Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why Can't Every Wall be White?

I do not have my own studio. I wish I did but I don't. Someday I will but until that lovely time arrives I rent, borrow and beg for space when I need it. It is certainly not an optimal situation but you do what you have to do.

I shot a bunch of stock images on the weekend in a yoga studio space that I rented from a friend. While reviewing the images one thing became immediately clear - I practically needed zero colour correction. It was a really nice surprise. I alway shoot a grey card during my shoots to use in post and in a lot of instances I can see a colour bias when I pull up the images on my Mac. Fixing the colour in post is easy with the grey card shot but for this shoot the images were clean right out of the camera.

The image below is straight out of the camera. No colour, exposure or contrast correction. Nothing. Zip. Zero.


Looks pretty darn clean, hey? It took me precisely two-seconds to realize why. The studio that I had rented for the weekend shoot had pure white walls and a white ceiling. It is that simple. The studio I normally use for shots such as these has creamy walls. It is not a strong colour but it is enough to influence the colour of the light that bounces around the room eventually landing back on my subject and seamless white paper. The colour bias will get shifted just a touch.

Of course, nothing was worse than when I shot in a small yoga studio with bright, canary yellow walls. Oh boy, let's not even talk about that one!


The funny thing is even though I knew that a room's colour can effect the colour of the exposure I didn't really think too much about it until I noticed the difference this weekend. Oh certainly the point was driven home in the nasty yellow walled studio but it was not distinct enough in the creamy coloured studio to pierce my thick skull.

Really I don't want *every* wall to be white, maybe just every studio I'm shooting in.

Keep shooting.

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