Working the CTO

Working the CTO

Another of my Adventures in Strobism, as originally posted on my Flickr photostream.


Using info about creatively using a CTO gel on your flash by David Hobby aka The Strobist I decided to do a bit of Sunday morning experimentation.

What you have here is the same shot twice. The left is daylight white balanced and the right WB is set to Tungsten.

In the original shot the orange tinged flash (1.5CTO gel, 1/64 power, grid spot, camera right) illuminates the model wind turbine with a tungsten coloured glow. The overcast sky outside looks as it did when the shot was taken.

The image on the right shows the benefit of Mr Hobby’s advice: If you set the camera to Tungsten white balance, the colour temperature of everything in the frame is lowered. The warm orange light is cooled to bring it back to the colour of daylight while the already cooler sky is lowered to a deep blue.

Not the most exciting subject I’ll admit, but its a great effect and I can’t wait to try it properly. By underexposing, and using sufficient CTO, you can create that just after sunset look virtually anytime you like.