Friday Night Strobes
How To Capture Creative Team Photos

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California Master-Photographer, Tim Engle, has made a career out of his ability to work simultaneously on portrait, fashion, avant-garde and commercial photo shoots. What makes Tim’s work unique is his willingness to apply techniques he’d use in one particular photography-style in other areas of his work.

A recent photo shoot where Tim captured portrait images of his son’s high school football team showcases this blend of techniques perfectly. In addition to the traditional team photos of the players looking tough and stoic back at the camera, Tim wanted to provide the players with a series of photographs that captured the rush of taking the field. To get those shots, he applied some of the techniques he normally used in his fashion and avant-garde work – including the addition of color and fog.

Tim’s concept involved capturing the team as they burst through their inflatable RAMS tunnel. They don’t call high school football “Friday Night Lights” for nothing, and scheduling a nighttime exterior “portrait” shoot definitely demonstrates Tim’s avant-garde approach to this project.

Tim knew that he wanted bold colored light behind and around the players as a strong element in the shot, but he also knew that light needs to reflect off of something in order to be seen. To solve that, he filled the tunnel with fog so that any lighting he added into the shot would reflect off the white, billowy clouds that filled the air and enveloped the players. It not only added drama to the shot, it also gave Tim’s lighting and colors a reflective surface to bounce off of.

Tim’s photos capture the tension and excitement as the players take the field. One way he supported those emotions was by creating the same tension in his lighting scheme. Tim created contrast in his shot by using complementary colors that blended together in the fog – in this case, a reddish amber and a cyan. This is a technique employed by fashion and Hollywood photographers all the time. You might have noticed similar amber/cyan blends in magazine ads and movie posters. The warm/cool contrast creates an extra tension in the shot that you wouldn’t feel without it.

Tim used filters out of our 12”x12” CalColor Filter Kit to light this shot. CalColor is our patented system of filters that have been calibrated to be pure primary (Red/Green/Blue) and secondary (Cyan/Yellow/Magenta) colors for camera. Each color comes in four different densities of the same hue: 15 (least saturated), 30, 60 and 90 (most saturated). For this shot, Tim chose the moody CalColor 90 Cyan and complemented it with the warm CalColor 60 Red. Those two complementary colors in the shot added contrast, tension and, ultimately, excitement into Tim’s photos that night.

To see more of Tim Engle’s work, visit his website: www.englephoto.com. There you can view his various portfolios and read his blog, which contains additional photography tips and techniques.

When you’re ready to add color into your photography projects – be sure to explore our Filter Kits and Flashpacks. If you’re interested in adding fog into your next photo shoot – visit the Rosco Vapour Fog & Haze page on our website.

Video: Chris Rylee (Instagram – @chrisrylee)

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Joel Svendsen

About Joel Svendsen

Content Marketing Manager: Joel's Rosco career began in Rosco's Hollywood office in 1999 – first in sales covering the Western US and the Los Angeles Film & Television market, and then as Product Manager for Rosco's Film & Television Products. In that time, his knowledge of Rosco's products and how they're used in each of our marketplaces makes him well suited for bringing the stories in Spectrum to life.

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