Beef photos and white balance

I love how the weekly I heart faces photo challenges force me to grow as a hobby photographer and I especially appreciate learning from other photographers who stop by my blog to offer constructive feedback.

Today’s post is a result of white balance suggestions made by Patrick on my previous “i heart beef” blog entry. What I was trying to learn was the best lighting and composition for taking a beef photo. Not a typical photo subject for me but, nonetheless, the challenge still gave me an opportunity to improve my skills.

Here are two photos, both taken outside (I don’t have a studio so I opt for natural light and I prefer not to use flash), the first one using the the “cloudy” WB setting (5000KB) on my Nikon D5000 and the second one taken with the “house” WB setting (3400KB.)

5000K WB:

I heart beef!

3400K WB:

Smoky Beef Stew - October 10, 2010

I submitted the photo taken with 5000KB WB because I thought it was more important to highlight the beef by giving the bread more bokeh and I thought the color of the beef might pop more against a cooler background. In the 3400KB WB photo, the overall photo is warmer but, I thought the bread was too prominent since it was in focus. After reading Patrick’s comments in my previous post, I’m wondering now if I should have submitted the 3400KB for the photo challenge. What do you think?

I don’t aspire to be a food photographer but, this photo challenge gave me an exercise in composition, lighting, and making the color brown pop. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I hope some of you learn a few things along with me on my shutterbug journey! And, thank you again to all of you that offer tips and advice!

– Amelia

5 comments on “Beef photos and white balance

  1. Patrick says:

    Liking the warmer image! If the bread is too sharp, there are some PhotoShop plugins that you can use to selectively un-focus areas of your image, or you can use PhotoShop’s blur tool with a mask to emulate depth-of-field blurring effects. Can you submit the warmer image?

    The idea of changing the WB setting hit me after I made my previous comment. Surprisingly, I wasn’t thinking in digital mode at the time.

    One of the advantages in digital photography is the ability to change the WB or Kelvin temperature of an image without adding filters, changing lights, using different film, or waiting for the perfect time of day. By setting the Kelvin temperature of an image higher than the current situation, the image becomes warmer. Setting the temperature lower, makes it colder. Seems to make sense when you think about it… 100 deg is warmer than 32, right?

    So, if you’re out in a beautiful field of flowers, but the lighting is just too “white,” say 5500K (approx mid-day sun, non-cloudy), by changing your camera’s setting to 6500 Kelvin (or the camera’s “Cloudy” setting), you make the resulting image “warmer.”

    The same goes for film. Daylight film is designed to be used in 5000K light, approximately. So, if you shoot it indoors, under tungsten lighting, which is normally in the range of 3200K, the resulting images tend to have an orange cast, making the image appear much warmer.

    TMI…back to lurking mode. Great shooting, Amelia!


  2. meelswa says:

    Patrick: The weekly “i heart beef” photo challenge is closed, which is no big deal. It’s great just practicing and learning. Thanks for your comments! 🙂


  3. The warmer image does look a lot better… Good Shot!!


  4. sayan says:

    check out for Nikon D3100 details and compare with others.
    check out for Canon EOS500D details.
    check out for Nikon D5000 details.


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