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Lights & color effects

by Mirsini Arvanitis   |   December 7, 2017

On the 30th of November the 7th session of the Photo & Video Lab took place. On this occasion the trainer introduced the Lab students into the light and color effects of using different flashlights. There are two types of camera flashes: the built-in flash and external flash units (e.g., standalone flashes which are attached to one’s camera through the camera hotshoe). The external flashes can be set in different angles, which generate varying light effects (e.g., angled at 90 grade, upstanding, etc.). While a direct flash light creates a washed out, sometimes almost white picture, a diffused flash creates softer images that look as if they have been taken outdoors under natural light, moreover, the colors are more intense. With a direct flash the light is intense, and it casts a clear and harsh shadow. A flash diffuser (e.g., flash diffusion domes or soft boxes) are materials to diffuse the intensity of the camera’s flash light; it is actualy like a little lamp shade that helps to spread the light around instead of blasting it straight ahead.

In the course of the discussion about the usage of different flash lights, the trainer explained to the Lab participants the “white balance theory”, which means the adjustment of the intensity of white to get the colors in your pictures as accurate as possible. The “white balance theory” has to take into account the “color temperature” of a light source, which refers to the relative warmth or coolness of white light. The camera can be adjusted automatically or manually, whereby it is preferable to set the white balance manually.

After the input sessions the Lab students had the opportunity to experiment with their built-in flashes also using diffused flash light, while the trainer was supporting them and clearing existing ambiguities. One important element we studied more closely was the color insensitivity and combination of pictures taken with flash as well black-white pictures taken by Eric Kim. The Lab participants will have time to study his work in order to be able to understand his approaches and to gain new inputs.


Mohamed Benghuzzi

// Chief Editor

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English translation by Gigi Papoulias
Photograph by Nadir Noori
Graphic design by Alexia Stamatelatou




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