The colors of objects that we see are not a property of the objects themselves, but a property of our vision. Grass looks green only because light rays reflected from it with a wavelength in the range of 500-565 nm, falling on the light-sensitive receptors of the eye, cause the brain to feel green. Having got used to the fact that the grass is usually green, we see it green even in unusual lighting. Human vision is characterized by color impermanence. Our brain adjusts the color balance so that objects retain their natural colors for us as much as possible, regardless of the color of the lighting. White paper seems to us equally white, that in the daytime, when it is illuminated by cold light pouring from the window, that in the evening, when the warm light of incandescent lamps falls on it. The brain knows that the paper should be white and takes action, correcting reality, and a stupid camera will truthfully depict the paper in one case blue, and in the other – orange. In photography, to achieve a natural effect, you should use the white balance settings, adjusting it depending on the lighting conditions, either independently, or trusting this process to an automatic algorithm.
Spoon of honey
As you can see, the human visual system is very different from a digital camera. Moreover, it differs, as a rule, for the better, allowing us to admire the world around us in a wide range of conditions without even thinking about the technical side of the issue. However, there are several areas where photography can give our vision a head start. First of all, this is a night shooting. With the onset of darkness, the sensitivity of the human eye to color decreases significantly. In the darkness we see colors, vanishingly faint, with the exception of brightly lit objects. The camera’s sensor, as well as color film (especially reversible), do not have such restrictions, and if you have the patience for long night exposures, you can capture surprisingly rich and diverse colors in your photos, shooting poorly lit scenes, whether it’s a night Park, an abandoned mine or a cave, a dark attic littered with picturesque trash – any place where the light is weak, soft and unusual.
In addition to the amazing sensitivity to night colors, the camera makes it possible to perform interesting manipulations with time. For example, using a very short shutter speed, you can freeze a splash of water, a gymnast’s jump, or a bird’s wing flap, i.e. phenomena that never look static to our eyes. On the contrary, a long exposure allows you to enhance the sense of movement to the point of surrealism, blurring the running clouds, waterfall streams or lights of a stream of cars on a night street. Such scenes are also a reflection of reality, although they look somewhat fantastic.
The General conclusion of this article is: remember the differences between you and your camera and modify the shooting process to convey to the viewer what you saw and thought it necessary to capture in the photo, and not your wayward equipment.