Shooting with colored Gels

If you have ever taken photos in a home environment, a studio or just want to make your photos really exciting. Try using a colored gel over your flash or better yet, purchase a very inexpensive background light with gels. They are sold as a kit and come with a small light stand, adjustable socket and the small strobe light kit which is perfect to backlight your subject, brighten a background or color the background. Light is available at Backdrop Outlet here is link Backlight Kit

 The top photo shows the background light kit with 4 colored gel caps to fit the electronic flash. The second photo shows the packet of colored gels that you can tape over any electronic flash to create a colored light background. The color gels come in a set of 10 gel sheets Colors include orange, pink, blue, red, yellow, purple, cream, green, fuschia and smoke.
Here is link for more info Set of 10 Gel Sheets These are both very low cost and will revolutionize your photography.  In shooting with gels or gel caps, you take a photo and check the back of your camera, it the background appears too bright, place a white handkerchief or two pieces of facial tissue over the gel and light, this will decrease the power by about one full F:stop if still too bright, add an additional layer of white handkerchief or more tissue. You will have complete control over your backlight.
When lighting wood I find the yellow or orange gel work well to keep the wood background appearing warm.
 When shooting Boudoir or lingerie type images, I am particularly fond of the majenta, and red gels or  gel cap.

You will need to experiment with the different colors to see how to best use them to spice up your backgrounds. Yellow background shown is ME033
 If you have a colored paper or cloth background and you want to really intensify the background, just add the color of gel to match the background. You will be amazed at the results. Careful not to over light, with too bright a background light. Red background shown is MP8048
 One of the other things to really use the gels with is a smoke machine, Backdrop Outlet sells them quite inexpensively and the results are fantastic with colored gels aimed at the smoke from behind the subject. Using a few different background lights with different gels. Here is link for the Fog Machine Makes for a rainbow of background colors. Also, as the colors start to merge with each other, they create additional colors.
Set system shown below is SSMSET

Colors can be commanding to your audience, the color of a background can set the mood or feeling you are trying to convey. Choose the color of the background to create the mood of your image.

by: Art Ketchum
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