I was chatting recently with another photographer about using coloured gels, so I thought I’d put a post up about it.

Using a coloured gel can be a good way to add interest to a photo and to separate the subject from the background.  A gel, or colour filter, is simply a thin sheet of coloured transparent material that is attached to the front of the flash unit.  Gels are available to buy in various sizes and colours for use with studio flash or portable flash units (speedlights).

I photographed Katie in her home.  The living room wall was a neutral cream colour.  I decided to experiment by aiming a red gel at the far wall and just letting it come back so that the light caught the side of her hair.  I chose red to match with her lingerie.  The main light came from a studio flash unit diffused by a large softbox which I placed close to Katie and then feathered it so the light came across her front, rather than pointed directly towards her.  I then placed a white reflector close to Katie to fill in some shadows under her chin.  I’ve attached a lighting diagram to show the basic setup as I remember it.  Note that I don’t claim to be the most technically competent photographer!

(click the photos to enlarge)




2 Responses so far.

  1. Brian Smith says:

    Good post Paul. Thanks.

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