Roland Small Header

The photograph with artificial light and the color temperature range


You might never have thought about what kind of light bulbs and light sources you use to take pictures of your products. Today I want to highlight that before photographing our products using artificial light we have to think how our products should be illuminated. Our sample image shows the color temperature range. We can see the colder light spectrum to the left, natural lighting in the middle and a warmer spectrum to the right.

It makes no sense to photograph natural materials under colder light because they lose their natural warmth. It also makes no sense to photograph white porcelain under warmer light that will make it appear yellow. It is therefore important to think very well about the harmonization between the materials, the background and the kind of light to be used. For example, it would make complete sense to use warm light to shoot a piece of jewelry with a yellow/brown stone and a gray background to harmonize the contrast between the background and the product.


cold or warm light2


What we should take from this is that we need to determine in advance if we require a cold or a warm light source and, therefore, we need different light bulbs for our light sources. Specialty stores label their light bulbs according to the Kelvin (K) color temperature scale. Color temperatures over 5000K are cold and color temperatures under 3000K are warm (7000K cold light / 5500 daylight / 5000K electronic flash / 2700 warm light).

Use electronic flash to simulate daylight but please consider that pictures taken with a flash will always have a blue tint giving it a cooler color temperature than real daylight. The blue tint created by electronic flash can be reduced using the bounce flash technique, which simply means one does not flash the light directly on the product but directs the flash onto a white flat surface to reflect the light indirectly.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest