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Mixing strobes with tungsten

There will be that moment where you have to mix two different light sources in a scene.
Now normally it’s common to gel the strobes to match the color temperature of the other light source, but sometimes it can be very interesting to keep the color temperature different.

 

In this shot (shot during a glamour workshop) I shot our model Lenaa on the chair and lit her with the 70cm deep octa and a custom grid from Honeycombgrids the tungsten lights on the back are in fact 100W bulbs. I made sure that the light sources didn’t really “overlap” but that the tungsten had free play on the background, this way the tungsten lights look really nice and warm and it gives a nice glow to the background. The suitcases gives the shot some extra dimension.

 

When shooting something like this, do make sure that you put the strobes on the LOWEST possible power setting, this way you can actually see the tungsten lights. If you meter everything on 1/125 you can still open up more to let in more of the tungsten bulbs (1/60 or even 1/30). Always remember that the aperture in these cases control the strobe and the shutter speed the tungsten lights.

Lenaa Juni 20 2014 38 1

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Who needs expensive lights

You know….. sometimes we are so caught up in our work that we forget to think about how things can be different. We as humans are “beasts of habit” meaning that we will figure something out, and if that something works really well for us we will always get back to that. And we photographers… well sorry to say it…. we are also that way.

 

That’s why sometimes it’s so incredibly important to make sure that you do a what I call “hard reset” and don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you guys (and girls) to bang your head against the wall until you pass out and wake up, so please don’t do that. What I do mean is that you should sometimes literally just pull the plug out of your strobes, put everything aside that has anything to do with “studio technique” and get back to the basics. Learn how to “see the light” but most of all “to understand the light”. And there is hardly any better tool to do this than the good old fashioned (and oops indeed it’s old fashioned, we stocked up on some because over here they are not sold anymore in the higher watts) lightbulb.

 

During the glamour workshop I will often grab my lighbulb fixture, it was the most bare bone fixture I could buy, and hang it from a boom stand, tell the students “this is the new setup” and watch how their jaws drop and their expressions go like “the what, the who, are you nuts”….. well yes and no (but you already know that). No really…. a lightbulb when used the right way is one of the most awesome light sources there is. So in this blog post some explanation and images from that simple lightbulb session….

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