Using "Colour Balance" as a Creative Tool:


TPF Noob!
Jun 20, 2003
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...... itinerant ..........
I recently put together the following image while fooling around in the studio - just a fun thing some members might wish to try

Although created in a professional setting using professional equipment, the average user can achieve similar results with their own cameras and a little improvisation

A digital camera was used in this example, but it's easier with an SLR - and directions for that are also provided 

1. The Setup:

(i) Nikon D1 camera on tripod; 100 ISO/ f-8 / shutter on bulb / lighting balance set on Tungsten (to create the blue affect)

(ii) 1 x key (main) "daylight" balanced flash with large diffuser onto subject; f-8 / 7.00 o'clock / 45 degrees; synched to camera (just your regular 'Rembrandt' lighting scenario)

(iii) 1 x "daylight" balanced flash with small reflector dish onto background; f-16 / 1.00 o'clock / 0 degrees; hand fired

(iv) 1 x screen (flag or gobo) between subject and white background; 3 assistants

2. The Execution:

(a) Some notes -

(i) Using digital (no multiple exposure function!) required the improvisation of using 'Bulb' shutter on camera and working in a darkened studio (no modelling lights or 'slaves')

(ii) After setting up the studio and composing shot, i placed an assistant on each of (a) camera, (b) the screen (c) back ground light (while i controlled the main studio lights & called directions)

(iii) We had several dry runs to ensure the timing was correct (and my directions were understood) and then went for it, nailing the shot first time

(b) The Steps -

(i) Turn off main lights in studio

(ii) Open shutter on camera and fire key (main) light

(iii) Remove screen between subject and background

(iv) Extreme turn of focusing ring on camera (to create the shadow affect)

(iv) Fire background light

(v) Close shutter on camera

(vi) Turn main lights in studio back on


3. Some Comments:

(i) Apart from inserting the © symbol and converting to JPEG format, there is *no* digital manipulation of this image

(ii) The shadow affect is created with the (unlit) subject being thrown out of focus, then exposing background with a second flash

(iii) This shot is easier with a conventional SLR camera using multiple exposure (no need to stumble around in the dark)

(iv) On an SLR, the blue affect can be achieved with Tungsten balanced film: try using FUJI CHROME 64T Type II

(v) The blue affect is further enhanced when shooting in the rain under daylight conditions 

Have fun!




Image Copyrighted e_©2003
EDITING: change of servers for image

... well, i guess some members would have read the words 'studio' / 'lighting' / 'assistants' / 'gobo' / 'professional' (gasp) and their eyes glazed over, thinking it's beyond them

Well it ain't that hard. Really!

Using nothing more than a manual camera & flash - here's how:

(Please Note: this post is only intended as an indication, a mere suggestion, of the different ways subjects can be lit. It's an invitation to experiment with the endless possibilities one has available)

As a reference, here's a simple lighting diagram for any room with a curtain to block the outside light


1. SET UP:

(i) Open window curtain as shown ( ~~~~~~~ ) and take a light reading off lit wall. If you don't have a hand meter, use the camera's meter. For convenience i've used the "sunny-16 rule" - hence a suggested reading of 100 ISO/ASA film at f-16/125 as shown on diagram (and used in the studio, above)

Note: because we cannot alter the sun's reading, that is our starting point and we work backwards to that which we can control

(ii) We want to 'overexpose' the background (our white wall) in relation to our subject (X) by 2 f-stops ... and so (using the above reading as our example) set the camera on f-8/125

(iii) Set the flash to f-8, same as the camera: this will light our subject as desired

(iv) Place the camera in a stable, locked position (ideally a tripod - but improvise if not available) and compose shot, focus on subject

(v) Place a black screen/curtain as shown ( |-----| ) between subject and background

(vi) Close window curtain


(i) Using a 2 x multiple exposure, fire the camera & flash (1st shot)

(ii) Remove screen and open curtain to the same position when original reading was taken

(iii) Make an extreme turn of focus ring on camera lens to create the shadow affect if desired (don't move camera from it's original position)

(iv) Ensure flash is turned off - then fire the camera again (2nd shot)



(i) If using the FUJICHROME 64T Type II film as suggested to create the "blue" affect, meter readings will be less than shown (by about 2/3 of a stop from the 100 ISO/ASA film used in example)

(ii) Be sure to check the shutter's sync speed suits your final suggested readings

(iii) Ensure no window light falls onto the front of subject for 2nd shot

(iv) TIP - although this shot is done in a large room, one can build small table-top-sets for shooting smaller objects with great affect

Experiment & have fun!



P.S. Yes, it's true - i obviously have too much spare time on my hands, lol


(i) change the format - and add this suggestion that one doesn't get too caught up with the numbers & readings ... it's the underlying principals that are important

(ii) changing servers for image
:drunk: :pale: :scratch: :shaking: :puke: :puke-rig: We are not worthy... we are not worthy....nice shot I can see how that could be a fun. Where did you learn all of that? now I 'm off to brake my camera :lol: just kidding

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