How to use the difference between color temperatures of continuous and strobe lights in the studio

October 7, 2015   5720 views

Difference between color temperatures of continuous and strobe light

When I create my pictures I try to achieve such result which doesnít need using of Photoshop. There are so many reasons. Bu if I make commercial work I am even ready to use a chromakey background to add some picture later behind the model. Predictability, clarity, simplicity - these are the criteria for high-quality commercial photography which many photographers ignore.

Another thing if I make my own art pictures, for my portfolio. I am taking about creative photography. I barely know result. Ideas comes during the shoot. Creation of art photography is a large-scale process of finding a solution, sometimes pleasant, sometimes painful, sometimes leading to amazing results, but sometimes, alas, to photos worthy only for the trash.

And in this picture I didnít know result. Trying to explain at my photography workshops how to shoot with mixed light (using together strobe and continuous lights) I always start with showing the differences between strobe and continuous light. The strobe light, as you known, has a color temperature of 5600 K, and if to use the same value in RAW converter or in your camera settings it looks neutral. The continuous halogen lump having a color temperature of 2800-3000 K is bright orange with the same setting of color temperature in your camera or computer.

Vice versa If you set color temperature in RAW converter or in your camera to 3000K (color temperature of halogen lamp) the spot of continuous light looks neutral, but the strobe light has a cool blue color.

If you want to use these two types of light in one picture you should eliminate this difference of color temperatures using either 201 blue conversion gel or 204 orange gel. But talking about that I thought that it could be an interesting idea if I used these two types of light without any gels. To use colors I get without changing them with conversion gels.

On the right side of the model there was a lighting unit with standard reflector and I thought that I could make a kind a fire trace, a kind of comet trail behind the modelís head. I put a strobe lighting unit on the left side of the model (a small soft box), highlighted the background with a standard reflector with honeycomb grid and set the color temperature in RAW converter to 5600 K. The strobe light became neutral and the continuous - bright orange. And now I had to make a brushstroke with this bright, vivid, orange color.

I used sync with the first curtain (as usual), and after flash of the strobe lighting units I made wavy motion with my camera moving it to the left direction. You understand that in this case the trace of the continuous light moves to the opposite direction in the picture, giving the illusion of flowing fire behind the modelís head. You can see the motion of my camera with the traces of light behind the modelís necklace.

Thatís it! No Photoshop! Just a real picture made in the studio. I should add that it is quite a simple example of the shooting with mixed light and everyone can try to do the same picture as the first step in the development of this technology of the studio shooting.

Difference between color temperatures of continuous and strobe light

Camera: Canon 5D,
Lens: Canon 70-200 2.8,
Aperture: f 5.6
Exposure Time: 1 sec,
ISO: 100