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Lighting Applications & Variations

This type of lighting is often used by commercial photographers and photojournalists.   Selective lighting with color can add drama and can turn a drab, florescent-lighted environment into something special.   Location lighters often use off-camera speedlights with gels to achieve much the same result. 

Changing lighting colors, angles of attack, and the relative amounts of ambient or fill lighting can dramatically alter the image's mood.  This example would have been better with the main light moved further behind the subject, yielding a more dramatic facial lighting without the spill onto the near ear or background.  


Lighting Diagram 3.4

Example Portrait 4.6

In this example we have some fun with colored gels and beam-narrowing grids.  Three flash heads with grids, two which were also covered with colored gels, were used in conjunction with a low-powered fill light. 



 The Lighting Setup

The  lighting apparatus used for this portrait is shown in the in the diagram below.  A standard flash head fitted with a medium grid provided the facial lighting.  It was placed fairly high up and aimed down to provide a loop pattern.  A standard head with a medium grid with two layers of deep purple gel was fired up into the flask.  The flask was partially filled with frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) and a small amount of warm water was added moments before exposure to create the vapor plume.  Another standard head with a coarse grid and deep green gel created the green lighting  separating the subject's back from the background.  A bare-bulb strobe with a 180 degree background reflector was bounced off the white back wall to provide a broad fill source.    The fill light provided two f-stops less light at the subject than the main (facial) light.  The purple light was set to provide an incident reading at the flask equal to the main light and the green-gelled light was set to 2/3 f-stop less than the main light.