Friday, 15 May 2009

Colouring the world

OK, I can tell you're all getting bored waiting for my reappearance! Woah, it's been a mad month and a half. So much happening!

Anyhow, I've spoken about using gels on your subject in order to control the colour balance of ambient light before (Summer's day shoot, on a dull late evening). The most common version of this sort of adjustment you'll see is a warm gel used on the subject and when you shoot tungsten balanced, you make the world very blue. It's an interesting look and understandably popular.

The post I did before was doing the opposite - using blue gels on the subject to make the background look warmer when it was already rather dark and blue looking.

The image up at the top is slightly different but exactly the same principle. Anyone who's played with the tint (green <-> purple) colour balance settings in an image editor or raw editor will know that you can get a funky green or purple look to your images if you drag the slider one way or the other.

But in lighting terms, if you fire a green gelled (plusgreen or fluorescent) flash at a subject, then white balance for the gelled flash, you'll find that daylight balanced light sources will go a purple colour. And vice a purple gelled flash at the subject, white balance for it and you'll get a green ambient wherever daylight balanced light sources are present.

The image up at the top there was lit with three flashes. It's a while back so I can't remember settings or precise gels used, but there was a flash gun off to high camera left about a foot in front of the model with a shoot thru brolly. It had either a half or full minusgreen gel on it and the camera was white balanced for this gel. The second flash was at low camera right without any modifiers, and had either a quarter or half minusgreen gel (either a quarter or half less purple than the main light), so resulted in a more green tinge to the left of the model's face. Lastly there was a similarly gelled flash in behind the model which gave her a highlight round her hair and also showed up the falling rain. This of course made the rain stand out as whiter than the very green ambient lit background.

And I can confirm that no models or photographers were injured by damp flashguns in the process of making these images!


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