68/365 Blue Forest

I looked at the forest, barren and repetitive, and raised the camera to my eye. Stark brown trunks rose to the sky, contrasting beautifully against the clouds. I captured a number of shots, each one unfolding a surreal blue landscape, not the repetitive brown landscape I saw. Where did the blue come from? Why did my camera present me with weirdly-colored trees in a landscape that I saw as bleak brown?

Blue Forest


This frustrated and perturbed me. The Canon EOS 30D was new to me. My previous cameras were point-and-shoots (Canon PowerShots of various kinds) so this was my introduction to the DSLR world. What was happening?

I don’t know how long after this photo shoot it took me to figure it out, but I remember thinking about a photography class I had taken at the Indianapolis Art Center a couple of years prior. I had just received a Canon PowerShot S2 IS with manual controls for Christmas. I wanted to learn as much as I could on how to use the controls so I signed up for a beginning photography class. I was the only one with a point-and-shoot but I soaked it all in. I learned about white balance and Kelvin color space and many other things. My point-and-shoot had white balance presets so I played around a little with the various settings and got a fairly decent understanding of white balance. Eventually, though, I left it on auto white balance (AWB) and then promptly forgot about it. AWB served me well. But I never really got that whole Kelvin thing. 🙂

With a more advanced camera, though, there I was, looking at a blue forest and wondering what I was doing wrong. Later, I remembered the whole white balance lesson. I looked at my camera and noticed it was set to “K”. Haha! So I changed that setting to AWB and that made everything return to normal. Much later, when I was reading about my camera, I noticed my color space setting was set to 2800. That accounted for the blueness when the white balance was set to “K”. So, mystery solved!

Now, five years later, I look at this unnatural world I captured using a cold setting. No longer frustrated, I am intrigued by the mystery. What would it be like to wander through a blue forest in a blue world during the blue hour of twilight?


About Dezra Despain

Life is full of stories waiting to be revealed.

Posted on January 9, 2012, in 365 Days Journey Through the Past and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Rewarding learning experience. Great story.

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