There is a progression that takes place in the journey that is our lighting knowledge. At first it is learning the ways of ambient light (read: I don’t want to buy a flash). As our career progresses we decide to buy our first flash and throw that sucker straight on the camera, only to question why the shadows on faces are gone… along with the artistic merit. Soon after that we discover a site like Strobist and point the flash at the ceiling and realize our first “Eureka” moment as a photographer. From there we buy our first off camera strobes and it is all downhill…
One of the biggest issues for those looking to expand their lighting setup is colour consistency. Even expensive ones can be very slightly out from each other. Even within a single brand, different models or generations of light can also be a little different to each other. But the problem is especially so with cheap LED lights, which often have huge colour shifts.
There are ways to work around this, though, and this video from Tony Reale over at Creative Edge shows us how. It does take some experimentation and work, though. But, once you’ve done it, you’ll know exactly how far out from each other each of your lights are. Then you’ll be able to quickly correct those colour shifts in the future before you’ve even turn the lights on.
Using coloured gels with speedlights has become pretty common. Many people who shoot with speedlights have given it a go at least a couple of times. But speedlights are quite easy to gel. All you need is a small strip of gel which you then gaffer tape over the front of the head. Studio strobes, though, are a different matter entirely. They’re not flat on the front like speedlights, and they project light in all directions.
You could, of course, just cover the entire front of your softbox with a massive gel sheet. But that can get expensive if you use many different colours. So, what can we do? Photographer Robert Hall shows us two options in this video on the Godox AD600 strobe. The first is the way he has been doing things, although it does have a problem. White light is still able to come out of the front, without a second piece of gel attached. One of his viewers sent him a solution to try that seems to work brilliantly.
I knew the second I had the email come through offering me the chance to review Jake’s latest tutorial that I was going to be in for a marathon of content. RGG EDU are renowned for 20+ hour slabs of content and this is the first time I’ve delved in with a professional capacity for writing about it.
I recently got my hands on some of Jake Hicks’s gels from Amersham Studios that are made by Lee Filters and hand picked by Jake Hicks for their placement and ability to work together based on his preference and experience.
Now that I’ve had them in my possession I can honestly say 2 things:
Man are they handy,
Creativity opens up.
Shooting on location with flash is one of the fun parts of portrait photography for me. But, depending on the lighting conditions where you’re shooting, your flash may not be putting out the same colour as the ambient light. This means that while your subject may appear perfect, the environment can appear very cool or warm.
In this video, photographer Robert Hall explains the problem how it happens. It’s an easy problem to fix, all you need is a few gels, and Robert shows us how.
I’m going to preface this by saying that this isn’t a lens review article, there are many photographers better suited for this topic, so if you’re after refraction index comparisons and chromatic aberration charts this article probably isn’t for you. This article is however my personal thoughts on three Nikon zoom lenses and their resulting images but also a broader look at how we as photographers covet lenses and other photographic gear. Is the latest and greatest piece of kit actually worth the investment?
At first glance this seems like an easy thing to achieve, how hard can it be to get a great looking gelled background in your shot?
As anybody who has used gels in the past will tell you, there’s certainly a few key things to pay attention to if you want to avoid those flat, washed-out and uneven gelled backgrounds. If instead you want clear, saturated and brightly coloured backgrounds by using gels alone then simply read on.
When setting up a studio, one of the more difficult decisions that a newer studio shooter must make is which backdrop to get. More often than not, it’s which backdrops (plural) should they get?
Photographer Joe Edelman is going to make it a real easy decision for you with this very informative video. You don’t need to get a whole bunch of backdrops, especially when you’re just starting out with studio work. All you need is grey.
As a lot of you may know, I like to use the occasional gel in my shots to add a bit of interest. Sometimes these gels are rich and vibrant colours that drench an image in saturation and other times I just want to add a little something extra colour-wise without overpowering the whole image with a synthesised coloured look.
For a more subtle colour look you’ll want to use tones that our eyes are more accustomed to seeing, for example orange and blue tones are heavily present in our daily visual journeys already. Orange tones are found in sunrises and sunsets and blueish tones are often found in twilight and overcast days. These are what I call ‘natural’ colours compared to the rich pinks and purples or reds, these are great for adding effect but can sometimes overpower an image quite quickly. The ‘natural’ tones that I am referring to are measured in Kelvin and we use this value to adjust the white balance of our shots in our cameras.
So to add a more natural colour effect to your shots what better place to start than by looking at the tones already found in the Kelvin values in your camera via the the white balance. I’m sure we all know we can add a little extra warmth to a shot simply by increasing the Kelvin via the white balance and conversely we can cool down an image be decreasing the Kelvin value.