Well it is officially the “off season” heheh. I have not taken a photo in a while :) I thought it might be time to share a little something I have learned recently. Let me preface this by saying I have learn this stuff by reading other blogs and talking to other photographers… nothing new here just something I have started to put into practice.

So what is it? Gels. What do you use them for? To balance or alter the color temperature of light sources. Typically when I use a flash, it is for lighting a subject in a semi dark room at say a a wedding reception where there is usually some light from wall and ceiling lights and sometimes more like candle light… Mixing those light sources with a flash can result in very ugly lighting. Cool (daylight balanced) light from the flash on one side of the subject and warm (tungsten and warmer balanced) ambient light on the other. Most of the time it is not very nice to look at and it makes color correction a very difficult job. Luckily there is an easy way to get more balanced light and it happens with the gels.

All you have to do is gel your flash so that the light coming from the flash matches or at least more closely matches the ambient light. It is that simple. I know this was not very in depth but I decided to write and demonstrate this way to late. Not to mention that you can find this very info a multitude of other places on the web (like the places I got this info :) )

  • The Strobist – Link
  • Lighting Mods – Link

For starters I would recommend at least having a CTO (balances flash to tungsten), a 1/2 CTO (not quite as strong), a Green (balances for fluorescent ), 1/2 Green (not quite as strong). Those will get you through most scenarios just fine. I keep mine in a little envelope I made for them out of cardstock but any old envelope would work. Then I just slide them in my camera bag so that I have them when I need them.

Here is where I got some of the supplies:

  • Flash Gel Filter Pack – came with 5 each of 10 colors- Link
  • Speed Strap – You can use rubber bands or regular velcro but these are REALLY nice – Link
  • iKlear Apple Polish – who doesn’t love a clean monitor? – Link

Here are a few pics of the supplies and a before and after type of pic to illustrate.