Creating Impact with Color Gels

Lesson 6/11 - Shoot: CTO & CTB Gels


Creating Impact with Color Gels


Lesson Info

Shoot: CTO & CTB Gels

This time we're going to do the same exact thing we did earlier before, but this time we're going to do it strobe, so it's going to look a lot, lot cleaner. No, just this one for the background and is it possible, do we have an apple box nearby or anything or no? Yeah Ok great, so in this one, Rod I'm going to actually have you, do something I'm going to have you put your hand wraps on. Yup. Let's get this out of the way, and let's put this one, yeah this should work, right here so you could just sit here and then start putting your hand wraps, when you get a chance. Which direction? Right there, right the direction you were facing, perfect so keep like that, and I'll just need that one John, with the Turn it on? Yup Perfect we're there here Alright guys so this is gonna be This is basically the same set up that I did those pictures that I did in the beginning that are warm/cool. I have one light, right here, this is one is hitting the background. Actually, you know what,...

I'll just start I'll be lit up, one light at a time so it's easier to see. So that one is just hitting the background, and I'm going to go ISL 200 and I am just guessing here, F11, let's see, and I'm going to set my white balance, super moody let's see, to 2500 kelvin, so that's going to be the only light that goes off, and that might be a little bright, because it's a white wall, but just go ahead and wrap your hands because you have two hand wraps, right? Yup So in this one he should in theory just be a silhouette, and the background is going to be really, really blue. Keep right here (camera clicks) There you go , he's still a little bit overexposed Or the background's still a little bit over So, I'm just going to turn this down a whole stop. Keep right here, and just point that down. So, if you look right there, and I'm going to avoid the red, and if you have that here. (camera clicks) There you go, so if you, I actually like how it looks right here, it's just really nice and dramatic in this shot, so this is turning that light really, really blue, if you can see it right there That's like, really, like if you want to make it extremely moody like that, that's how it's done. And that's done straight, this was the camera settings that's done with no blue gel at all. Alright, if you go to, if you were to change your white balance, if you go right here. And I want to change it to auto white balance right? The camera doesn't know what you want so if you just shoot it, as an auto white balance, and he's doing that, it's just going to change it and make it nothing. Let's see. Just kidding, I left it in, like, settings There you go, now it's auto white Keep right here. (camera clicks) So if you put it on auto white balance, it tries to make everything neutral, right? Right from the bat, so that's why I always shoot When I say shoot with intent, shoot with a vision, That's auto white balance, that, I mean, that could be what you want, but I personally prefer this. Just even that alone creates a mood and has a feel to it, so that's why I always shoot with manual. You can decide how it looks. So, let's go back to, kelvin right here. So 2500 Kelvin is really, keep it right here, It's really, really blue, so, let's go here to this one. So, if you look, I'm also a huge, huge fan of mono lights. That's why I like plug in lights and D2 lights. That you can plug in, because when we use battery powered ones, the mono lights are really weak, and on top of that they kill the batteries really fast. And I shoot a lot so, we have this one right here. We'll just go with this one, so, we'll see how it looks. Boom, there you go, and we got it right here. So, this is just a quick 2 light set up. And we have it, we would just tweak it right here, but generally, right here you could just play a little bit, where you want the shadows. But we have it right here, and this should look actually really good from this angle. There you go, just keep doing that. (camera clicks) There you go, perfect, this is great. Keep it like that. (camera clicks) There you go, that's cool. The screen is flattening it a little bit out with the contrast, but if you want to make this even more moody like that, this actually looks really good, but if you want to make it even more dramatic, the background you could underexpose it even more. So you could take this down from 6 to 5, take it down a whole stop, and it's going to make it even bluer and darker. (camera clicks) Keep it right here. There you go, actually I like this one a lot, keep it right here. (camera clicks) There you go, that's how I do a lot of those set ups So the only difference is, when you have a, let's see how that one shows up, when you have an environment, right, if this light was here, you could cast shadows with that, if it was like a boxing ring, or if you see anything interesting, and it would cast more visual, interesting elements, in your pictures and you'll have, kinda nice, abstract things more in your pictures than just a clear wall, but we have it here like that for demo purposes. Can you just clarify, this is from Felix, who is saying, I assume that the flash power will also impact the affectiveness of the gels, how can we account for that? The gels affect the flash power on there, because the stronger they are, the more light loss you'll have. [Lady] Right So, on that one, I just, you have to make sure you have your right exposure. [Lady] Right That makes sense, so I'm generally good at guessing the exposure, because I shoot with gels so much. Like I said, I'm happy with this exposure right here. It looks good right off the bat, and I didn't have to meter it. But again, these are strong lights these are all 1 K power, and this one's at 8, and it's pretty close to him. So, if you see here, this one is not that far from him. So, if this was like a B1 that's 500 watt seconds, it would probably be maxed out at full power. You just gotta make sure you have the right exposure [Woman] Right On that one, shooting with gels, like we're going to do the other stuff, almost makes me want to bust out my light meter and actually use it, because if it's not done properly, it doesn't look right If it's overexposed, you kinda have over saturation in your color, and it doesn't look right, and if it's underexposed, it still won't look right at all. So your exposure kind of has to be dead on, so it looks nice and you know, spot on.

Class Description

Light is essential to creating cinematic images as well as color. In this class, join five time portrait photographer of the year Alexis Cuarezma as he breaks down his process for using color gels to make an image that grabs your attention. He will teach how he sets up his camera, creates a color scheme, and selects gels to get the desired image in camera. He'll go over simple color schemes that can be done with only two lights, as well as a full stylized image using multiple lights and color gels.



Alexis Cuarezma is hilarious, very talented, and a creatively energetic instructor and artist! If I hadn't been attending Photo Week, I wouldn't have chosen this course, but boy am I glad I was in it! Gels have been an enigma to me for years (in the way that studio strobes used to be), and I was surprised at how easy and useful they were when Cuarezma explained and demonstrated them. His creative process is a joy to watch and learn from. I highly recommend this course to ALL photographers!

Amy Vaughn

I don't do athletic images, but I think the lessons in this class can be applied to other genres too. It was a nice overview of how to use color temperature settings, gels and color theory to create mood and atmosphere.

Vitamin Dee

I really dig watching his approach to creating a mood. Even if you're not into sports photography, you'll learn how to use color to convey impact.