Exercise 8: Tunsten and Fluorescent Lighting.

The first part of the exercise required us to find a room lit by tungsten lighting.  We were asked to study the difference in light between the lit room and the low evening light outside.  Needless to say the light inside was  yellow, the outside dreary low light was much colder and bluer.

I walked around the room and noticed the difference in shutter speeds. I live in a dark house so any photography indoors even on the best of days requires a high ISO or a tripod.

I positioned myself on a tripod as .5 second was the best speed at ISO 400 with a reasonable aperture of f/7.1.

I took 3 images.

Set 1.

The left image (1a): Auto white balance

Middle image (1b): Tungsten.

Right Image (1c): Fluorescent.


Image 1a has the truest interior colour whilst Image 1 b has the truest outdoor colour. None of them are ideal.

The next part of the exercise was to find two different interiors with fluorescent light.

This second set was taken in a potters studio under horrific fluorescent strip lights that have long been the bane of my life! We were asked to take 3 images in different white balance settings.  Auto, fluorescent and alternative fluorescent. I don’t have an alternative fluorescent setting, so used ‘shade’ instead.

Set 2.

Left image (2a): Auto.

Middle image (2b): Fluorescent.

Right image (2c): Daylight


Image 2a leaves a sickly yellow hue. Image 2b is slightly pinker and kinder to the eye and image 3b… Well, I have cried in the past when I have forgotten to switch the white balance and found orange images when returning home to edit. Simply awful. The notes explain that none will ever be satisfactory because fluorescent light doesn’t emit the full colour spectrum.

Set 3.

These images were taken under a CPL desk lamp. I believe that this bulb I have is quite similar to daylight though.

Left image (3a): Auto.

Middle Image (3b): Daylight.

Right image (3c): Flourescent.


Interestingly this is a matter of creative taste and I quite like all of them.


Fluorescent light can be very difficult to deal with especially when mixed with outer ambient light sources. Careful consideration is needed to make sure we walk away with the right colour cast in images.


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