Facebook Pixel Creating Moods with the Kelvin Scale

Creating Moods with the Kelvin Scale

In this article Christina Nichole sheds some light on the Kelvin Scale.

Have you ever gone into a shooting scenario and struggled to match your white balance to the available light? Have you ever wondered how to intensify the color of a sunset without digital enhancement, or create a mood with the color of your available light?


I have two words for you:

Kelvin Scale.

Found on most modern cameras, the Kelvin scale is a control feature forgotten among photographers. However, the Kelvin Scale can provide opportunities for fantastic creativity with a little bit of knowledge.

The Kelvin Scale ranges from 2000 … 10000. The coldest tone of the scale starts at 2000, casting a very cold bluish tint to photos. The warmest tone of the scale ends at 10000 and is extremely red-orange.. It may help to think of the Kelvin Scale in terms of white balances:

1000-2000 K Candlelight

2500-3500 K Tungsten Bulb (household variety)

3000-4000 K Sunrise/Sunset (clear sky)

4000-5000 K Fluorescent Lamps

5000-5500 K Electronic Flash

5000-6500 K Daylight with Clear Sky (sun overhead)

6500-8000 K Moderately Overcast Sky

9000-10000 K Shade or Heavily Overcast Sky

Just as your camera’s white balance will “compensate” for the way it “sees” the light in a scene, Kelvin Scale allows you to control the color correcting of your images point by point.


Why use the Kelvin scale as opposed to a standard white balance? If you can’t control the light tones of a room according to the standard “tungsten”, go Kelvin. If you can’t achieve the perfect skin tone of your subject by shooting on “cloudy”, once again, go for Kelvin.

Kelvin scale can also be used creatively for enhancing the colors of sunsets and sunrises. By altering and adding color with the Kelvin Scale, your images will achieve that “creative edge” with ultimate control.

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Christina N Dickson
Christina N Dickson

is a visionary artist and philanthropist in Portland Oregon. Her work includes wedding photography www.BrideInspired.com and leadership with www.RevMediaBlog.com.

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