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Moody Blue Flash

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by jfrancis, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    I know this technique has been covered on the forum, but it is very cool and I enjoy playing with it. For those that don't know, it involves setting your camera WB to fluorescent and correcting the flash color temperature with a CTO gel. This was shot in late afternoon, but it looks like dusk - this is achieved with a combination of the WB (very blue) and underexposing the BG (the sky) by almost 2 stops.

    Flash was on TTL with +2.0 EV. The problem with this technique, of course is that the daylight sky is very bright and forces the use of FP flash - you can see how close I needed to place the flash in the first image just to compensate for the reduced power. The model is my long-suffering mannikin, Rachelle. See www.daveblackphotography.com for much better examples of this technique.

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  2. paradiddle


    Jun 1, 2007
    John -

    Do you put WB on fluorescent or incadesent?

  3. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
  4. Tom Young

    Tom Young

    Aug 10, 2007
    Gelling the flash to tungsten and setting WB to fluorescent is an interesting approach. It certainly did get you that deep blue sky. I'm not too sure what Rachelle's skin tone happens to be, but she's looking a bit magenta. Setting the WB more towards tungsten in order to more closely match the CTO gel might yield a more natural skin tone (if in fact that's something you would want).

    Another approach could be to keep the fluorescent WB setting and gel the flash with a "window green" filter, or to get things just a bit closer, set a preset WB under the green filtered flash. That will render a similarly deep blue sky but with magenta tinted highlights.

    Here's one sample using a green gel over the flash and a preset (fluorescent equivalent) WB...

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    And another sample using a CTO filtered flash and a tungsten (3400k actually) WB setting...

    View attachment 223317

    Fun stuff! :smile:
  5. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Thanks Tom - nice images. I agree that Rachelle looks a little too magenta. A tweak to the tint slider took that out :smile:

    Fluorescent WB (on the D3 at least) covers sodium vapor (2,700 degrees) all the way up to hi-temp mercury vapor (7,200). I used somewhere in the middle (can't remember exactly) but LR reports a color temp of 3,300 which is pretty close to the 3,600 that Dave Black recommends.

    It is indeed fun stuff :biggrin:
  6. Nchesher


    Jul 7, 2006
    That looks great Tom. I've tried that technique for portraits before with not nearly as good results. The problem I seemed to have was getting enough power out of my flash to look right. I don't thin kI was underexposing the BG enough.
  7. BrendaC


    Sep 24, 2007
    I want to try this with my son's basketball and football pictures. I think it's in Scott Kelby's book that I saw it. I am gonna dig that out.
  8. KeithR


    Jun 21, 2008
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