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The Low Light Photography Field Guide by Michael Freeman

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Artificial Low Light

Lamps that work by burning filaments are the most traditional kind of artificial illumination, with a low color temperature but a continuous spectrum.

Specifically, the color temperature of a light source depends on the energy output (in watts), as we saw on pages 2829, and is significantly orange in relation to daylight. Because incandescent lamps and the sun generate light by the same mechanism—burning—they are perfectly known quantities and are no problem for photography.

Non-incandescent lighting, however, is another matter, and is increasing in use. Most modern artificial lighting relies on the visible emissions from specific elements, which are always limited and never as pleasing as continuous-spectrum light. The ...

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