Our Response to “The Dress” | New England Wedding Photographer
So you’ve all seen it by now (and potentially argued with your co-workers or family!) about “the dress”. We’re not going to go into great detail about the extact hypotheses why that photograph is seen differently by different people, but we DO want to share that it does have to do with two very important things: white balance and color calibration. (Though for the record, Joshua sees gold & white and Caitlin sees blue & black – maybe this is part of why we are such a great team!)
If you’ve been to our home for to chat about your wedding or seen us in action at an event, you’ve probably seen our X-Rite ColorChecker Passport (And if you’re a photographer and want to get one after reading this, go ahead and swing by their website: HERE. Buying one of these is an amazing investment if you are passionate about accurate, life-like photographs!) And be you friend or client, you’ve probably heard Joshua geek out a little bit about both things at one time or another. So here’s the full story about why believe both white balance and color calibration are so important.
Each camera, no matter how sophisticated, is not as sophisticated as our God given eyes. Every lighting situation is different. White light is seen by cameras as having a slightly different hue or color. Our eyes and brain naturally compensate for this and make real life look…well, real! This is the main issue with the photograph of “the dress” that has taken the internet by storm. And while our eyes and brains adjust when we go from a cool outdoor shade to a warm indoor light bulb, our cameras need a little help. Thus we adjust for white balance to ensure that each photograph looks the way we actually perceived life to look at that time. We take this seriously and firmly believe that photographs should never be trendy or “filtered” (insert your favorite Instagram photograph here) but should look as realistic as possible. Here’s are a few examples of white balance and how it can truly change the way a photograph looks and feels.
The second issue that we overcome each wedding is accurate color calibration. We feel it is incredibly important to showcase accurate color in our clients’ finished photographs. Our brides and grooms choose their details in certain colors for a reason – they’re a reflection of their taste, their style and their stories. And we want to make sure we deliver photographs that have color as close as possible to how their actual wedding day looked. Below are some photographs of blue dresses that one of our first brides chose. The first photograph in each set is not color calibrated, while the second one is fully color calibrated. Not only does this make each image have accurate color by itself, but also makes images have accurate color next to each other – something that is TREMENDOUSLY important with for our clients as they’re looking through their Online Gallery and for blog/album design later on.
Lastly though, we’ve started to have some fun with all this technology over the years. Standing on a church altar holding something that resembles a make-up kit makes us feel a little funny. So we’ve adopted a policy that funny faces must be made at all times when holding the ColorChecker! So enjoy a little bit of our weird behind the scenes selves (and see some of clients get in on the fun as well!) We’ve noticed that Josh has incredible amount of blue ties and Cait seems to wear that red skirt an awful lot!
So that completes our mini-lesson on white balance and color calibration. We hope you’ve learned something and next time when your friend just won’t stop pestering you because you see “the dress” different than they do, just reply that it’s all a result of white balance and color calibration.
Caitlin & Joshua