Edgy light­ing

Use gels to cap­ture im­ages with a post-pro­cessed look in-cam­era

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With the ad­vent of pop­u­lar smart­phone apps like In­sta­gram and Hip­sta­matic, im­age pro­cess­ing is now com­mon­place. Whether it’s click­ing a sin­gle fil­ter on your phone, or ad­just­ing curves and lev­els slid­ers in Pho­to­shop, fid­dling with the colours can have a dra­matic ef­fect on the feel of an im­age.

Lim­it­ing the tonal range and colour pal­ette of an im­age in this way is great, but we reckon it’s more sat­is­fy­ing to cre­ate sim­i­lar ef­fects straight out of the cam­era. All we need are two flash­guns placed ei­ther side of a model, with some coloured gels placed in front of the lights. With a bit of clever place­ment we can separate the light that falls on our model’s face to mimic the pro­cessed ef­fect.

We used Speed­lights for this, but stu­dio lights or con­tin­u­ous lights would work just as well. This is a project you can get re­ally cre­ative with, by adding as many lights and colours as you want. But to keep things sim­ple we’ll start with two lights, and add a lit­tle dif­fu­sion.

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