Shooting both indoors and outdoors at the same wedding, photographers need to be able control their lighting to match the different light temperatures. With color correction gels you can balance flash with ambient light. Learn how to use OCF Gels for two completely different setups.
With the mission to get two completely different shots with the same kind of color correction gel, Pye Jirsa, from the studio Lin&Jirsa, picked up the OCF Gels and went off to Palm Springs. He wanted to show two different gel techniques, for corrective as well as stylistic effect.
“The OCF Gel solution is a fantastic tool. Before its release I was hand cutting out gels and finding ways of rigging it to my flash heads so that I could use my modifiers as well. Not only was this time consuming, it was also frustrating having to always tape and rig my flash heads.”
When asked how he knows when to use color correction gels or not Pye tells one simple rule: “You know you need to gel for corrective purposes when daylight is no longer your dominant light source.”
The first shoot was setup in a wedding ballroom. With the precut OCF Gels, Pye wanted to match the indoors temperature of the room where the wedding ceremony would take place.
“When gelling for corrective purposes, we always gel to the dominant light.” Pye says. “If the dominant light is orange, then we will gel with a CTO (Color Temperature Orange) gel so that our flashes more closely match the background. This helps to keep colors more neutral and clean versus muddy and oversaturated.”
The B2 Off-Camera Flash is daylight balanced: 5500 kelvin (k). The most common indoor lighting is tungsten which is usually around 3600 k. When you mix flash with tungsten ambient light, the flash lit subject appears as blueish whereas the background appears orange. Pye explains that trying to correct this by warming up temperature in the camera or in postproduction you often run the risk of getting a saturated background in the final image.
To avoid this Pye fitted the Grid&Gel Holder with a precut CTO gel on his B2 Off-Camera Flash together with an OCF Beauty Dish White 2’. This way he created a warm flash light matching the ambient light. Setting the white balance manually, he dropped the color temperature in his camera to 3600 k. The final image was shot with 1/200, 1.4 and ISO 800.
“My advice is always to think of the end purpose and story of the image. What is the feeling that you want the image to convey? If you want golden sun kissed light to mimic a sunset, then one or two stacked CTO gels will get you to the right color temperature. If you are looking to make the blue of a dusk sky a little bluer, then a half or full CTO gel will allow you to shift your in-camera color temperature down to make the background bluer.”
On the next shoot Pye used the CTO once again. But instead of balancing flash with ambient light, he aimed to get an artistic effect. While doing so he also wanted to create two lights out of one single flash.
For a second time Pye dropped the white balance manually in his camera to 3600 k, with 1/50, 1.4 and ISO 1600. To control the light spread he placed an OCF Grid in the Grid&Gel Holder and put the CTO gel over the grid, using the handy snap on solution.
“The trick is to make sure that you are lighting in a way that fits the story. I wouldn’t go out putting a green or blue gel onto a flash if I were trying to create a natural look to the light. But, if I wanted to mimic the colors of a dance floor, then green, blue, and reds would be exactly what I would want.”
The B2 Off-Camera Flash was then mounted on a handheld stand. Before taking the shot he used the modeling light to check that the got the desired effect. He lit the subjects from behind, generating a slight rim light, and bouncing the light onto a Collapsible Reflector positioned just in front of the subject. The light bounces beautifully into the faces of the subject, thus creating two lights from only on flash.