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Problem picture #13

What's wrong with this picture?


Everything's fuzzy and there is an orange cast. How come?
Everything's fuzzy and there is an orange cast. How come?

Perhaps you have taken a picture that turned out like this, and you wonder what the problem was, and what could you have done to improve it?

The problem is simple. The shot was taken indoors, where there was insufficient light for hand-holding the camera. Some exterior light is coming in from a large window in the background, but its effect is minimal. Because the lighting is predominantly incandescent (household bulbs) and the film used was daylight-type film, the picture has an overall warm, orange look to it.

What could have been done to salvage this picture?

The fuzziness - A tripod is not the answer to avoiding the picture's fuzziness, although it would have held the camera much steadier than hand-holding at a slow shutter speed. With a tripod, the blur in stationary objects wouldn't be there, but the movement of the people would have caused blur. The photographer needed a faster shutter speed. He or she could have achieved this by either switching to a faster film or a faster ISO sensitivity setting for your digital camera, selecting a wider aperture or by adding more light, such as the light from an electronic flash.

The orange cast - The warm tinge of the image is caused by the color temperature of the interior lights along with the use of daylight film. If the photographer had used tungsten film, which is made for interior lighting and gives a much cooler cast than daylight film, the image would appear more naturally-lit. (If flash had been used, there would be no need for tungsten film, since the light from electronic flash is balanced for daylight film.)

If the same picture had been taken with a digital camera, the orange cast could have been avoided by correctly setting the camera's white balance for the available light.


 
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