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what color gel for glamour look
Old 10-24-2004, 01:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
djyeo80
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Hi,
I have been a fashion photographer for sometime and I'm putting together my glamour portfolio. I have been looking at glamour pictures and most of them seems to have warm, golden skin tone. What color gel do I need to use to get that golden glamour skin tone? Is there a standard color code? Any help is greately appreciated.

 
 
Re: what color gel for glamour look
Old 10-24-2004, 02:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First off, stop shooting those pale white fashion models and switch to tanning-bed or spray-on tan bikini babes. That will help a lot. I am serious (white skin with warm light or gel, never looks like tan).

Second, if you are shooting outside, shoot later in the afternoon during golden hour. Third, use gold or zebra reflectors, but sparingly. You can also use 81A or 81B filters on the camera (or with digital, tweak your white balance). If you're puting gels on lights, the gels you are looking for would look like anything you want in that family (81 series), but you don't need optically correct filters for the lights, just thearical gel. When I'm doing my "sunset with flash on the model" thing, I am using a theatrical gel called "bastard amber" (has some pink in it too) taped over the flash to simulate the warmth of the sunlight, you can also use it on main lights any time to simply make it warmer. Here it is at sunset with Mandy Ashford:



Welcome to the warm side.

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: what color gel for glamour look
Old 10-24-2004, 03:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tips Andy, that shot is absolutely beautiful. I'm not very familiar with gels, are theatrical gels the same as regular gels you use on strobes?
 
 
Re: what color gel for glamour look
Old 10-24-2004, 11:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Rosco gels are what you want they are used both in theatre and movie work.
They work fine for digital and still film.

Anything with color that is transparent or translucent with color will work its just that with the manufactured gels you get repeatability.

hope this helps

Stu
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Re: what color gel for glamour look
Old 10-24-2004, 12:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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First off, Andy excuse my ingorance on lighting, i'm an amatuer. I'm going to be doing a bikini shoot of my fiance next spring in Destin, FL. I love the shot you just posted. When i'm shooting her with the sunset (similiar to your pic). Could I just use my external flash on my camera for the flash instead of strobes? And just shoot in RAW then go back into photoshop and use filters to change the fill flash to a warmer color on her skin? Would that work? I'm trying to think of a way to simulate what you did without spending alot of money on strobes, ect.

BTW, My fiance is Korean so her skin tone already has a good tan look and shouldn't be to hard to give it an even better golden color look in PS. You can see her skin tone on the frontpage of her website. My Fiance's Webpage


My photography site
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Re: what color gel for glamour look
Old 10-24-2004, 06:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I use the terms "strobe" and "flash" interchangably, so I think what you're asking is can you use an "on-camera" flash (or even the built-in flash) as opposed to an off-camera big flash (or strobe) system, and the answer is yes, that's exactly what I use. On the shot I posted, the flash was a Nikon SB-26 sitting right in the hot shoe of my F100 (film) camera, set to manual mode and attached to an external battery pack (Quantum Turbo). I don't know if a built-in flash would be powerful enough to do this and get decent settings. I have used an off-camera system (Norman 400b with umbrella) on other shoots, but this system seems to work fine for me and travels really well and light-weight.

To do it, I use a flashmeter (and someone to hold it) to meter the flash falling on the model (incident mode) from whatever distance we're at, using about 12-15' from each other. That't where I set the f-stop on the camera (usually f4 or f5.6), and then I use the camera's internal meter to read the sky (without the sun) to get me a sky reading (usually 1/250th or 1/125 until the sun sets) for a saturated look like that image. Then I shoot it at those settings, sometimes slowing down the shutter speed to get a brighter sky or water. Most important, make sure the distance between you (hold the camera with the flash) and the model doesn't change (gotta love zoom lenses!) If it does - if she gets knocked around by the ocean - re-meter. I suppose some people will advocate doing this all with auto-settings on the camera and strobes, and they can check the results in their LCD screens, but I have't played with it that much and I don't usually trust auto-anything, and I am shooting film, so I do it all manually and I rarely screw it up.

(Same beach in Florida, same camera & flash, different model, two years earlier than the other shot. This one is Maiki).



As for the gel and flash thing.... No, you can't easily fix it on PS. Since I don't think you can change the color of the flash post-exposure, you need to do it at the time you shoot. (Besides, you'd have to "select" the whole model in your shot each time). If you were to make an overall color change either by filter on the lens, or doing an adjustment in PS, the entire image would shift - the sky and water as well, and the model would still be proportionally cooler than the rest. If you put the gel over the flash, the warm gel is only affecting whatever the flash hits - in this case the model - while everything else is exposed by the shutter speed and comes forth with its natural coloration, in this case, the very warm sunset. (I don't think you can change the white balance of a flash seperate from the camera, but if you could that would work). The gel will cost you almost a stop in exposure, so you do need a powerful flash. Check my reply to djyeo80 to learn about the gels.

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Andy Pearlman
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Re: here\'s the color
Old 10-24-2004, 06:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes. Theatrical gels are just sheets (18"x24") of colored plastic that are used in the theater to light stages or on movie sets and are designed to withstand the high temperatures of hot lights. I'm not sure what you are putting on your strobes, but I think they're all the same. The big manufacturers like http://www.rosco.com/ sell hundreds of colors and materials. Some of the colors are simple "red" "green", etc, Others have names (from my high school theater days) like "surprise pink" and "bastard amber" that only give you a hint of what they are. They are also available as correction gels (some in sheets as large as 4'x8' for placing over windows) to convert daylight to tungsten (85b - orange) or correct flourescent light (40cc magenta) for when you have to mix light sources and/or film types. (With white-balance adjustments in digital cameras, this becomes easier, but not complelely unnecessary). You should be able to order any of them from camera stores or online. You can also get a swatch book which has every color they make (plus some other materials like foil reflector fabrics) for free, or a small charge. The sample is just big enough to cut out and tape over an on-camera flash head!

BTW - if you do use these gels with your big studio strobes, make sure you leave them loose enough when you attach them to the head, to breathe. The modeling light and lamphead give off head and you will burn up the gel and/or the head if you don't allow for airflow (and use heads with blowers on them if you can, or turn of the modeling lights if not needed to see with).

Aside from real colors for special effects, I use two gels consistently over my on-camera flash: I aways have a VERY light yellow (light straw or 10Y) over the flash because on-camera flash units are too blue. Always. Again, I don't want the correction to affect the whole image, only that which the flash is responsible for. The other color, which I use at sunset or if I just want to warm up the skin, is Bastard Amber. Here's what it looks like from Rosco:



Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: what color gel for glamour look
Old 10-24-2004, 07:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
djyeo80
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Andy,
Thank you for the detailed explanation. I have the 550 canon flash unit, I'll give that color a try.

 
 
Re: what color gel for glamour look
Old 10-25-2004, 09:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This is a really nice explanation about how and why to use colored gels. Thanks a zillion, Andy. Perhaps you can turn this into an article for GG?

Question: Would you use the same gels if you were shooting 1) a black model or 2) a fair-skinned (asian) model?
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