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| p.1 #2 · Balancing Color Temperature - Gels, White Balance Tools, Etc. |
Two ideas: (1) if you're shooting strobes in a mixed lighting environment and can't simply turn off the existing lights, try to set your exposure to render the ambient environment a "black box", i.e. underexpose by lowering ISO and setting shutter speed to your max sync speed. Then, all the lighting you use to properly expose your scene is lighting that you bring and can control. (2) I had a shoot this past week using Spiderlites to shoot corporate head shots in a room with ambient fluorescent lighting. I couldn't get rid of the ambient, so I simply used a Passport color checker to create a custom dng profile of that specific environment with the fluorescents and the Spiderlites, and used it to balance my exposures. In this case, although the fluorescent-lit areas of the room weren't part of the environment I wanted to capture in my frame, they did influence the color matrix. The Passport color checker and resulting dng profile took care of that.
If, on the other hand, you need to mix whatever ambient lighting exists in an environmental portrait, then you can do two things: (1) "correct" for the ambient lighting with the selection of the best available white balance option on your camera, offset by the opposite color gel on your lights, or (2) push your ambient conditions to a logical extreme and then compensate with appropriately gelled flash. This is a technique that Joe McNally uses very effectively. For example, he'll be in an office environment at mid-day, set his white balance to tungsten and underexpose the shot severely, to create a deep blue late afternoon look in the sky, the office, and the person in it, then bring in one or more small flashes gelled with CTO to compensate for the tungsten white balance, to selectively light the most important element, the person being photographed. In this application, the small flashes are tucked in behind computer screens or other out-of-view places and used very selectively to light the person, not broadly to create a wash of flash-lit environment.
Hope this helps.