interiors advice needed: balancing strobes to non-tungsten lights

Started Jan 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
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chasg
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interiors advice needed: balancing strobes to non-tungsten lights
Jan 5, 2012

Hi All,

I'm going to be doing a shoot in a below-ground space this weekend and I'm going to need to gel my strobes to match the ambient lighting (which I'm pretty sure is sodium vapour or some other non-tungsten light source, but I'll be visiting tomorrow in order to check). I need some advice on how to match colours.

My normal strategy for lighting an artificially-lit interior is to turn off the ambient lights and light the space myself, but there are floor-to-ceiling mirrors on the long walls of the space so any big bounce source will be visible (reflections of giant, bright white bounce sources will take away from the feel of the space).

I'll therefore need to gel my strobes to match, and I was looking for advice on how other photographers determine which gels to use (again, this is non-tungsten light, I'm quite comfortable working in a mixed tungsten-strobe situation). At the moment, my strategy is to take a monobloc to the space, plus my collections of gels, and just eyeball it (back when it looked like I was going to be shooting lots of interiors, I really lusted after a colour-meter like a Sekonic C-500, but I couldn't justify the cost). I'll likely need to buy some more gels to effectively cover all of the lights I'll be using, so I need to have a good idea of which to get.

I should note: this isn't an interiors shoot, rather it's a marketing shoot for a company that uses the space and I'll be lighting models on site (I need to light them nicely, as well as showing the quality of the space they are in, so I need to balance all of my lighting sources. Green or magenta backgrounds just aren't going to look good :-)).

Many thanks in advance for any advice.

Cheers!

Chas

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