Wednesday, October 16, 2013

TOTW: Theatrical Gels or Filters for Night Photography

Starry night over historic, Ward Charcoal Ovens near Ely, Nevada ~ © Royce Bair (click image to enlarge)
Our Tool(s) of the Week (TOTW) are the gels or filters used for color lighting effects in theatrical stage productions. In the above photo, the ovens were lit on the outside by a single Coleman-type camp lantern placed 210 feet (64 m) to the right of these 136-year old stone structures. Filtered, LED lights* were also placed in each of the six ovens to simulate a functioning, 1876 oven. (Photographed with a Canon 5D Mk3 • EF24mm f/1.4L II • f/2.8 • 13 seconds • ISO 8000.)

The filters over the LED lights were cut from a single, 20" x 24" sheet of Rosco Roscolux Gallo Gold. A Rosco Lux Small Swatchbook can help you choose the colors you want to use for your next lighting project.

*I used an Eveready LED Floating Lantern in each of the ovens. I laid each lantern on the ground, in the middle of the oven, and pointed its beam onto the roof and left side of the oven—filling the inside with reflected light. The filters placed lay over each lantern's large, flood-lamp type reflector.

More information on the Ward Charcoal Ovens can be found on my Flickr page.

Nat'l Geo Publication:  [November 18, 2013 Updated] This photo was published again as their "Photo of the Day". You can also download a 1600x1200 wallpaper from its "Travel 365" publication.

Thank you for helping to make this photo on National Geographic's "Daily Dozen" the most voted for image for October 16th.

F.Y.I. My photo was one of 12 chosen by the Nat'l Geo editors. From these 12 images, those receiving the most votes are considered for possible publication in the future issues of their magazine. (Kind of reminds you of "American Idol" competition, doesn't it!) Two days later, another National Geographic editor emailed to let me know that the same image had been picked up for publication and licensing (with pay) in their "Travel 365" project! Although this is not the first time I've been published in Nat'l Geo, it's a cool channel that allows anyone a shot at fame.

Contributing to National Geographic: Five days a week, National Geographic editors choose 12 images to be showcased on their "Daily Dozen". Competition is keen. Currently, over 8,000 images are submitted each day. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see where you can upload your own photos. Here are their guidelines. Images appearing on the Daily Dozen may also lead to a feature elsewhere on National Geographic (with licensing and compensation).

Royce Bair is the editor of this blog and the photographer of the above image. Here is my gallery of NightScape images. My schedule of workshops, tutorials, and other events is available here.

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  1. Hi Royce. Absolutely stunning photograph! Was wondering what model LED light you used to light the inside of the ovens? Love all of your work and appreciate all the info you share. Thanks, Lance.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Lance. I've added additional LED light information to this post because of your question.

  2. Excellent use of Lighting effects in the scene and keep up the good work.
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  3. The food is very good The ambience of the hotel is very good Hotel staff is very good Price of food and drinks are very nominal compared to other 5 stars Suggest one if in ranching should be here and check out the hotel
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