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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Swigart


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A clear

A pink

A light blue

A dark blue

A lavender

An amber

A green

A couple of "party colors" Like a salmon, and a really dark red.

A different light blue

A different pink

A different lavender

A different dark blue

A dark pink


A 1/2 CTO


All colors are Lee. You can obviously sub other manufacturers for most of the colors.

Clear (or an IR filter)

205 (1/2 CTO) or 206 (1/4 CTO) depending on your lamps

204 (full CTO)

004 (Medium Bastard Amber)

108 (English Rose)

179 (Chrome Orange)

019 (Fire)

027 (Medium Red) or 029 (PLASA Red)

035 (Light Pink)

052 (Light Lavender) or 137 (Special Lavender)

061 (Mist Blue)

068 (Sky Blue) or 075 (Evening Blue)

071 (Tokyo Blue)

121 (Lee Green)

139 (Primary Green)

216 (White Diffusion) or 201 (Full CTB)

The CTO's, 004, 108, and 035 are all chosen because they're very friendly to a variety of skin tones, and are a good compromise for me from more saturate colors that I might choose if I knew more about the specific people I was lighting. The 108 is also lovely on warmer colored fabrics, and looks great on any kind of shiny gold or brass. I frequently swap one of these frames for a dark magenta or a 126 (Mauve).

The 019 and 027/029 pair works well for me as a highlight/lowlight pair for anything "fiery".

052/137 ends up being my fall back color when I've lit the darned scene too far towards either the warm or the cool and want to correct the skin tones. Or when I just want that kind of "ghostly porcelain" look to skin. I prefer 137 if the lamp output will support it - 052 if I'm worried about brightness.

The 061, 068/075, 071 series gives me a nice gradation of blues. The 071 is a bit of a compromise - I usually like an even more saturated blue, but it doesn't hold up long - and I hate replacing a string just because I burned a single color.

Both 121 and 179 are in because I love them for backlights in a lot of camera situations. And they can really give a nice crisp, colorful "edge" to a look that's gotten a little too bland looking.

The 139 is in because it's, And it looks good on plants. And sometimes on woods. I don't use it all that often, but when I need it, I *really* need it!

The choice of 216 or 201 really depends on the lamps. If I think I'm going to have a problem blending out further than my "real" focus, then I'll sometimes use the 216. Typically though, I go with the 201 so I have a cold/clear at the far end of the string (to balance the warmer "clears" at the head).

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