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Two New Toys ... and some Questions
Old 11-29-2006, 05:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I just bought a couple of gel sets and a wind machine, then threw all of the new toys into this shot



Questions:

Is there any way to control the flow of air into the model's hair? This thing looks like she grabbed one of those "static electricity" devices.

Does the color of the gel always look lighter on the surface than when looking directly at the gel?

Thanks.
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Re: Two New Toys ... and some Questions
Old 11-29-2006, 05:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The effect of the gel depends on how much light you are pushing through them and on what color / type of surface.
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Re: Two New Toys ... and some Questions
Old 11-29-2006, 06:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This image was a white surface, and I cranked two AB-800s to full power with the darkest green gel in the AB kit. The lime green was the result.
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Re: Two New Toys ... and some Questions
Old 11-29-2006, 07:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Is it my imagination or did the makeup under the eye not get quite smoothed down properly. It seems to go from around the eye on the right down the face a bit.

As for the fan, it looks like it was set too high. An alternate way to handle the wind thing is to get a small battery operated leaf blower and use that for selectively getting just the amount of wind you want and where you want it. Often an assistant will be needed to do a really good job.

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Re: Two New Toys ... and some Questions 


Or you can use above technique where the model provides the movement.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Two New Toys ... and some Questions
Old 11-29-2006, 07:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It also depends very much on the shutter speed. Dean Collins went into great details about this years ago with his Chromazones series. Essentially you can alter the color not only by the gels you use, but by the shutter. So in this case, we light the model with a flash, use an fstop needed for that and then vary the shutter speed to get the background color lighter or darker.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Two New Toys ... and some Questions
Old 11-29-2006, 07:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your strobes that are lighting the model can also spill onto the background to wash out the effect of the gels. If you can - move the model away from the background or use grids on your lightbank (or flag umbrellas) to keep light from spilling onto the background. Trying a lower power on the strobe with the gel on it should make the color stronger - assuming your front lights aren't washing it out. Have fun with your new toys.

John
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Re: Two New Toys ... and some Questions
Old 11-29-2006, 10:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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One simple question - How much gel (or whatever) was in her hair? It seems matted down with just a few exceptions.
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Re: Two New Toys ... and some Questions
Old 11-30-2006, 07:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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RFS:
She did her own makeup, so I can't really comment on its application. I do see your point, and I'll try to fix it in PS. I'll try your idea on the gels, as well. The fan has three settings, and I seem to recall that it was on "high" for this shot. On "low," it didn't seem to be accomplishing anything. Maybe if I elevate it on a stepladder or something ...

John:
I'm not sure how I got so much shadow. The model was a good eight feet from the background. As to the lights on the model, I had a medium softbox to camera left with an AB-400 and a large stripbox to camera right with an AB-1600, powered one stop higher. (Background lighted with a pair of AB-800s, at the same power as the AB-400). I'll give your suggestion a try. Thanks.

AG:
I don't think she used any gel in her hair. It moved just fine in other images. ???
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Re: Two New Toys ... and some Questions
Old 12-01-2006, 08:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FotoTejas View Post
This image was a white surface, and I cranked two AB-800s to full power with the darkest green gel in the AB kit. The lime green was the result.
Lee, turn the power down on the Bg lights. Having them "cranked" is washing the color out. Also, as already pointed out, your main light is hitting the Bg and washing the color out as well.

And no, in this situation (Studio, lighting Bg with strobes) the shutter speed you use will have ZERO effect on the Bg exposure and/or color saturation.
Try it out. Experiment a little and take some photos of your Bg with everything set the same as you did here. Except turn the power down on the Bg lights, and leave the main light out of this experiment. And shoot your Bg at different shutter speeds. Now try using different apetures....this will make a difference in how the color saturates. Your shutter speed will have no affect whatsoever.
I'm not familar with the specs on your lights but the flash duration (whatever it may be) is WAY faster and unless you're trying to burn amient light onto the Bg, changing your shutter speeds won't make a bit of difference.

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Re: Two New Toys ... and some Questions
Old 12-01-2006, 09:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok, I'll wade in here...

1. Fan speed and direction take practice. Working with a fan to get the look you're hoping for is just like working with a light to get the look you're hoping for. There are no shortcuts.

2. Gel color. pretty well covered above - the biggest issue with gels is to make sure the white light does not pollute your gelled light. Light control is key.

3. Shutter speed WILL make some difference if your exposure even when using strobes when at the high end of the sync speed. Alien Bees have a relatively long flash duration so adjusting your sync from say 125 to 200 will show a noticable effect. It won't be the 2/3 stop that it would be with continuous light but it will make a diff. Previous poster correct when dealing with lower shutter speeds. Going from 8 to 60 probably will have no noticable effect.

FWIW

Steve
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