Burn a candle in a dark room. White things look quite white. The candle flame itself looks quite yellow. You see this even when the flame is next to the white thing.
But when you photograph that same candle lit room the white things look quite yellow, while the candle flame itself looks quite white.
It's an example where color photography goes horribly wrong, that is, deviant to how we see.
- The limited dynamic range of photography dooms the candle flame to burnout.
- Human chromatic adaptation is more complex than white balancing.
- Intra picture chromatic adaptation doesn't occur.
I've wondered how pre-photographic artists rendered candle lit rooms. Here's a good example where the artist (Petrus Van Schendel) painted what he saw.
What can do but let our camera or film do its thing? The color relation of the flame to white things comes out backwards and yet acceptable, or we've learned to accept it. Would persons from candle lit times laugh at our simulations?