Adding coloured gels to your lighting setup can result in some really eye-catching and interesting results. In this photography class, Karl teams up with Broncolor’s Urs Recher to show you how you can get creative with different lighting gels.
In the class:
- Fashion photography using coloured gels
- How to use reflectors for fashion photography
- Learn how to control shadows and add colour
- Different lighting modifiers for fashion photography
- Working with models and giving creative direction
For this shoot, I wanted to incorporate coloured lighting by using a combination of coloured gels and reflectors. In previous classes, you may have seen me use gels to add some subtle colour, but for this, I wanted something far more aggressive and dramatic.
To do this, I used a total of seven lights (five of which had gels on them) but it was important that I carefully control each light, it’s direction and power, if I was to achieve the shot I had imagined.
To create the coloured effect that I wanted I used blue and red gels to reflect colour into the shadows on my model and carefully blended my two background lights to create a more purple light.
Of the five lights used on the model, only two were direct light. I used the broncolor Satellite Staro as a gentle fill light for the face and shoulders and a picolite with a snoot as the key light on the face.
To add some colour and light into the shadow, I used carefully positioned reflectors with gelled lighting shining into them. I used two blue lights to the left of the model and one red one to the right.
To control my light I used a variety of modifiers. I used fresnels, snoots, P70s and grids to shape my light and minimize the spread. These allowed me to create precise pockets of light and colour, allowing me to both blend and isolate particular colours.
Once I was happy with the lighting, I asked my model to run through a variety of poses — from hard, angled poses to fierce and angry or sexy and sultry — and added a ‘wind machine’ (in this case a large, handheld piece of card).
Although I used quite a few lights for this shoot, the effort and time it took to perfect everything was definitely worth it as we got some really interesting results.
The final image:
If you’d like to learn more about using coloured gels or fashion photography, visit our Portrait and Fashion sections for some inspiration and tips. I’ve also put together a list of other courses that you’ll find useful for understanding light and how to control it.
- Introduction and understanding light
- Understanding the emotion of light
- Lighting modifiers and their effects
- Warm and cold portrait
Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.