A Little Magic From A Can

A Little Magic From A Can

A general rule of thumb in relation to separating your subject from the background is to use rim light or a hair light and by combining colour gels with flash, you can create some interesting looks.If you are using colour gels with flash and not getting the colour vibrancy you want these tips might help.The less power you put through a gel the more colour you will achieve, so you will have to experiment to see which settings work best in relation to distance and colour etc.Depending on the ambient light, you may find certain colours work better than others. For creative lighting I personally like to use blue and red gels and if you add just a hint of smoke or haze you will get a nice effect as the light hits the particles which provides more tonality and gradation to the colour.If you are thinking smoke machine, you will be surprised at just how little smoke or mist you need to create some great effects. You can buy Fog in a spray can that is ideal for indoor use and as you only need a little amount to create interesting colour effects, it’s a great way to start experimenting without having to buy a smoke machine.Showtec Magican Hazecan is about £11 so if you are intending to use a lot of mist or smoke, then a smoke machine is probably cheaper and better longer term option, but for little projects and experimenting and portability, I think the Hazecan is ideal.Here are two identical images, one without mist, and the other with mist. Just go’s to show what a difference a little bit of mist can make.

Shaded Environments, Flash And Overcoming A Few Challenges

Shaded Environments, Flash And Overcoming A Few Challenges

If you go down to the woods for an outdoor portrait with your flash, you may notice a disparity between colour temperatures in terms of unflattering skin tones and washed out greens that can often have a negative impact on outdoor portrait images and trying to fix this in post processing will take time, effort and skill.So what is affecting the images? The cause is the colour disparity between the different light temperatures. Flash is a daylight-balanced light source, with a temperature of 5500K. However, shade has a higher temperature than 5500k and can range from 6500k-9000k depending on the type of shade you place your subject in.One advantage of using flash is that we can gel it to help adjust and balance colour temperatures. The two most useful types of gels for flash are CTO’s & CTB’s, but for this blog, I will focus on the CTB.CTB (Colour Temperature Blue) CTB gels come in varying strengths, full, half, quarter. (often called cuts) By using a half CTB gel on the flash we can convert the colour temperature from 5500 to 7900k and by setting the cameras (WB) White Balance between 7100k and 7900k we can balance the ambient light temperature and the flash temperature, thus achieving a balanced look and feel to images.By using gels to adjust colour temperatures, it will equip you to remove or reduce the unflattering colour disparity often encountered when taking outdoor portraits in the shade.Personally, I am still learning about colour science in relation to flash & gels, but like most things in relation to photography, you just have to experiment and practice.

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