The Big Blue Blanket - A Day At the Races
The blog is " Here All Week" and there will be a stream of posts regarding the races and car show emanating from it during the coming weeks. The blog you're reading right now is the work one that sells cameras so we must keep on topic...
Big Blue Blanket. Look it up in the history of WWII and see what it meant. In my case it is the perpetually surprising sky here in Western Australia - the clear blue bowl that overbears us all.
I don't see it, though it is there all round. I go out on a bright day - to the car races, say - and set my Fujifilm X-pro1 to Auto White balance...or to the daylight icon...or to 5500º Kelvin. I shoot away with the old Metz 45 flash to fill in the shadows. I bring the images back on the SD card and bang them into the computer and am confronted with - the Big Blue Blanket.
Every surface that has been illuminated by the sky - and it is all around - and is at all reflective - and remember these are hot rods with chrome parts - is blue. Sometimes it is light blue, sometimes it is bright blue. I fail to see it when I am shooting because my mind filters it out, but the camera's sensor is a faithful observer.
The answer to removing the blue is complex - I can trick the camera by lying to it that I am really in overcast or shade. There will be some artificial colours elsewhere in the jpegs, though. I can take the whole thing in RAW and fiddle the white balance later in Lightroom, Aperture, or Silkypix. I can hire a zeppelin painted 18% grey to hover over the cars as I photograph them to hide the sky.
This is difficult, as the zeppelin is not always available - this week it is off bombing Lowestoft.
Easiest idea so far has proved to be shooting the hot rods in Melbourne. They only have blue skies for a very small amount of time and frequently this is at night...
The next time I go to the Kwinana Motorplex on one of these bright blue infinite days, I shall try the effect of a circular polariser. Logic tells me that it will do something but quite what remains to be seen.