Learning Color with Erika - Alexander Bohlen Photography

Earlier in 2018, I discovered a tutorial site called RGG EDU. From then on, I fell in love with their tutorials that showed the behind the scenes of a photo shoot; the pre-shoot, shoot, and post processing. One of the professional teachers, Jake Hicks, is a master of color. After watching his tutorial, I wanted to try my hand at it. My end goal was to use it with fitness portraits, but it takes steps to get to making it look good. Understanding how the light hits the body is a key component of color since color can wash over each other. Therefore practice was severely needed. I had a friend, Erika, who I shot some color images with before. She was looking to change up her portfolio and I was looking to practice color, a perfect match. After arriving at her house, I set up my lights in a sunroom, which had good space, but lots of light. The looks I had envisioned had to be changed because of all the natural light. But with moving lights, changing colors, and some wardrobe changes, we got a few different looks.

I started with using a soft box as a background, and a key in front, but realized there was too much light to get clean colors. I noticed a brick chimney in the room and decided to use that as a background with a red gel. I then added a key above Erika with an umbrella. It looked good, but I added a different color fill from below. That completed the look. Erika wore a nude bodysuit to complement the red, blue, and orange colors.

After a few images, we changed looks by setting up a black background. I started with blue side lights and a beauty dish above with an orange gel. To take full advantage of the color, the wardrobe turned to nothing to get an implied nude look. Erika models professionally, so she knocked out poses.

Another wardrobe change to sheer lace to nail down one of my favorites.

With some time left, I swapped the gels to have orange as edge lights, and blue as the key. Look was once again, implied nude. After a few fun hair flip attempts, we wrapped up. The takeaway is that colors take a lot of practice. Color wash is a major thing to worry about. I now see how to move the model to get color in just the right areas. In the end, the shoot was super fun and challenging, by trying new looks and colored gels.

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