Warm vs cold color
Photographers often speak of ‘warm’ versus ‘cold’ colors. This describes the intrinsic color of light and how it changes according to the time of day and the light sources being used. Almost all light consists of a spectrum of colors mixed together.
Early or late in the day, this spectrum contains a greater quantity of yellow and red, to give a characteristic warm-toned look.
During the middle of the day, the color balance is more neutral. Flash tends to give neutral-toned colors too, though can sometimes introduce a slightly blue ‘cold’ look.
Shots taken in shade can look cool-toned too, especially if they’re lit by a blue sky (but not direct sun). Both ‘cool’ shots and ‘warm’ shots can look good, depending on the circumstances and what you’re trying to achieve.
Portraits and landscapes can often benefit from a slightly ‘warm’ effect, often achieved in the past using special ‘warm-up’ filters.
PAGE 1: Awareness of digital color photography
PAGE 2: Warm vs cold color
PAGE 3: The color of natural light
PAGE 4: What are color spaces?
PAGE 5: What is color gamut?
PAGE 6: What is bit depth?
PAGE 7: What is color temperature all about?