East Fortune – white balance madness

I knew there was a danger of a difficulty with the white balance at East Fortune and I guess the hangar two kind of lulled me into into a false sense of security because hangar three proved really problematic.

What’s white balance you ask?

Have you ever taken a photo in a room only to see the print with a horrible colour cast? That’s because the film or sensor has not registered the correct colour temperature and what looked white to your eye came out a yucky yellow or blue.

Generally modern digital cameras are fairly good at automatically applying the colour balance but sometimes they get it wrong. The trouble is the hangars were lit with mercury vapour, which has a magenta colour and natural light which has a warm tone to it. My images came out with a nauseating green cast due to the mercury vapour and a magenta cast due to the natural light. Something had to give and mostly the colour gave out.

G-ACYK Spartan Cruiser

This one had a magenta cast on the rear fuselage. Normally I am not in favour of the grunge look to HDR but here it seemed to fit with the battered fuselage. The base colour is a dark red which does not make for an interesting photo.


This one had a magenta tinged shadow and the rest of the floor had a green cast. I cheated like blazes here, converted to monochrome and colour popped the colours back onto the aircraft. The red is slightly dark but what the Hell…

G-BBVF Twin Pioneer

My eye was drawn to this one by a beautiful pool of light under the aircraft.This one was cropped a little wider than my usual 3:2 aspect ratio as I wanted the two nose cones to frame the shot. There was a magenta cast under the Twin-Pin. I was going to use a vignette to darken the corners but it made the top right hand corner too dark.

G-BELF Islander

This one was very difficult. The light hits it and then reflects a nauseous green glow onto the floor, it is very difficult to get an accurate colour image of this aircraft. Again I cheated like hell, and colour popped the yellow back in leaving the rest as a monochrome. This was the second version as I had forgotten to pop half the horizontal stabiliser.

The full set can be found here http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwshack/sets/72157623474598906/



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