Filters? What Filters? - Dee Jay Photography

There are still a few diehards, even if they are getting less by the day, that rue the move from film to digital. But, whatever your view, it's undeniable that digital has made life easier. The ability to make in-camera changes mean camera bodies (or film backs, in the case of medium format) preloaded with various colour balanced and ISO film-types no longer need to be carried around. Take for example the image shot here. Although, there is a suggestion of complicated filtration, it was taken on a Nikon D600 camera and 85mm f1.4 lens shot wide open with a single off-camera flash, in daylight. By the way, I love shooting Nikon primes wide open and had a chance to use the rare and expensive (over £3500!) 200mm f2 during this shoot. Please have a look at my Facebook posting to see an example of how backgrounds just melt away with this lens. Anyway, coming back to this image, to render the background a cool blue, I set the camera white balance to tungsten (tungsten-balanced film would have been used in the past) and under exposed the ambient light by 1.5 stops. The problem, of course, is the model would also become an unflattering blue, even with flash. This is because the flash (a Nikon SB-910) emits light of a colour temperature similar to daylight. The flash was mounted higher than the model's head and pointed downwards with the light softened by a small soft box (Lastolite Ezbox). The secret ingredient, of course, is warming the light that hits the model's face and this is achieved by using an orange gel filter on the flash head, otherwise known as a CTO (colour temperature orange) gel. There you have it! A simple technique with a single off-camera flash triggered by Nikon's  SU-800 on-camera commander to give a result that looks just a little different. Give it a try and post some feedback!


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