What is Kelvin Temperature and How Can Photographers Make it Work for Them?

Color Temperature


By Justice

When we understand what  Kelvin temperature is, we can help use it to our advantage so that we can shoot even better pictures.  As a photographer, your main weapon is light. It is what you’re mainly working with.  Understand light and you can manipulate conditions to bring out the best of your work….

So first off, let’s talk about what Kelvin temperature is.  Kelvin temperature is a measuring scale that determines the warmth or coolness of your pictures. It relates to your digital camera’s white balance.

Noonday camel


Because our eyes interpret so much and compensate for different color temperatures so well, it can be hard to remember that cameras aren’t advanced and can’t compete with what we see. It helps to remember how the camera interprets light, and not assume it’s like our eyes. This can really help you become more truly aware of the light around you and how to control it. If you shoot at high noon, the Kelvin temperature would be about 5000k.  In the old days of just film cameras the film was manufactured for 5000k. If you look at the daylight setting that is on your camera, that is what the temperature is listed under. There are also other Kelvin temperatures on the white balance settings of your camera. A cloudy day is 7000K, tungsten is 3200K etc.  Having this knowledge is beneficial to you because you can use it to help your camera compensate when circumstances aren’t ideal.  For example, if you want to add warmth to a photo during a cloudy day, you can use the ‘open shade’ setting.  The camera will act as if the light is bluer than it is and the photograph will have a warmer color to it. This can be done in the reverse too.

Color temperature

Color temperature

This information is important because when you use it, you can manipulate the light settings you’re working with.  And the more you know, the better of a photographer you will become.  Study light and understand the tools you have and the possibilities will be endless.


Correct white  balance

How to correct white balance

White Balance Tutorial – Continue reading on Cambridgeincolour.com

Color Temp.Chart

Color temp. chart

Photography Lesson on Color – Continue reading on Cameraandgears.blogspot.com



Photo Coloring Temperature – Continue reading on Photography-13.com

Color temp reader

Color temp reader

Color Temp Reading Device – Continue reading on Digital Photography School.com



Kelvin Temperature in Photography – Continue reading on thediscerningphotographer.com


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