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It is almost end of the day,sun is about to set. There is a warm glow all over, golden hues are everywhere setting the perfect mood for the evening.

In terms of photography this is THE Golden Hour. This happens up to around one hour after the sunrise and one hour before the sunset. The colour temperature of light during this period is around 3000-3500 degrees Kelvin. Due to low colour temperature the scene appears warm and has a shade of golden tint. The whites appear yellowish orange and sets the right mood for a perfect sunrise or sunset photographs. And since the sun is low at this hour and the light intensity is less, the shadows are long and soft. 

In situations where accuracy of colours in subject is very important, white balance settings in the camera help in getting the perfect white in white objects which ensures accurate depiction of other colours as well. The built-in flash if the camera and studio flashes are colour corrected lights which means that the light temperature is set around 5200 degrees Kelvin. 

In film days when the facility of white balance was not there in the cameras, filters were used to manage the whites. To counter yellow light, blue filter was used. For making green colour white (flouroscent lights make the scene greenish),a magenta filter was applied.

Even the colour films came in two varieties – Daylight & Tungsten (basically yellow light with temperature around 3000 degrees Kelvin).

The opposite colours of RGB are CMY.

RGB: Red,Green,Blue

CYM : Cyan,Magenta,Blue

K stands for black in CMYK.

White Balance settings applies the same principle of putting opposite colour filters. The tungsten  setting will apply a blue filter and flouroscent setting will apply a magenta filter.

Going higher means high colour temperature. In the hills, scenes appear blue. The blue sky is also because of very high temperature of light( around 16000 degrees Kelvin)

A colour temperature below 5000 degrees Kelvin will give warm tones in the photographs and cool tones will start appearing after 5500 degrees Kelvin.

PS: A further study on Color Wheel is suggested.

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