If you’re shooting flash outdoors, your colours are probably wrong. Here’s how to fix it with gels

Aug 29, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

If you’re shooting flash outdoors, your colours are probably wrong. Here’s how to fix it with gels

Aug 29, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Shooting on location with flash is one of the fun parts of portrait photography for me. But, depending on the lighting conditions where you’re shooting, your flash may not be putting out the same colour as the ambient light. This means that while your subject may appear perfect, the environment can appear very cool or warm.

In this video, photographer Robert Hall explains the problem how it happens. It’s an easy problem to fix, all you need is a few gels, and Robert shows us how.

Using gels for creative effects is common, especially in the studio. Whether you want to change colour on your subject, or simply the background, gels are your answer. Using them to correct mixed lighting is where they really shine, though.

YouTube video

I have to admit, I tend to not use gels on location with flash as often as I probably should. It’s partly due to the hassle of dealing with gels on location. The rest is down to the fact that I typically use speedlights on location. Already struggling for power, gels can eat up precious light.

With more powerful portable lights like Godox AD360 or AD600 you don’t need to worry about power as much. But, these bulbs can get very hot. So, make sure to use gels that can withstand high temperatures.

Do you use gels on location to get your flash more closely resembling the natural light? What other tricks can you offer for dealing with mixed mode lighting on location? Let us know in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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3 responses to “If you’re shooting flash outdoors, your colours are probably wrong. Here’s how to fix it with gels”

  1. marc Avatar
    marc

    #webfail #dummyfail #rip #physicvsbrain #heatprotection #means #havinga #condome #to #coat #on #flashtube #trythisfasterandfaster
    #maybe #he #doesnt #know #photoshop #options #goals #neversaw #rawconverter
    #biggestbullshitever #goodtry #pleasedont #study #physic #or #something #else #safetheworld #withtoomuch #warnings #makeitcomplicated #ilikeit #whynot
    #goodbye #brain #logic #means #tryanderror

    1. Peter Bennett Avatar
      Peter Bennett

      ^ Nutcase

  2. Joseph Parry Avatar
    Joseph Parry

    This was awesome! Thanks John!