Forums > Photography Talk > do you use color gels on flashes?(examples)

Photographer

Jeremy Dennis

Posts: 37

State College, Pennsylvania, US

Hi I am always looking for ways to experiment with photography and I recently thought of getting color gels for my camera. I actually have one shot in mind that may require a red/orange gel to simulate a lamp in a room.


They only cost a few dollars from what I've seen on amazon.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a budget gel kit and examples of how they utilized color gels well? smile

Nov 09 12 08:54 pm Link

Photographer

Fotojeroen

Posts: 73

Waalwijk, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands

Yes, sometimes I do.

Normaly I shoot journalism and I come to different places with all kinds of different light. Sometimes the lights are too dark to not use a flash. But the flash is ballanced to daylight. And when you have normal (yellow) lightbulbs or tungsten-lights, you start to mix two different kinds of temperatures. It makes pictures horrible.

Due to contract I'm not allowed to show pictures here.
But this one was flashed with an standard Nikon-supplied orange filter:
http://www.pvenews.com/mediafiler/start … splein.jpg

Nov 10 12 12:35 am Link

Photographer

Kaouthia

Posts: 3152

Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

Jeremy Dennis wrote:
Hi I am always looking for ways to experiment with photography and I recently thought of getting color gels for my camera.

You mean for your flash. smile

Jeremy Dennis wrote:
Does anyone have any suggestions for a budget gel kit and examples of how they utilized color gels well? smile

This should get you started, if you're talking about speedlights.

http://strobist.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/ … small.html

If you mean studio strobes, you're just going to have to shop around, buy the sheets you need and cut to fit.

Nov 10 12 04:38 am Link

Photographer

PhillipM

Posts: 6667

Martin, Tennessee, US

Love Gels

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/061122/14/4564b52a5a21d.jpg

Nov 10 12 06:34 am Link

Photographer

JSandersPhotography

Posts: 1385

Fort Collins, Colorado, US

PhillipM wrote:
Love Gels

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/061122/14/4564b52a5a21d.jpg

Agreed.  You can do a lot with them, and I think I've only scratched the surface.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120608/06/4fd1f7b590b30_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/101118/08/4ce553e3b4c55_m.jpg

Nov 10 12 06:41 am Link

Photographer

Select Models

Posts: 36284

Upland, California, US

do you use color gels on flashes?

Only when hot drunk chicks come over to the studio on Saturday night... borat

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v330/GaryAbigt/PartyNHell3.jpg

Nov 10 12 07:25 am Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22826

Salem, Oregon, US

this was done with gels on white paper:
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121016/17/507dfa435a70f_m.jpg

you can get gels for speedlites (honl, rogue) or colored sheets that go over studio strobes. or get a barndoors/gel kit for your studio strobe.

gelling black can be fun.

CTO (orange) gels can be useful as hairlights or to just warm things up a bit.

Nov 10 12 07:56 am Link

Photographer

Nor-Cal Photography

Posts: 2790

Walnut Creek, California, US

Gel - red obviously:

18+

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pi … 3#19134543

and purple:

18+

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pi … 9#19130189

with both on a white background.

Nov 10 12 08:23 am Link

Photographer

Image Works Photography

Posts: 2890

Orlando, Florida, US

I don't use them that often but it does work its purpose. I experimented with them during the summer. In one I had a grid on my speedlight pointing at the subject then on another room I had a blue gel on my other speedlight. It changed the mood and it more resembled another time of day. SO yes you can really get creative with them and add more fun.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8478/8172375639_9f1eda2af3_m.jpg

Nov 10 12 08:50 am Link

Photographer

K I S S P H O T O

Posts: 595

Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom

I want to use them more but i've only  used them a couple times so far and only find myself using the blue at the mo
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/ … 5642_n.jpg
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121009/11/50746f4bd8eb5_m.jpg

Nov 10 12 08:54 am Link

Photographer

ELiffmann

Posts: 1414

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US

I highly recommend you find Niel Snape's page on here and read his blog.

Nov 10 12 09:07 am Link

Photographer

robert christopher

Posts: 2681

Snohomish, Washington, US

2 blue gels on  either side and slightly behind the model, ungelled beauty dish above

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/090513/00/4a0a7a3a7294f_m.jpg

Nov 10 12 09:55 am Link

Photographer

Image Works Photography

Posts: 2890

Orlando, Florida, US

robert christopher wrote:
2 blue gels on  either side and slightly behind the model, ungelled beauty dish above

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/090513/00/4a0a7a3a7294f_m.jpg

It really worked well here. It complements the outfit color. On some other shots I have seen it was better to just use white diffused light. I will add this to my fave list. Its heavenly smile

Nov 10 12 10:09 am Link

Photographer

Albertex Photography

Posts: 15709

Mansfield, Texas, US

Two yellow gels on snoots on her hair and a gold one on the speedlight in the treasure chest.
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110213/09/4d5816acec632.jpg

Nov 10 12 12:19 pm Link

Photographer

Urban Stylz Photo

Posts: 2669

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

robert christopher wrote:
2 blue gels on  either side and slightly behind the model, ungelled beauty dish above

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/090513/00/4a0a7a3a7294f_m.jpg

best use of gels I have seen on MM so far. Excellent work! Gels as a rim light works very well actually.

Nov 10 12 12:26 pm Link

Photographer

richardsphotographybc

Posts: 415

Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Here a couple.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120226/22/4f4b215c0d0e0_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110808/13/4e40419a9e79b_m.jpg

Nov 10 12 12:36 pm Link

Photographer

You Can Call Me Pierre

Posts: 763

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

YN-560 gelled with red in the oven, bouncing off crumpled aluminum foil;
SB-900 with a blue gel for the cabinets;
SB-900 with straw gel for hair;
SB-900 with orange gel as a contouring accent.
Gels from the HONL kit. I have incinerated a few when not allowing breathing room from the speedlight's fresnel.
smile
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120214/07/4f3a7f24e51ba.jpg

Nov 10 12 01:19 pm Link

Photographer

Alien LiFe

Posts: 858

San Francisco, California, US

I agree with the suggestion above about checking strobist.com ... there are lots of informations about using color gels for your off-camera flash/strobe lights ...

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120903/23/5045a1c53c8cb_m.jpg

I use color gels a lot ... mostly 1 stop & 1/3 stop CTO (Color Temp. Orange) ...
In this picture ... to lit the model, I had a big softbox with 2 flashes inside it both with 1/4 power (one with 2/3 CTO, the other one is only just diffuser).

There are 3 other flashes positioned in the back of the model, all with 1/3 CTO on ... One on the right (nearer to her) to give her a rim light  & lit the small tree next to her. Another one on the left & a bit further away ... give her a lil rim & lit the background grasses.
The last one ... way back on the right - lit the grasses to add dimension & color to the image ...

Off camera light & colored gels are def. FUN ... smile


`alf

Nov 10 12 01:52 pm Link

Photographer

Alien LiFe

Posts: 858

San Francisco, California, US

robert christopher wrote:
2 blue gels on  either side and slightly behind the model, ungelled beauty dish above

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/090513/00/4a0a7a3a7294f_m.jpg

Ahhh ... this is beautiful ... nicely done ... smile

Nov 10 12 01:53 pm Link

Photographer

Jeremy Dennis

Posts: 37

State College, Pennsylvania, US

I like all these examples, if you hadn't told me they were color gel flashed i wouldn't have noticed smile

Nov 10 12 03:17 pm Link

Photographer

Stanley L Moore

Posts: 1679

Houston, Texas, US

I use gels from time to time. Here is one that is exaggerated.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/111021/11/4ea1b80999c6d.jpg

And ehre is one more subtle with just a touch of blue.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121014/14/507b2f4aae0fa.jpg

Gels are relatively cheap. I got a set of 15 for around $30 at a camera store.  As with anything they can be overdone. But they can also be impressive.

Nov 10 12 05:31 pm Link

Photographer

FEN RIR Photo

Posts: 719

Westminster, Colorado, US

I did a little experiment with one around Halloween.  I cut one out of a plastic blue folder.  At first I put it over the lens and took a shot to get a blue picture, then set it as my white balance.  Then I put in on the flash so the light coming from the flash would be white again from the camera, and it turned the ambient light red.  I thought it was kinda cool.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121106/10/509957cc7303f.jpg

Nov 10 12 05:48 pm Link

Photographer

Photomezzo

Posts: 248

Venice, California, US

To encourage you to buy the full size sheets,  pro camera stores will gladly give you the Lee Filters sample book that has dozens of different filters. Those samples (about 1" x 3") magically fit over the head of a speedlight. If you can fire the speedlight remotely, you can then add color to any scene.

Nov 10 12 06:00 pm Link

Photographer

D S P

Posts: 510

Portland, Oregon, US

Blue on a black background, bastard amber on rim lights
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120802/10/501abe425d996_m.jpg

Green on the grey portions of the backdrop, amber on the rim lights
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120903/22/5045930310acf_m.jpg

Nov 10 12 06:00 pm Link

Photographer

PhillipPhotography

Posts: 2490

San Leandro, California, US

PhillipM wrote:
Love Gels

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/061122/14/4564b52a5a21d.jpg

awesome!

Nov 10 12 07:51 pm Link

Photographer

Fotografica Gregor

Posts: 4124

Alexandria, Virginia, US

I use coloured gels on studio flash quite often.   Sometimes to fill cast shadows with a lighter tone,  sometimes using complimentary gels  to create effects with "white" light where both fall,  one colour in highlights and another in shadows - subtly of course.

Nov 10 12 08:10 pm Link

Photographer

Kung-Fu-Flavor

Posts: 586

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Gels Rock!
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/101113/12/4cdef4a3c38bb_m.jpg

Nov 10 12 11:45 pm Link

Photographer

Neil Snape

Posts: 9473

Paris, Île-de-France, France

Rosco used to have sample kits with smaller cut sheets. I still use those today, but have lots of full size cut filters and rolls.

In my port I have a few examples. Here is one people like.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/090829/10/4a996c4b2ab0c.jpg

Nov 10 12 11:55 pm Link

Photographer

simoj

Posts: 66

Tampere, Region of Tampere, Finland

Yes, sometimes I use colour gels (mainly red). Here's one recent example.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121111/00/509f5e9c23b5e_m.jpg

Nov 11 12 12:21 am Link

Photographer

Burt Lloyd Photography

Posts: 1

Weert, Limburg, Netherlands

Red kicker on the right, yellow kicker on the left, blue beautydish with grid as main. Blue and Red mix to Magenta/purple...

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pi … 8#30513308

Nov 11 12 12:34 am Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5330

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

The Rosco and Lee sample swatch books used to be free. After the advent of the Strobist, people started ordering them to use. Turns out they were just the right size for many Stobist applications. Now they sell the swatch books, as well as Strobist-sized filter sets.

I keep 20x24-inch Rosco gels in several colors on hand and cut them down for use. I favor colors like blue, red, gold (which they call straw), lavendar and purple.

This is the only photo in my portfolio where I used a gel.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120121/23/4f1bb939e689f_m.jpg

Nov 11 12 01:05 am Link

Photographer

Warren Leimbach

Posts: 2713

Tampa, Florida, US

Camerosity wrote:
The Rosco and Lee sample swatch books used to be free. After the advent of the Strobist, people started ordering them to use. Turns out they were just the right size for many Stobist applications. Now they sell the swatch books, as well as Strobist-sized filter sets.

I didn't know they charge for them now.  sad
Probably still a bargain.
Been using them for 15 years.






http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120308/18/4f59658b6ab20_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110710/20/4e1a6dc3ec078_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110710/20/4e1a6cef9a9e9_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/100829/18/4c7b032b01fa1_m.jpg

Nov 11 12 09:38 am Link

Photographer

lee ingleton

Posts: 12

Witney, England, United Kingdom

Dec 22 12 06:49 am Link

Photographer

SoCo n Lime

Posts: 3283

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Dec 22 12 06:57 am Link

Photographer

Starsquid

Posts: 356

s-Gravenhage, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

love gels! i think i used Rosco (can't find my swatch book) here

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120703/04/4ff2d946a1e1c.jpg

Dec 22 12 07:09 am Link

Photographer

Red Sky Photography

Posts: 3392

Germantown, Maryland, US

A 3/4 CTO in the cave behind the model, straight flash from a beauty dish in front.  M


http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/26062149

Dec 22 12 07:12 am Link

Photographer

Jorge Kreimer

Posts: 2438

Los Angeles, California, US

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/12 … b8dc58.jpg 18

These are the cheap Amazon gels. The only problem is that if you use llamaing lights, the gels get burned through.

Dec 22 12 07:20 am Link

Photographer

- BP Photo -

Posts: 229

Cincinnati, Ohio, US

Dec 22 12 09:19 am Link

Dec 22 12 09:22 am Link

Photographer

Kung-Fu-Flavor

Posts: 586

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

I heart gels:)
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/101113/12/4cdef4a3c38bb_m.jpg
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120206/22/4f30c7256a5e2_m.jpg

Dec 22 12 09:25 am Link