What is color temperature?

What is color temperature?

May 11 , 2020

When taking pictures, we often hear a word that is not new: color temperature. But in fact, many people do not know its true meaning, nor the relationship between it and the light.

If you love to take pictures and plan to make a living from it, then you must know the color temperature.

The official definition of color temperature is to heat a black body to a temperature where the color of the light emitted is the same as the color of the light emitted by a light source.


The temperature heated by this black body is called the color temperature of the light source, referred to as "Color temperature".

A common example is a process of turning the black iron block from black to red, yellow, and blue as the temperature rises during the ironing process.


Its unit is Kelvin, or "K", and 1 color temperature is 1K. Although the color temperature scale is in the range of 1000-10000K, the Kelvin color temperature of light sources that appear in movies and photography is usually in the following range.

• 2000K-3000K:

The warm white and yellow light emitted by the flame, and the color temperature of the home light bulb.

• 3000K-4500K:

Tungsten filament lamps and the color temperature of the day and night.

• 4600K-6500K:

Direct sunlight, cloudy, and color temperature of HMI lamps.


There will be a concept of cool and warm colors, usually, we classify yellow, red, orange, and other colors as warm colors, while white, blue, cyan, and other colors are cool colors.

The redder the color, the lower the color temperature, and the bluer the color, the higher the color temperature.

The color temperature of red is the lowest, and then gradually increased online is orange, yellow, white, and in the end the color with the highest color temperature is blue.


For example, when taking pictures on a sunny day, the color temperature of the light is very high at this time, so the photos taken are cooler.


When taking photos at sunrise/sunset, the color temperature of the fiber is low, so the photo is warm.


Examples of a color temperature of common objects in life:

  • 1700 K: match light
  • 1850 K: candle
  • 2800 K: common color temperature of tungsten lamps (incandescent lamps)
  • 3000 K: the common color temperature of halogen lamps and yellow fluorescent lamps
  • 3350 K: Studio "CP" lights
  • 3400 K: studio table lamp, photo floodlight (not flash), etc ...
  • 4100 K: Moonlight, light yellow fluorescent lamp
  • 5000 K: Daylight
  • 5500 K: average daylight, electronic flash (varies by manufacturer)
  • 5770 K: effective solar temperature
  • 6420 K: Xenon arc lamp
  • 6500 K: color temperature of the most common white fluorescent lamp
  • 9300 K: TV screen (analog)

Different color temperatures give different perceptions. Therefore, when taking pictures, we can adjust the color temperature to create a different atmosphere and mood for the photos, and inject our own emotional tone.

When we know this, when we take pictures, we often find that the color of the object we see is white, but why is it not white? This needs to understand the relationship between color temperature and white balance. As for this point, I will explain it in detail in the next blog. I will talk about it today.

See Also:

RING LIGHT, A NEW CONFESSION ARTIFACT

ECOLOGICAL PHOTOGRAPHY:THE MECHANICAL HUMMINGBIRD PHOTOGRAPHER

CUSTOMERS' TRUE COMMENTS ON QIAYA RING LIGHT

CREATE YOUR STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

LIGHTING SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR LIVE-STREAMING

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