The Original is Not Always Right - The Camera/Film

When having your print film developed and printed by a lab it's important to be able to look as objectively as possible at the quality of the prints produced, albeit by a machine with little or no human intervention. Little Johnny's smiling face will actually look better when properly printed and processed.

The colour of the light, under which the original camera exposure was made, has a significant effect on the way colours are recorded. In theory images made between 2 hours after sunrise and 2 hours before sunset produce relatively neutral color rendition. But this assumes your subject is illuminated directly by the sun or, even better, by sun diffused by a large white cloud.

If, on the other hand, the subject is photographed in the shade, the light source cannot be the sun. Under such conditions illumination is provided by the sky. On a clear day the color of the sky is in the blue/cyan range.

This cool colored skylight is cast (like a fisherman's net) over your subject and mixes with colors inherent to the subject (skin tone and clothing) to form new colors. The effect seems to be particularly noticeable in neutral and warm colors. Photographic blue (actually quite close to what we would call violet) mixed, in equal proportions, with red produces the color magenta. So, for example, blue light from the sky mixed with a red dress will record the dress with more of a magenta/red hue (color) than would have been the case if it had been lit with neutral color light. 

Glenn Guy