Color Temperature Explained For Lighting & Photography

Color Temperature Explained For Lighting & Photography

Gregory Han
May 30, 2012

It's fairly easy to remember the lower the color temperature, the dimmer the light source. So for example, a candle hovers around 1000K while a clear sky day is rated at 10,000K. But when it comes to both photography and choosing a lightbulb, determining the ideal color temperatures can be all too easy to forget. The infographic illustrates clearly where everything falls, and also a helpful side chart for photographic presets to improve your next snapshot...

Here's another color rendering index chart, comparing incandescents with compact fluorescents.

Basically, it comes down to two things, color temperature and color rendering index.

When it comes to color temperature, an incandescent lamp's color is usually between 2700-3000 degrees Kelvin, or 2700K to 3000K for short. This is the range you want to shoot for when you buy a fluorescent lamp. The higher the number, the cooler (towards blue) the light which explains my alien space ship situation. This information should be available on the box.

Via Digital Camera World, via Infographic Redux

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