Using gels is often a problem when working with strobes. Getting them to fit around the bulb can be a pain, and trying to cover the front surface of a giant softbox is just impractical (and expensive!). Well, the folks at FlashGels have solved this issue for the Godox AD600Pro and AD400Pro with pre-cut gel kits that slip right over the bulb.
If you’re like me and you’ve tried to attach gels to your lights in the past, you’ve likely resorted to using one of the many types of sticky tapes available. When I used to manage a studio, I would see all manner of tapes being used to attach gels to hot modifiers. From masking tape, duct tape, parcel tape and when they ran out, even regular old sticky tape was used. But ultimately, all of these tapes fell short in achieving their simple task of holding a coloured gel in front of a light.
For those of us that have dealt with colour in any way digitally in the last decade, we are unfortunately all too familiar with the dreaded colour banding issues. If you’re not sure what colour banding is, then it’s the visual ‘stepping’ of colour that happens in digital files.
It happens a lot and it can happen for any number of reasons. The most common scapegoats for colour banding are usually poor colour depth in our cameras, aggressive compression algorithms with online sites and any number of other technical failings. Although all of these are often part of the problem, I see one other major culprit of severe colour banding and that’s lighting.
Last year, lighting gel company, Rosco acquired LED lighting specialists DMG Lumière. Although only founded in 2014, DMG Lumière was quickly recognised for its innovative products for film, television and broadcast. We all knew at the time that this would be an interesting mix of companies and talent that would probably go on to produce something quite special. Now, it seems, they have.
The Rosco MIX, is a new colour changing LED panel based on DMG Lumière’s previous form factors. What makes these special though, is that unlike traditional bicolour, RGB or RGBW LED panels, these contain six differently coloured LEDs to produce a wide array of colours. Famous for their high-quality lighting gels, Rosco’s new light won’t even need them.
Good news! This is actually a relatively easy JHP lighting setup to play with and it produces some pretty great looking results too. It’s easy to set up as you only need a couple of softboxes and this can be put together and shot in a very small space indeed; no studio required. Plus it produces some great looking results because it uses coloured light. Now I know I may sound biased on that but hear me out as we go through the setup and it should start to make more sense as to why this looks extra cool with coloured gels compared to without.
Often a scene can be visually confusing, especially if there are multiple colours and objects in focus that are fighting for our viewer’s attention. This simple technique that I’m sharing here uses a single dominant coloured gel to simplify the scene visually, then we can draw the attention of our viewer with our Lensbaby Sweet 50 lens.
This is another one of those questions I get asked a lot: ‘Should I be using a white or grey background with coloured gels?’ As with so many things in photography, the answer isn’t always as simple as you might think.
In this article I show you a recent lighting test where I fired a collection of coloured gels onto a white background and then repeated the same test on a grey background to see the difference. The images below speak for themselves but I’ll also explain some of my personal reasons for using one over another and I’ll also discuss the pros and cons for each.
The use of color gels expands the possibilities and helps you create plenty of different looks. If you’re just discovering color gels, Ted Sim of Apurture shares eight ideas for using them. These will give you some inspiration why and how to add color to your shots. And while Ted focuses on moviemaking, you can also use gels to add color and change the mood of your photos.
Do you use gels to add color to your photos? Jay P. Morgan shows you four different ways to use them, but with a twist – he focuses on adding color only to the shadows. By using gels, he achieves the desired effect in camera. Some of these four methods can work for you too, and they’re great ways to minimize the time you spend editing the photos.
Here is a great tool to add to your lighting toolbox, controlling lights with gels. It’s not about making the light hard or soft, it’s different of control, one that allows playing with color relations. And While there is quite a bit you can do with gels in general, today I am going to focus on controlling backdrop color.
There is a way to get three looks using only two lights and a gray backdrop. If we take this concept and expand it, we can use gels to control the background. We can actually mimic quite an infinite number of backdrops. Instead of using two studio strobes like I did in the last tutorial, for this lesson I’m going to be using three speedlights. The reason I wanted to use speedlights rather than studio strobes is because I got a handful of questions about whether or not the 3 in1 headshot could be done with more basic gear. In order to lay those concerns to rest I wanted to get back to basics and use some of the least expensive gear on the market to prove that you can get some great images with very inexpensive gear.