06 January 2010

Everyone's Two Favorite Topics: Cabbage and White Balance

This isn't my typical photography post, but it definitely counts! I'm taking a break from engagements and family portraits to bring you a few photographs of a humble, yet beautiful, purple cabbage.

I love food and I love cooking. Sometime in the past few months I realized I could combine two of my favorite things: cooking and photography!  Last night I came across this irresistible vegetable at the grocery store, and spent almost as much time photographing it as eating it.  A lot of fun for .79!
Actually, we'll be eating it for a while now, as it was a rather large sphere of purpleness.  I put it in a salad last night, and I've been frantically searching through my recipe apps on my iPhone, looking for ways to use (purple) cabbage.
Isn't it beautiful??

OK, now for the photography part.  Of course, it's difficult it is to take photos in bad/yellow light, like the light in my kitchen, in the evening, which is when I do most of my cooking!  The important thing is to use a custom white balance setting.  This is basically setting the way your camera sees and interprets white. Compare these two untouched photos...the first one taken before I remembered to set the WB, and the second one using the custom setting:
Neither has been adjusted for exposure or color.  Clearly, the second example is much more accurate and clear.  The first is using the 'automatic white balance' setting.   So, I can't overstress the importance of using a custom white balance.  I actually keep a custom WB image on my camera chip, which was taken in my kitchen in the evening, so I can easily set it when I'm in there.  (Not that it's tough to take another photo of my white wall.)  Customizing your WB is an essential way to get correct color, and I think it even helps with exposure (although that may just be me).  If your camera doesn't allow you to take a photo for custom WB, at least try out the settings to see what looks best.

P.S.  I'd love to hear about any recipes/ideas you have to use up a large head of cabbage.

No comments: