Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kick Butt Color Correcting Lighting Tip

New York Commercial Photographer | Filmmaker | People | Interiors | Spencer Gordon
Here is a color correcting lighting tip for the photographers and filmmakers of today's generation. Have you ever heard of Kelvin? No not Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes... silly goose. Kelvin is a measurement of the color temperature of light. For instance daylight in the photography / film world is 5500k, which is considered neutral in color temperature. Tungsten lights on the other hand are 3200k, so if your camera is set for daylight your image will look quite warm in color. Now obviously you can just change the white balance setting on your camera to compensate. However what if you are combining natural light 5500k and tungsten 3200k? If you are anything like me and want to avoid as much post production as possible. I like to get the image as close as possible in camera.

Here's what you do.... you add a FULL CTB to your tungsten light. CTB.... what is this guy talking about? CTB stands for Color Temperature Blue, so if your light is orange / warm in color to get it back to neutral you need to add blue. This FULL CTB converts the tungsten light back to a daylight balanced light source. Note that the FULL CTB will block 1 stop worth of light, so adjust accordingly. To see a light and compensation conversion chart CLICK HERE.

If you want to go full out on how to correct for other non-tungsten lights you may want to buy a color meter. Depending on your level and how detailed you want to get with your light color temperature control. Beware color meters are pricey. Not to worry most lights these days have the color temperature rating assigned to that particular light. So it won't be to hard to figure out what you need to correct the light for your assignment.

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