August 28, 2014   3756 views

Mixed light technique with conversion gels

Creating of this picture was very amusing. A few months before I did a photo shoot, which was based on a simple but interesting principle. I took pictures with different amount of strobe and continuous lights and mixed them in Photoshop with varying degrees of opacity. I got nice result and those pictures were published in one of fashion magazines. You can watch pictures here.

Showing and telling about this "technology" on my workshop, I got a message from one student that it is so easy and every photographer could do it without any problems with Photoshop. To do it without Photoshop! To do it with only camera! That could show my real power! That is real challenge!

And I accepted the challenge!

I had to create the same type of picture using only my camera, studio light and nothing else. To get the result in RAW file!

It was obvious that I had to use the mixed light: the central picture would be taken with strobe light (sharp), while all the other pictures of the model with light (blurred).

As a key light I selected standard reflector, but I had to "split" it into two lighting sources. Why? Because I needed both strobe and continuous lights and if I got them from one lighting unit they would have different color temperatures. You know that strobe lamp has 5600K and continuous – 3200K. So if I used light from single lighting unith different part of picture wouldn't have equal color temperature. So I had to get strobe light from open lighting unit (5600K), while continuous light from halogen lamp of another lighting unit covered with 201 conversion gel (the same 5600). As you know 201 gel changes color temperature from 3200K to 5600K, from color temperature of halogen lamp to color temperature of strobe light.

conversion gel

This gel is included in MegaPack

These two lighting units were moved close to each other. As close as possible not to have differences between them in lighting pictures.

The next step, I put my camera on tripod. I like not to use tripod but here I needed straight line of the horizon and clear, measured movement of my camera.

During a 10-second stutter speed (10 second, not 1/10 second!!!), I moved my camera every second changing place of the model in my viewfinder from left edge of the frame to the right, asking model to change her pose every second.

The first four seconds I was taking the picture only with continuous light. In the fourth second my assistant closed continuous light with black flag.

In the fifth second, when I reached the center of the frame (where I wanted to get sharp picture of the model), the model made a spectacular pose and my assistant put the button of trigger getting the flash of the strobe light.

In the sixth second he opened lighting source and I continued to move my camera painting another part of the frame.

You have to understand that my assistant closed continuous lamp to eliminate the influence of continuous light in the central part of the picture. I needed there only sharp picture without any blurred parts. Of course the strobe lighting unit worked without modeling lamp.

Of course it is so easy on paper but when you decide to make the same in the studio you could face a lot of difficulties. But if you overcome all of them you will get the great experience and knowledge.

Based on this technology, you can create many interesting effects with combination of strobe light (and sometimes not one) with diverse movements of continuous light where sometimes only your camera, sometimes only the model, and sometimes both the camera and the model would move creating spectacular effect in your spectacular pictures.

Good Luck!

Camera: Hasselblad H3DII
Lens: Hasselblad 2.8 80 mm
Aperture: f / 10.0
Shutter speed: 10 seconds
ISO: 400