Flash photography combined with the use of colored gels certainly opens up an entirely new world of creative possibilities. While color gels might not seem like an important accessory, they can easily modify the atmosphere of the scene or help you create more dramatic portraits.
There are two main reasons for using flash gels. First, it is to make the flash match the existing lighting conditions by using the color correction gels.
This strategy makes it easier to achieve the correct white balance in your images. Second, you can use various flash gels to achieve unusual special effects. In this case, there are no limits – you can play with different colors without any pressure to make it perfect.
No matter which one of these two approaches you want to follow, it is crucial to know a couple of things about flash gels and best ways to use them.
Equipment you will need
- The flashes and strobes that you regularly use. Even though you can use continuous lighting equipment such as various lamps, you have to be careful and make sure that the lamp doesn't melt the gels. LED lamps are a safer option since they don’t produce heat.
- Proper photography color gels or filters (they are quite inexpensive) or colored cellophane rolls or wrapping paper that you can buy in many craft stores.
- Gel frame assembly or a roll of duct tape. It’s up to you – even though you can play safe and buy a gel frame assembly from a lighting equipment seller. you can also improvise the whole thing and create a home-made frame for your flash gels.