“Straw for faces O for spaces!”
I heard that phrase for the first time the other day and it really stuck with me. I like to warm up the light when using LED or HMI sources. (They tend to read closer to 6,000K rather than 5,600K) Straw gels look much better on skin tones - more yellow than orange. CTO will give you a more accurate color shift if you’re trying to match tungsten units in a space, but the orange is pretty saturated and can look a little odd on the skin, in my opinion.
It’s easy to get super technical calculating the mired shift of color and light loss through gel density, but with a decent monitor your eyes can tell you when something looks good. 😎
Like most one light setups, the simple solution was the best answer to these circumstances. We were already getting some subtle pools of natural light through the doors of the hallway, so we just pushed a little extra through the back window. Just enough power for some more definition, but not enough to blow out the highlights. Warmed it up with a little straw, and softened the shadows with a 4x4 frame of opal.
Tyler Kaschke is a freelance gaffer based in Lafayette, Colorado serving Boulder, Denver, Golden, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and the Rocky Mountain region at large.