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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 21 Jan 2018 (Sunday) 15:27
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Orange CTO for Flash questions

 
stanwelks
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Jan 21, 2018 15:27 |  #1

I'm new to working with flash photography.

1. When shooting in tungsten lighting with a flash do you just put a orange CTO on the flash and white balance using the tungsten preset?

2. Does it matter what strength of orange CTO should be used?

3. When shooting during golden hour, does it matter what strength of orange CTO you put on the flash? Which WB preset should be used?

Thanks.




  
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MalVeauX
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Jan 21, 2018 15:51 |  #2

1) Flash is approximately daylight temperature (5200k +/- a little bit). So when you use a CTO on it, you're warming it to match ambient, assuming ambient is warm light (like tungsten). So if you use tungsten white balance, it should appear neutral, and the warmed flash will blend in and also appear neutral, if you wish it to. I would suggest you ensure you shoot RAW so you can change white balance after the fact to taste.

2) Yes, 1/1 CTO is full strength and will cast a strong orange hue. 1/2 and 1/4 CTO will still throw warm light, but at lesser strengths. I tend to use 1/4th CTO more than anything personally, as I find it's warm enough to blend in as fill, but not over the top orange where it looks odd. Depends on how warm ambient really is, if you're blending. But it does matter quite a lot what strength CTO you use when blending, relative to the ambient temperature light.

3) Yes, just like before. When golden hour is at its peak, you will find that 1/1 and 1/2 CTO matches well. As golden hour passes, it quickly cools down, and a 1/4th CTO is closer. The temperature changes fast over about 15 minutes typically. I generally use 1/2 and 1/4th CTO. Shoot RAW, and choose any white balance you want to preserve the warmth or to neutralize it to your taste in post.

In general, you don't have to have an exact match of CTO to ambient, as long as it's close, it will blend in decently without looking "flashed" with the obviously cooler temp flash output. I do a lot of golden hour shooting with flash blended to ambient and I use 1/4th CTO the most. It's close enough, without being too strong.

Very best,


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Wilt
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Post edited 4 months ago by Wilt.
     
Jan 21, 2018 16:04 |  #3

Like MalVeaX my flash often has 1/4 CTO. That allows me to balance my photo to the flash (subject as main feature) while capturing incandescent lighting as clearly a somewhat warmer lighting in the background, to preserve a sense of the ambient environment/setting of the photo....but the difference is not so drastic as if firing with unaltered flash. Flash is a bit cool to begin with, so dropping it down in color temp not at all a bad thing to do with 1/8 CTO, even when used as syncro-sun fill, IMHO. I have a similar goal of making photo 'less flashed' in appearance.

But I rarely (if ever) have bothered to make electronic flash = incandescent indoor lighting in color temp


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Aressem
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Jan 25, 2018 13:22 |  #4

I have a question as well. Say I gel a light and put it on a modifier such as a soft box with one or two layers of white diffusion fabric. Perhaps this is a stupid question, but do the diffusion layers affected the temperature of gelled light? Or do they simply soften it?

Thanks!


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Strobo
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Post edited 3 months ago by Strobo.
     
Jan 25, 2018 14:08 as a reply to  @ Aressem's post |  #5

The diffusion fabric will change the color temperature to some degree. I don't think I've ever come across any modifier that was truly neutral.

How much of a difference you experience will depend on whether you're using one or two layers, as well as the manufacturer and the fabric used. You can generally expect the cheaper modifiers to have optical brighteners in their fabrics which skews the colour balance towards the blue end of the spectrum.

For any given modifier, the change in color when diffusion is added becomes less noticeable as the degree of gel adjustment increases. Some modifiers, like those made by Buff, advertise an overall change in color temp of 200 degrees or less which is noticeable but somewhat subtle. Some of the cheaper knock-offs sold in places like Amazon and ebay could be 5x that amount.




  
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Aressem
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Jan 25, 2018 14:10 |  #6

Strobo wrote in post #18548780 (external link)
The diffusion fabric will change the color temperature to some degree. I don't think I've ever come across any modifier that was truly neutral.

How much of a difference you experience will depend on whether you're using one or two layers, as well as the manufacturer and the fabric used. You can generally expect the cheaper modifiers to have optical brighteners in their fabrics which skews the colour balance towards the blue end of the spectrum.

For any given modifier, the change in color when diffusion is added becomes less noticeable as the degree of gel adjustment increases. Some modifiers, like those made by Buff, advertise an overall change in color temp of 200 degrees or less which is noticeable but somewhat subtle. Some of the cheaper knock-offs sold in places like Amazon and ebay could be 5x that amount.

Wow. Thanks very much for the response!


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Orange CTO for Flash questions
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