We’re not the best photographers, but we are trying to get better as we go. And that’s why we find ourselves doing things like this in the middle of homespun photoshoots.
See how neon blue it looks behind me in that picture? That’s because when shooting our artificially-lit kitchen, any natural light looks like that. Usually not a problem, except when some window light shines through and makes a subtle blue splash on the freshly painted cabinets that we’re trying to take pictures of. Sherry doesn’t always notice these things, but they drive me crazy. See the blue-ish light reflecting off the doors and the side of the peninsula? It’s taunting me.
So with the help of my trusty blanket (which blocked the light coming in from the living room) and Sherry behind the camera, we got this shot instead.
It’s subtle, but it makes me very happy. According to Sherry “it’s exactly the same thing.” And I might have been called a dork. But no sir, John Petersik sees the difference. And will not stand for pesky lighting inconsistencies. Not on my watch.
Wow. Good use of taunting. That’s such a great word.
Yes! I can see the difference too! Except that it’s more like shadow and then no shadow, as opposed to blue light and no blue light. But either way – definitely a difference.
Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove says
I know exactly what you mean with natural light. Whenever it discolors things, I try to just clean it up in Photoshop. Oh well… could be worse. More than weird lighting effects, I hate having to use my flash because the lighting feels so harsh.
I love your guys’ stuff so much, that i’m totally happy with either photo. HOWEVER, i’m totally with you John. Blue light specials should be left at kame-a-part, k-mart :)
Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm says
Have to say, I’m with Sherry. I don’t see a difference at all. You must have super vision!
I see this difference! Of course, I have to pick colors for work all the time, so I know that the CFLs in my studio are different that the halogen bulbs downstairs and the outside light. We’ve been know to take color samples outside to check in rain, snow or shine.
You, sir, are awesome.
toni from says
sorry John I don’t see the difference either, might be more noticeable in person perhaps. LOL
i see the difference, but i cant even pretend to be a good enough photographer to worry about stuff like that in my own photos. however it comes out of the camera is how it stays!
Haha I do see the difference now that you show the two pictures side by side, but I would NEVER have noticed it just looking at the first picture. I love it, though.
Um, I can see it but only after staring. The joys of perfectionism! :)
Mandy S says
I totally see it! But honestly, if you didn’t post about it, I would have never really paid attention to it. I guess I just see it as a whole, until you said something, and now that’s all I can see in the first pic!
way to go the extra mile!…or extra blanket, same thing :-) and i never think Clara looks like John, but the face hehind the blanket totally looks like Clara!
No kidding! Total Clara-face. :)
Of course there’s a difference. Maybe if you tell people to look towards the refrigerator they’ll see the blue color more. I agree taking pictures of white things is difficult and I’m glad you go through the trouble of fixing it. It bother me too a bit. Great job!
I definitely see the difference. It also kills the glare on the fridge and the shadow from the glass dome on the counter. Much cleaner shot.
It’s sort of like the Highlights Magazine – what’s different in these two photos. At first they looked exactly the same but now I can tell a difference in the paint color and the shadows!
John – you would like using Adobe Lightroom! It is like photoshop for all of us who can see subtle differences like the one here!
Oh John – so funny, you make me laugh. I can imagine the conversation between the two of you.
Is this a ploy to get us to spend more time on your site? ;)
I just spent 5 minutes or so trying to see the difference in the top and bottom picture.
If this was a vote and your readers were forced to settle marital disputes — I vote for Sherry’s case. I don’t see a difference.
Young House Life says
Haha- I just told John I was taking a picture of his head over that blanket and if he really wanted to keep it real he should blog about his light-blocking neurosis on YHLife. Haha.
Ha! That’s hilariously nerdy. I mean that in a good way. I’m the same kind of perfectionist!
I see it John!!!! Great eye :)
For those who can’t see it, look at the refrigerator. That’s where I notice it the most.
It’s the little things that make all the difference. I never would have noticed the blue in the 1st picture, but the contrasting 2nd picture is clearly superior. Well done! Bizarre Internet World Sidenote: the image showed up on Pinterest before today’s post even popped into my google reader. You guys clearly have some devoted readers out there!
Young House Life says
Woah- that’s crazy! So flattered of course.
[email protected] says
Sounds like me and my husband! I never would have noticed but a detail like that would drive him nuts!
What about using camera filters? The polarized filter might be able to cut the blue tones out.
Young House Life says
Oh yes, that could help too!
I most definitely see the difference. Yes, it’s more difficult to get the right white balance when you have two different sources of light. Good job, John.
That kind of attention to detail matters-I read other similar home improvement blogs and am bothered by the quality of the pics and click away! I totally see what John is talking about!
ha. love it. I’m a graphic designer John so I TOTALLY see the difference. Deal with this sort of thing all the time so I ‘got yo back’. Great use of ‘props'(blankie). And I also like how it toned down the shadows AND the blue tint in the glass (on counter top) which is hard to shoot, especially when you have green behind it (which we all know is a ‘cool’ colour with a base of blue). So, all that to say, well done. Great job and this reader ‘noticed’. ;)
If anyone has tips or a resource on how to take good photos of interiors, I would love to see it. Just getting enough light in the first place is tricky enough. Then there is the issue of all the crazy different colors that come along with different light sources. I agree that a flash is unacceptable.
Maureen @ This (Kinda) Old House says
I can totally see the difference. In my house of crazy natural light/lock of natural light problems, I can totally appreciate this. My insanely tiny bathroom is a pain in the arse to shoot pics in for this very reason.
Ha! I totally don’t really see it. I mean, maybe if I squint….
But, this is why ya’ll are so successful! Perfectionism and the balance ya’ll have between each other. love it.
I think the most obvious difference is actually the right side of the fridge, before and after. I couldn’t really tell on the counters.
Sorry if this is in the post (I swear I read it, but I can’t figure it out), but where did you hold the blanket to get that shot?
Nevermind!!! I read living room but thought dining room. I get it now :)
i always assumed you took the pictures at night because there weren’t weird shadows in your kitchen photos. needless to say, i notice the difference and appreciate your dedication to blanket holding/light blocking :-)
Shannon @ Bungalow960 says
I’m glad to know that I am not the only one living with a crazy lighting obsessed person. My boyfriend is an electrical engineer and lighting designer, so there is always SOMETHING not quite up to snuff for him. But on the good side, that means everything in my house is always well lit!
Ali Miller says
I never would have noticed, either. However, it definitely adds a level of professionalism. That’s one of the things that is so great about you guys: Reading your writing, you come off as pretty casual, easy going, and fun to read. On the flip side, you’re very devoted and always do the best job you can–true professionals.
Sew View says
Spot on. That’s exactly it. John and Sherry, you are truly impressive.
Young House Life says
Aw thanks guys!
Jen from insideways says
From another amature home photo taker, mixed lighting drives me crazy too! For me it’s always that I forget to turn off my kitchen light when I take pictures in the natural light of the living room. The yellow tungsten glow drives me *crazy*. John, I totally see it!!
I see the difference, but the 1st picture looked fine to me. My husband is a professional videographer and obsesses about this stuff all the time…. I’ll be trying to get a picture of our daughter & he’s running around adjusting curtains, complaining about the “weird shadows”. My only goal is to get her smiling and he’s obsessed with the light! Glad he’s not the only husband who worries about that. :-)
My husband is a lighting designer, those are the details that drive him crazy too! My parents had mixed tone cfls in their kitchen and because he has made me aware of these differences I totally had to change them to all match for them :)
Jessica Diamond says
I can totally tell the difference between the two. I’m such a freak about things like that too.
I think it looks totally the same!
Just kidding it does look better in the second shot! I luv how u guys pay attention to details!
way to go Sr. John Petersik The Blue Light Blocker
I can see it too and it drives me insane when it happens in my pictures too! Using the blanket was smart! Not only did it get rid of the blueish cast but it also took care of the light flare-up on the fridge door! YEAH!
the photographer in me <3's this. it's the kind of thing i do! love the keepin' it real s+j!
Well that was adorable…. ;-)
Adrienne J says
That’s genius John! I can definitely see the difference! Thanks for the blanket trick idea.
Totally see the difference. I don’t know if I would’ve thought of it if you hadn’t posted the “perfect” picture, but I can see that it is clearly a much better representation of the cabinet color. Its ok to be fussy, John!!
Ummm … this can truly mess with someone’s head John. I don’t see a darn thing. Is this one of those things “how to keep a %#@$!!” guessing? :)
Young House Life says
Haha- you’re like me Sandy. Apparently we’re not very detailed folks!
I’m no pro photographer, but I can see the difference too! And have to agree with another commenter- flash can be so harsh too!
There is definitely a difference!
Yeah, sometimes ‘blue lights’ aren’t so special.
Can definately see the difference! As a beginner DSLR user I’m seeing a lot of this kind of thing so THANK YOU for the blanket trick AND all the white balance info you have shared in the past as well!