ? In the past I’ve tended more to go with the re-balanced version, but that can look pretty artificial if you’re not very careful, especially in the shadows. One photographer I have considerable time for, Bruce Percy, does not appear to correct his transparencies at all - and sometimes to me this seems to go too far.

I’ve just added three XPan shots from the nearby Gole della Breggia (including the one above) to my Recent Work gallery. In this case I’ve decided to leave the colour as it came off film, or rather as the scanner interpreted it, which is more or less the same thing.

But I’m really not sureā€¦


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