I’ve been studying lighting and video/photography since the last post. At that time I was sure I had found the reason for the lack of red in the recorded video and photographs of paintings. Firstly, I was taking a ‘white balance’ reading from the blank canvas, assuming it was white. But there’s white, and there’s white. Taking a white balance reading is done to measure the colour of the light and allow the camera to deduct this from the image, giving a photo without a colour cast. Its essential that a pure white surface be used and this was the problem. A blank canvas is not pure white. Mine was slightly cream in colour. This meant the red and yellow (cream) were factored out by the processor in the camera. But this was only part of the problem.
The bigger issue was with the lighting itself. Without getting too technical and trying to remain interesting, I will briefly let you know what happens. The secret is in the rainbow colours seen when light is refracted. Daylight has a full rainbow of colour, which when mixed produces white light. Fluorescent light is also white but it does not have a complete range of colours. Its rainbow is composed of narrow bands of colour with deficiencies in some areas. I quote from this article, “Fluorescent lamps with low CRI (Colour rendering index) have phosphors that emit too little red light. Skin appears less pink, and hence “unhealthy” compared with incandescent lighting.”
My last 2 paintings had pink as an important colour and this was not ‘seen’ by the camera under fluorescent light. Correcting the colour balance made no difference – the pink was missing. Photographing in daylight was perfect. The result is, I have to switch to incandescent light. It may have a colour cast, which can be corrected, but more importantly, it has a more complete spectrum.
The following video was shot under fluorescent light. The stills at the beginning and end and also the above photo were taken in daylight. Notice the difference. There is more information about the painting in the previous post.