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Photography Question 

member since: 9/8/2003

Lighting in Photography: Tungsten and Strobe

I am unsure how to combine tungsten lights and strobe light, and also how you would meter for them.

4/16/2005 4:05:00 AM

It all depends on what you are trying to do. Are the tungsten lights lamps on an end table next to the couch where you are shooting a family portrait? Or are they ceiling lights in a big room?

The thing to remember here is the tungsten can be viewed as "ambient" lights and are best controlled by the shutter speed, and your strobes are best controlled by the f/stop.

Basically, you do your set-up, and let's say you are shooting a portrait. So start with a fast shutter speed and work on getting your exposure for the strobes correct, changing your f/stop until you see a good exposure on your subject from the strobe. I am assuming you are shooting digital and can view the results on the LCD.

Once your strobe exposure looks good, start changing your shutter speed by making it longer, 1/60 to say 1/8, maybe as long as 1 second, or until the tungsten lit part of the scene looks like you want it.

Hope that answers it for you.

4/16/2005 7:56:44 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/17/2003
  To add another point to Charlie's response: Be prepared for some amber color shifts, as ambient (tungsten) light illuminates portions of the scene not dominated by the strobes.

4/16/2005 3:17:51 PM

Karen E. Michaels

member since: 8/24/2004
  You can counteract the amber color shifts by using a polarized filter

4/17/2005 11:00:15 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  The best solution is to balance the flash output to the tungsten lights. You need a warm (brownish/orange filter) on your flash to bring it close to the balance of the room lights. This is easy with digital because you can instantly see the results of adding filters to you flash. The other option is to change the tungsten lights to a more daylight balance and leave your flash unfiltered. Daylight balanced tungsten lights are expensive because of small amount of time they will burn at a daylight balance.

4/19/2005 5:51:07 AM


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