Five new LEE colours from Imagination's Tanya Burns
14 April 2011
UK - How do you imagine colours that don't exist? Tanya Burns, lighting designer at global communications agency Imagination, knows after inventing five new colours for LEE Filters, one of the world's leading manufacturer of lighting and camera filters.
Tanya was invited to the LEE Filters factory in Andover, Hampshire to work alongside LEE's R&D team to create her own unique range of colours.
The colours have now been added to the LEE Designer Series and were launched at the the recent Prolight&Sound exhibition.
Tanya's inspiration came from her days working in theatre and opera. Over the years she has been mentally storing ideas of colours she wished existed for certain projects, without having to layer gels and lose light to create the effect, says Imagination.
"In lighting, colour is one of the most important elements. Everyone uses light fixtures, but it's how you use them and your colour palette that makes all the difference - it's like the milk in your tea," comments Tanya.
"In my range for LEE I also wanted to buck the current trend for correction and 'muted' filters, and just create some wonderful colours."
Tanya explained the five colours, shown below with their reference details:
505 Sally Green
"A fresh, light and airy summer green. It has an 'under tree canopy' light quality without being 'pantomime countryside'. It's also subtle enough to light faces without having to add too much general cover on top."
"A flattering skin tone filter without the 'comedy' pink. It's named for Marlene Dietrich who understood the importance of beautiful lighting, especially at a certain age! It's also useful as an Indian summer at dusk/sepia type effect."
"A denser, saturated orange version of 135 avoiding being a 'pinky red'. Good for backlight, instruments, part of a sunset palette and generating a party atmosphere. 'Madge', short for Imagination, is a thank you to Imagination founder Gary Withers for championing creative lighting in the corporate world."
508 Midnight Maya
"A rich, sultry blue, like Congo Blue, but allowing greater light transmission so it's more maintenance friendly - fewer gel changes. It's the visual equivalent of listening to Maya Angelou reading prose, and a nod to working together on 'Moon on a Rainbow Shawl'."
525 Argent Blue
"Lighting and Sound International's Silver Anniversary colour, which sits between 165 and 068 in the range. Great for a foreboding cold winter's night, but allows enough light transmission to be useful for general illluminance too." For more on the creation of Argent Blue see the November 2010 issue of LSi.
Apart from Argent Blue, which was named by an internal vote at LEE, Tanya also wanted to make sure all her colours had women's names - a humourous antidote to the male-dominated industry.
"I work in a world full of techy jargon and macho names for things - VLXL, Bad Boy or Dominator etc - so I just can't wait for a load of blokes to call up and order a roll of Marlene and Midnight Maya," she chuckled.
"I've had a working relationship with LEE for over 20 years, from theatre, opera and architecture through to the current corporate work I do, which utilises all of the different skills in one environmental discipline. Colour is the consistent tool throughout.
"So it was a real honour to be involved in creating colours. It's one of the most interesting things I've ever done and has increased my general passion for lighting."
Tanya's colour range is two years in the making, said LEE Filters sales manager, lighting filter products, Paul Topliss: "The initial interest with Tanya was sparked during discussions at Showlight 2009 in Glasgow where her enthusiasm for colour was obvious, and a number of ideas for new colours emerged," he said.
"Tanya's corporate work was of particular interest to us, as it focussed on an area of lighting design that was different from previous lighting designers who have made colours for us.
"We are delighted to be adding Tanya's new colours to our Designer Series of lighting filters and look forward to seeing them being used in lighting designs and projects around the world."
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