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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 08 Sep 2017 (Friday) 09:54
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Warming up flash light for outdoors?

 
kat.hayes
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Joined Mar 2012
Sep 08, 2017 09:54 |  #1

I want to warm up the flash light when shooting outdoors with a 5DM3 and an attached 600EX-RT.

1. Is CTO gel (1/4th CTO strength) the best option? Are there other options I should look into?

2. To increase the effect, can I simply add layer of CTO gel (1/4th CTO strength) on top of layer of CTO gel (1/4th CTO strength)?

3. When shooting in the shade, will the CTO gel (1/4th CTO strength) overpower the bluish light and make it orangish red?

Thanks.




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MalVeauX
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Post has been edited 11 days ago by MalVeauX.
Sep 08, 2017 10:05 |  #2

Heya,

1) I use 1/4th CTO often for blending flash to ambient when I want to warm it up. I prefer it to 1/2 and 1/1 (full) because those are too warm often times for my taste (as I'm generally filling shadows with the fill, not key level, and it's too warm to me). So 1/4th is where I like to be.

2) Stacking will warm it up further and block more light, so keep that part in mind. Personally I've yet to feel the need to do this, and again, I don't even use 1/2 CTO anymore (not even during golden hour).

3) In shade, the CTO will make your flash warm, but ambient will be much cooler. If there's no ambient light involved, then yes, the CTO gel will warm it all up. But if ambient is involved, then you will be blending two very different temps. When shooting in the shade, you can take the gel off completely. Flash temp is around 5200k. The shade might be a wee bit cooler than that, but it won't be that much cooler. Then just warm it up in post (RAW) to something like 6800k and it will be warm and ambient/flash will be fairly even. This is where white balance and RAW come into play. Using gels in the shade is generally for creative effect, like shooting a CTO to warm it up with flash (subject), and the cooler shade ambient, then changing white balance so that the subject is neutral and then the ambient will appear really blue. Things like that. If you want natural looking blends in shade, just don't use a CTO in the shade.

+++++++++++++++

I get 1/4th CTO sheets that are 12x12 inches and just cut strips. It's cheap. $10~15 a sheet. I make several strips and I use velcro tape to then attach to different lights. It's the cheaper way if you have lots of lights to cover.
I also have a magmod set of filters and they attach via magnets. Convenient and fast. But costly.

1/4th CTO sheet strips cut and velcro tape:

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5789/22805809553_4d17e7404d_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/AKgJ​CZ] (external link)IMG_6076 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Here's 1/4th CTO on a single speedlite during golden hour (blends in nicely without being overly orange)

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3724/32362515513_1cb5f25729_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/RiLm​np] (external link)IMG_5207 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Very best,

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TeamSpeed
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Sep 08, 2017 12:24 |  #3

Gold reflectors are nice accessories too


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kat.hayes
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Sep 08, 2017 12:26 as a reply to MalVeauX's post |  #4

Thanks for your help.

1. If I find for some reason that I want to increase the effect, is there a reason to stack the 1/4 CTO vs. just using a 1/2 CTO? Is stacking just always going to decrease the strength of the flash vs. just using a single 1/2?

2. Are there different quality levels of CTO sheets? OR are they all generally the same? Anything I should look for in particular?

3. Do you use any diffusion when shooting photos like the golden hour photo that you attached? OR is that just with the flash and 1/4 CTO?

Thanks again!




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MalVeauX
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Sep 08, 2017 12:38 |  #5

Heya,

1) It should work out to be similar either way. I'd rather not fool with trying to stack sheets and secure that, too much fiddling. User preference.

2) I've used all kinds of quality stuff. Gels are good quality in general. I've not noticed any real difference. I use Lee sheets because they're not expensive and can be found on amazon in big sheets/rolls. You can get Rosco or whatever else. Doesn't matter really. Securement is more important and overall comfort of use in my book.

3) Nope, that's direct flash, I don't use reflectors, etc. I just use straight bare flash set to fill (not key). That's with a 1/4th CTO on it and that's all. I do similar with my strobe outdoor too (600ws). Golden hour is warm light, but it's also a lot of strong contrast and stark shadows, so hard light works fine.

Very best,


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dpe
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Wareham
Sep 08, 2017 14:45 |  #6

Worth looking at CTS - colour temperature straw

Mike




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kat.hayes
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Sep 08, 2017 20:24 as a reply to MalVeauX's post |  #7

The 600EX-RT came with a dome cap and an orange gel (I need to find it). I'm not sure what level the gel is, though by using the cap, is it just diffusing the flash and cutting down on its overall strength? The cap seemed like a good idea to keep the gel on.

Sorry for having to ask, though when you say you use the flash set to fill (no key) are you just adjusting the flash exposure compensation down enough for it to fill in the shadows as a fill?

Thanks!




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MalVeauX
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Sep 08, 2017 20:35 as a reply to kat.hayes's post |  #8

Heya,

When using my flash as fill, I use ETTL and set the FEC to be -1/3rd or -2/3rd as needed to have it exposing the flash as fill light and not key light.

Very best,


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digital ­ paradise
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Sep 09, 2017 08:38 |  #9

The CTO and CTS series gels have the both have the same amount of color temprature correction power (e.g. a 1/2 CTO and 1/2 CTS gel will both convert 5000K to approximately 3800K), so they will both correct for Tungsten lighting casts equally well. The only real difference between them is that the CTO has a bit more red, and CTS has a bit more yellow...

From a portrait photographer's point of view the practical usability difference is that CTO will tend to give subjects a bit of a tanned look (depending on the strength of the CTO gel), whereas a CTS will not. My personal 'rule of thumb' is to use CTO on pale subjects who I want to add a bit of 'healthy glow' to, and CTS on folks who already have a tan, and don't need any additional help in that department. :-

The Full CTS will bring your flash WB down to around 2900K, more or less neutralising the look of the Tungsten light. The 1/2 CTS will bring your flash WB to around 3800K, which will leave your backgrounds still with a touch of the warmth of Tungsten lighting.


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Alveric
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Post has been edited 9 days ago by Alveric with reason 'Typo'.
Sep 09, 2017 13:38 |  #10

kat.hayes wrote in post #18447390 (external link)
Thanks for your help.

1. If I find for some reason that I want to increase the effect, is there a reason to stack the 1/4 CTO vs. just using a 1/2 CTO? Is stacking just always going to decrease the strength of the flash vs. just using a single 1/2?

2. Are there different quality levels of CTO sheets? OR are they all generally the same? Anything I should look for in particular?

3. Do you use any diffusion when shooting photos like the golden hour photo that you attached? OR is that just with the flash and 1/4 CTO?

Thanks again!

1. Any gel will decrease the light output. Theoretically, you'd lose ΣFV the amount of light, where is FV their respective filter values. Based on the gels that I got from Rogue, the 1/4 CTO loses you less than 1/2 stop, and the 1/2 CTO diminishes the output by 1/2 stop.

2. There might or might not be. Gels from Rosco or Lee is what I use. With my flashgun I use the ones that came with Rogue's packs, but they might be 'expensive' to some. Cheaper ones might melt and leave a gooey mess and/or damage your flashgun.

3. Diffusion is generally a matter of the effect you're going for, which determines how sharp or diffused you want the shadow edges to be and/or how much texture you want to show or smooth out. Two things are to be considered here, though:

a. Your lighting has to make sense. I.e. be consistent with the ambient lighting. Ultra-soft edges under a full sun just look weird, and even non-photographers know there's something odd even wrong with the photo, even though they might not be able to clearly tell what.

b. Light output needed to attain the target aperture value. The more diffusion, the more stops you lose. A flashgun is only a tiny light: you won't be able to light a large area with it and get soft shadows. Even studio strobes can be rendered inefficient by too much diffusion.


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RicoTudor
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Sep 09, 2017 17:46 |  #11

If the goal is an image free of color cast, gels are used to bring all light sources to the same color and then balance the image to white (either in camera or in post). For example, flash can be matched to blue skylight with a blue filter (CTB) of some strength. The scene is then colored balanced to that blue to yield a neutral result. If sunlight is simultaneously present in the frame, either on the subject or in the background, it will be driven to a deep red that may be objectionable. Gelling the sun across a landscape is beyond current technology, although you can fake anything with enough layers. :)


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Warming up flash light for outdoors?
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