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Creating Stunning Gradient Backgrounds with Color Gels in Fashion Photography

6/08/2023 Matt 0 Comments

Fashion photography continuously evolves, with new trends influencing various aspects of the craft. One trend that has gained popularity is the use of colorful gradient backgrounds. 

In this video, Lindsay Adler will explore the process of creating gradient backgrounds using colored gels:

Building the Gradient Background:

Lindsay begins by setting up three strobes and attaching colored gels to them. The first strobe, positioned behind the subject, features an orange gel attached to a large umbrella with diffusion. 

Creating Stunning Gradient Backgrounds with Color Gels in Fashion Photography

This arrangement creates a gradient effect, with the color transitioning from a yellow-orange shade closer to the modifier to a deeper, darker orange further away. The positioning of this light not only serves as a background light but also adds dimension by casting a subtle glow on the subject's hair and shoulders.

Enhancing Depth and Visual Interest:

To elevate the gradient background, Lindsay introduces a second strobe with a magenta gel.

This strobe, placed directly behind the subject on a floor stand, saturates the area closest to it with vibrant magenta tones that gradually blend into the orange hues of the first light. The interaction of multiple colors adds depth and visual interest, resulting in a dynamic and visually striking background.

Selecting the Main Light:

Choosing the right main light is crucial to ensure it doesn't spill onto the background and wash out the vibrant colors created by the gels. Lindsay recommends using a light source with restricted illumination or a grid.

 In her demonstration, she opts for the Westcott Optical spot, which offers precise control by narrowing the beam and providing focused illumination. This setup enables her to highlight specific facial features while keeping the background intact.

Flexibility and Creativity:

While Lindsay uses strobes in her demonstration, she emphasizes the flexibility of achieving similar results with continuous lights, such as the Nanlite Pavo tubes. She encourages photographers to explore various color combinations, ranging from two to multiple colors blending together. This allows for limitless creative possibilities and ensures your work stays ahead of evolving trends.

About Lindsay Adler:

Fashion photographer Lindsay Adler has risen to the top of her industry as both a photographer and educator. Based in New York City, her fashion editorials have appeared in numerous fashion and photography publications. As a photographic educator, she is one of the most sought after speakers internationally, teaching on the industry's largest platforms and most prestigious events, having been named one of the top 10 best fashion photographers in the world.
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