Monday, February 8, 2010

beware of mixed lighting

A couple of years ago, I was shooting my daughter holding our infant son. I used a fill flash to the side, but had a horrid greenish hue to the picture. Someone wisely pointed out that I was probably shooting in a room with fluorescent lights. They were right.
So what do you do to overcome that.
1- You can use a light modifier (they call them gels)
2- You can turn off the indoor offending lights and use your own lights (flashes)
3- You can ramp up your own light (flash, strobes) to overcome the ambient light that is causing the hue chaos.
 There is much talk of this mixed lighting... check out the strobist's blog on using gels to correct for this color.
Anyway, I took a shot today with just our indoor lighting on one side and the morning light from the window left of subject. Here's what you get.  (And I corrected for the indoor lighting)
We could have corrected for the outdoor lighting, and that shows the super-warm temperature of the indoor light.

Not that we always have to have perfectly uniform lighting... We just have to be aware of what hue each light will bring to our image. So simply stated, greenish = fluorescent, bluish = tungsten. Play around with the white balance on your camera or in your photo editing software afterwards. And then you can take it to the next level with gels (more to come).

This image I will use as pick of the day... even though it is really just an example of my next blog.
CTO gel

Saturday, February 6, 2010


So, we're sitting down to dinner on Saturday late-afternoon... Amber was setting out the food, and the sun was coming through the window... perfect shot, I thought... just needs one thing - my reflector.  I have a 41" reflector that a neighbor gave to me in a broken state.  After some time I got around to fixing it, and don't know what I would do without it (oh yah, I do, I would miss a shot like this one)  So the sun was obviously coming in from the camera left and the background was not being hit by the direct sunlight.  Direct sunlight causes such harsh shadows, even when it is coming in through the kitchen window... so grab a white, silver, or silver/gold reflector for the other side.  My 7 year old is getting proficient with holding it just right. And this really overcomes some of those harsh shadows.  Here is the product (sorry I don't have a shot without the reflector)
and here is the lighting schematic.
Reflectors can be really good indoors and outdoors.  I have seen some photogs who like to sit their subject just at the edge of a shadow (outdoors) and then go really close with a reflector.

So, the pick of the day has a link on it... click on the picture below to go to Kennth Linge's blog on this same subject.