Day for Night with LEE Filters Lighting Gels

Last week I had the pleasure to work with a great bunch of photographers at the Event & Schools Photographers Group in Coventry, England. This was an opportunity to show other photographers that there's much more to lighting than just umbrellas & soft boxes, plus I got to meet some really good people into the bargain.

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This image was created with the aid of 2 x iLux Summit 600 portable battery mono bloc self-contained flash heads from Photomart, a crew of four and a few sheets of LEE Filters lighting correction gels.

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As you can see the scene is relatively ordinary until lit and flat due to the heavy overcast sky and surrounding buildings. The purpose of this shoot was to evaluate the capabilities of my new iLux Summit 600 battery flash head, including the ability to freeze moving objects and show other photographers that a few simple changes to lighting and camera settings can totally alter the look and mood of a scene.

- 2 x iLux Summit 600 portable battery mono bloc self-contained flash heads
- Key light Lux 120cm Deep Octa with internal diffuser in place and front diffuser removed
- Back right at 2 o'clock iLux Summit 600 portable battery mono bloc with standard reflector in place. LEE Filters Double CTB (200) (Colour Temperature Blue) clipped inlace with multi-clips
- LEE Filters ½ (205) & full CTO (204) (Colour Temperature Orange) which converts a daylight (5500k) source to tungsten (3200k). Normally I'd only use a single Full CTO for a shot such as this but the flash tube on the light is a little cool/blue for my taste.
- Flash power was in the 1/16 or 1/32 range maximum for both lights

Camera Settings
ISO 160
Shutter 1/250th
Aperture ƒ/3.5
White balance tungsten
Canon 50D with 85mm ƒ/1.8 prime

Setting the camera white balance to tungsten neurtralises the effect of the warmed up light from the CTO'd flash. The under exposed background light not lit by the flash will render blue, the colour of the tungsten in camera white balance. The back/rim light was Double CTB in order to show through the blue ambient light. Full CTB would be neutral and have no effect.

The image was processed in Adobe Camera RAW via Bridge then into Photoshop CC where I dodged and burned in the image to give the desired look.

This is an adaptation of a technique used by cinematographers to simulate night time in daylight - shooting day for night. To create a more authentic nocturnal feel the model could be lit with less CTO which would not be so flattering!

The LEE Filters used in this article were from the Pro-Pack which contains 24 of the the most useful 21" x 24" colour correction, effects & diffusion gels. The Double CTB was taken from the Master Location Pack of 10" x 12" gels.

That's it for this one. My thanks to all involved in this shoot, you know who you are:)

The 1420 VAL Spigot is available from selected retailers in the UK and direct from me for US or UK customers.

iLux lighting is available from Photomart and LEE Filters gels from numerous sources including Wex & The Flash Centre 

If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.


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