Shooting indoors with flash / gels


TPF Noob!
Apr 29, 2009
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Hi there everyone!

Okay, I can't believe I can't figure this out in my head, but I just have to confirm this with others.

I am going on a group photoshoot tomorrow to a tourist-type attraction (an old eclectic house). It'll almost certainly be sunny outside in AZ, but once I move inside, I wanted to make sure I get interesting well lit and balanced photos where I control the lighting (mostly detail photos, btw). I will have a 580EXII, a small umbrella and gels available.

I figure the light coming indoors from outside will look blue-ish. I suppose then, that I would be able to change my WB to cloudy and be okay, but the problem is, I want to introduce my own additional light source. If I set my WB properly, do I even need to gel my external flash? Will the ambient light from outside be close to what an ungelled flash would produce?

Thanks for any help, I feel like an idiot for not knowing this.

* Also, will shoot in RAW, so it's less important what the balance is, I just want to make sure the ambient and flash match (prefer to get it right in-camera though *
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Sunny outdoor light is about 5500K, a Flash's output is about 5500k

The REASON most times outdoor light looks blue when shooting indoors, is that Auto WB, see the Tungsten light indoors and counter balances with that (with blue). Making the Tungsten light look less orange, but the outdoor light look more blue.

If outdoor light and flash are your only sources of light, then you have no problem.

If you are matching flash to Tungsten, you need to warm the flash with either a 1/2 CTO or 85 gel, but then you have the probelm of how do you correct for the outdoor light. My suggestion is to wb for the flash and outdoor if there is Tugsten light in the scene and just let the tugsten be warm, I like the look of warm interior light...but that's me
Awesome, thank you! I did assume that it would probably just be the ambient outdoor with my flash. I definitely prefer the warmer look to a bluish tinge, so I will take your advice and shoot for the "sunny" light if there is any tungsten lighting.

Big help, thank you very much ~
PLus your shooting RAW should allow you to do some final touch up. It can correct for overall, but can't correct if you have two diiferent light temps.

Go have fun and get some great shots. You'll be great!

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