Colour Temperature

Colour temperature is a measurement that relates to the colour light wash of an image. The visible light spectrum runs from blue to red hues and the temperature measured in Kelvin follows this with cooler colours typically measuring over 5000K, and warmer temperatures are located on the opposite end of the scale under 3000K. The following table gives a sense of how the temperature relates to the overall feel of an image:

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 03.25.43


When plotted on a CIE colour space model you can see how the points represent the chromaticities of the colours of light emitted by uncoloured incandescent lamps. Temperature adapts a measurement system in Kelvin rather than plots on the CIE model, this becomes an advantage of measuring the intensity and colour of the image through this method.



The entire process of colour temperature is important as a stylistic tool as it changes the entire feel to a piece of media. It is something commonly dealt with when grading a picture as colder temperatures are generally less inviting and darker when compared to warmer and redder imagery. There isn’t much more involved with colour temperature other than the basic understanding that it is a measurement for uncoloured lamps and the intensity of the light. By throwing the temperature it will throw the hues throughout the entire image, ultimately it determines your reference as to what is white, and how every colour responds in relation to what has been defined as this.


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