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Thread: Filtration for Portrait lighting

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    247

    Filtration for Portrait lighting

    I'd like to shoot portraits of my family using my 4x5 and Portra and/or B&W film. I've never had to "correct" for lighting using a film camera before (always blasted away with a flash) so I just want to ask whether I should be using a filter on the front of the lens to avoid crazy color casts.

    I have a 500w Lowel Rifa (softbox) and a 500w open faced tungsten, along with a set of gels.

    Possible set-ups:

    1) Tungsten light in softbox or open tungsten light bounced off a wall/ceiling. I would think this would create a color cast on the Portra which I should either correct with a filter or remove in photoshop.

    2) Same as 1 but gelled to match existing light conditions. I would think this would not require any correcting with filter or in post.

    I'm not sure what effect the tungsten causes in B&W, so I'd appreciate some guidance. My inclination is to use option 2 as I would with a DSLR but I would like some input before I start wasting film. My other inclination is to fix any color cast issues in PS, rather than going down the road of buying expensive filters.

    Any other portrait lighting tips are appreciated. Happy New Year.

    Bob

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    9,344

    Re: Filtration for Portrait lighting

    For B&W you'll want to hedge your film with a half-a-stop boost using Tungsten.

    For Color Negative, you probably should filter the lights back to daylight but I don't. I just adjust it in Photoshop. It's more important to keep the color consistent across the skin or you'll get a messy mix of various flesh tones.

    Unless you have a stash of Tungsten-balanced E6, don't bother shooting chromes.

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