There are a few key factors in designing lighting for a single image or for a series. The first thing to keep in mind is what type of mood or feeling you want to convey in the images. Lighting can play a huge role in the mood of an image, so it is important to tie he two together in the conceptual stage. For this series we wanted to go for a bit of a somber mood, and the lighting reflects that.
We used gels on most lights to add interest and a fog machine to add atmosphere, making the lighting visible. We stayed away from “edgy” lighting which would have placed multiple rim lights on the subjects and went for something a bit more natural. The goal for the series was to make images that didn’t necessarily look they were lit with strobes, rather with lights that would exist in the environment. For example the photo of the two girls in the car has a red light coming from behind, and your brain assumes that it is coming from a tail light.
When the sun goes down you tend to see much warmer lighting, so it makes sense to gel your lights with CTO gels to match that mood. Strobe lighting set to 5600 degree white balance which is perfect for matching daylight. The problem is that at night you have a light that looks completely out of place. Gels are inexpensive and can make a huge impact on your images. A good rule of thumb when using gels is to go with colors that may be present in your environment. Using 3 bright blue rim lights would only work if this person was in a very high tech setting where this type of lighting may exist.
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