Warm Hearted

In photography, whether you are aware of this creative bias or not, in both the subjects you shoot and the style in which you shoot them, you are either a “warm” or “cool’ photographer.

In other words, by both nature and nurture, you are organically attracted to either the “warm” or “cool” side of the color spectrum.

Color temperature is a way of describing how the color of a light source looks to our eyes. It is measured in kelvins, which is a unit of temperature. The higher the kelvin number, the cooler or bluer the light is. The lower the kelvin number, the warmer or yellower the light is.

For example, a candle flame has a low color temperature of about 1850 K, which means it gives off a warm yellow-orange glow. A clear blue sky has a high color temperature of about 15,000 K, which means it gives off a cool blue light. The sun at noon has a color temperature of about 5500 K, which means it gives off a white light with a slight yellow tint.

Different light sources have different color temperatures, and they can affect how we perceive the colors of objects and scenes.

For example, if you take a photo of a white wall under a warm light, it may look yellowish in the photo. If you take the same photo under a cool light, it may look bluish in the photo. To correct this, you can adjust the white balance setting on your camera or editing software to match the color temperature of the light source.

Color temperature can also create different moods and atmospheres in different settings. For example, warm lights are often used in living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms to create a cozy and relaxing feel. Cool lights are often used in kitchens, offices, and work spaces to create a bright and energetic feel.

Oddly, how our eyes and brain see and process color, is quite different that how the camera sees the same. In life, our eyes, naturally, “correct” for any wonky color combinations we might see. But cameras don’t make these corrections. Cameras see the exact color temperature of the light (which is why, as a photographer, you need to understand the concept of “white balance”

I haven’t quite figured out why I am, through and through, a “warm” photographer , but I definitely am.

I like to think of myself, in both life and photography, as “warm hearted” 🙂



Jack Hollingsworth