How Photography Gels Are Made

Over the years we shared countless posts and tutorials about using gels with strobes. But have you ever wondered how those gels are made?

How Photography Gels Are Made

I am movie dated to 2009 Lee Filters shares how their gels are made. Once again, I was surprised how dirty and old school the process was. Unlike printing things on a digital printer, everything is done in the old analog way. For example, the thickness of the Lacquer (gel dye) is measured by timing how long it drains through a hole in a metal cup.

The challenge with this manual process is making sure that each batch of gel precisely matches the batch before, so you’d be able to use gels from different batches in the same setup.

A while back we shared Lee’s process for making their glass filters. Where we were also surprised by how manual the process was.

[Stage Lighting Gel via bracomadar]

  • Matthew Wagg

    Its a surprisingly similar kind of process to film coating albeit on a much simpler level and in the light :)