Good news! This is actually a relatively easy JHP lighting setup to play with and it produces some pretty great looking results too. It’s easy to set up as you only need a couple of softboxes and this can be put together and shot in a very small space indeed; no studio required. Plus it produces some great looking results because it uses coloured light. Now I know I may sound biased on that but hear me out as we go through the setup and it should start to make more sense as to why this looks extra cool with coloured gels compared to without.
This is another one of those questions I get asked a lot: ‘Should I be using a white or grey background with coloured gels?’ As with so many things in photography, the answer isn’t always as simple as you might think.
In this article I show you a recent lighting test where I fired a collection of coloured gels onto a white background and then repeated the same test on a grey background to see the difference. The images below speak for themselves but I’ll also explain some of my personal reasons for using one over another and I’ll also discuss the pros and cons for each.
The use of color gels expands the possibilities and helps you create plenty of different looks. If you’re just discovering color gels, Ted Sim of Apurture shares eight ideas for using them. These will give you some inspiration why and how to add color to your shots. And while Ted focuses on moviemaking, you can also use gels to add color and change the mood of your photos.
Do you use gels to add color to your photos? Jay P. Morgan shows you four different ways to use them, but with a twist – he focuses on adding color only to the shadows. By using gels, he achieves the desired effect in camera. Some of these four methods can work for you too, and they’re great ways to minimize the time you spend editing the photos.
Here is a great tool to add to your lighting toolbox, controlling lights with gels. It’s not about making the light hard or soft, it’s different of control, one that allows playing with color relations. And While there is quite a bit you can do with gels in general, today I am going to focus on controlling backdrop color.
There is a way to get three looks using only two lights and a gray backdrop. If we take this concept and expand it, we can use gels to control the background. We can actually mimic quite an infinite number of backdrops. Instead of using two studio strobes like I did in the last tutorial, for this lesson I’m going to be using three speedlights. The reason I wanted to use speedlights rather than studio strobes is because I got a handful of questions about whether or not the 3 in1 headshot could be done with more basic gear. In order to lay those concerns to rest I wanted to get back to basics and use some of the least expensive gear on the market to prove that you can get some great images with very inexpensive gear.
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…
Using gels to correct your flashes to match the ambient, or as creative effects is common. It’s something many of us do from time to time. Sometimes we use creative gels want that cool colour contrast. At other times we just have to deal with really horrible lighting and need to compensate with corrective gels. But, corrective gels can also be used creatively.
Japan based Photographer, Ilko Alexandroff regularly brings orange CTO gels along with him to his night shoots. They allow him to get a little more creative with the harsh sodium glow of the background while still getting perfect colour on his subject. In this video he talks us through how and why.
Well, here is a random collection. If you have a spare nylon bag lying around, dont throw it away. As a photographer there is plenty you can do with it.
Ok, I am just kidding, you can throw that bag away. Hopefully, you have a recycling thing for nylon bags. That said, this random collection of photography uses for bags is kinda interesting. I would personally not use any of them if I had a choice (maybe the soft edge one is an exclusion), but in a cinch, you wanna keep this in the bag of your head.
I recently got my hands on a Light blaster. The Light Blaster Is a strobe-based image projector. Basically it’s a slide projector. You can select and project still images onto any physical space. They claim “unlimited possibilities for creative freedom“, so I thought I’d take it for a spin. It is seriously one cool piece of kit to experiment with. I mostly do cinematic portraits and it fits very well with my kit. Keep reading to watch a speed edit of the Photoshop editing process.