• Jeff Carpenter

Vibrant Gels are Cool, but why not Earth Tones?



For the longest time I was determined to find a use for the "Chocolate" gel I had in my gel pack, which is basically just a brown gel, but I couldn't honestly find much of a way to use it until recently. Using it as a background to match other color tones in my images has been what I've found most useful, but take a look for yourself, and maybe you can find other uses that I haven't thought of.



Check out the image breakdown below to see how I used the Chocolate gel.

My key light for this shot was a diffused beauty dish. I chose to use a beauty dish because I wanted to retain some contrast in the image and a beauty dish is a fantastic modifier when you're trying to achieve that effect.


The second light I want to talk about was actually directly behind me while I was shooting. This light was a giant 86" parabolic umbrella that acted as a fill for the entire scene. I'll put side by side images of the effect of each light a bit later.


The third light in this image was a gridded strip box overhead that acted as a hair/rim light and separated Emily from the background which was a black v-flat. You'll also notice a white v-flat as a fill to camera left in the behind the scenes image above


The fourth and final light was my background light. This was a strobe with a "chocolate" gel to add an earthy tone to the image and help separate Emily from the dark background even more. Check out the image below for a full breakdown of the image and also a flyover of the entire scene that I made with set.a.light 3D.

Check out the images straight out of camera side by side so you can see the effect each light has on the image.

Here's the final image that is retouched and color graded with Capture One Pro.

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Until next time!

-Jeff Carpenter

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“Jeff’s approach is very client centered, he was super personable and a great host.  He tailored the workshop to fit my needs as a photographer and was very flexible to let the workshop unfold without a set agenda.  I was able to get tons of hands-on time with the model and was able to come home with many tremendous images to add to my portfolio.”

   -Jay Hamlin
Workshop Attendee

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