The Difference Between Cool & Hot Photography Lighting

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Cool and hot photography each produce very interesting but very different types of photographs. Learn the difference between cool and hot photography with help from an experienced director of photography in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Photography Lighting
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dan Reinecke, and today I'm going to tell you the difference between cool and warm photography. Now, what this is is the difference between the white balance on your camera compared to the light that is coming in. Now, say, you have your camera set to a tungsten balance on the white balance. Now, basically what that means is the white in the photograph are going to be coming in at tungsten level which tungsten level is 3200 degrees kelvin. So, now say, you set your camera to a daylight value and your lights were still tungsten lights or oranger lights. Now, what that's going to do is it's going to balance your camera for the daylight setting, though your lights are coming in, they're actually going to be coming in at 3200 degrees rather than at daylight level which is 5600. Now, what that's going to cause you to do is have a very orange light coming in because your camera is actually set to a higher value than what the tungsten value is. Now, adversely, when you have your camera set at a tungsten value and say you're outside during the day, everything is going to look really blue. And the reason for that is the light that's coming in is actually coming in at 5600 kelvin, not tungsten which your camera is set to; tungsten being 3200 again. Now, what this means is your camera isn't really reading the white balance correctly. Not, not that it's incorrect, but it's just not reading it the same as the lighting coming in. So, because of that, your, your pictures are actually going to come out a little bit warm or a little bit cool than the white balance it's actually intending for. So, that is the difference between a warm and a cool photo in photography. I'm Dan Reinecke, take your best shot.


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