Color gel to match strobe to speedlights

Started Nov 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
Spooner
Contributing MemberPosts: 566
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Re: Color gel to match strobe to speedlights
In reply to DRode, Nov 5, 2012

The opposite of CTO is CTB - Colour Temperature Blue, but it sounds like you already have that range covered?

To be precise for this you may need to get a little more 'granular' . For starters, I'd take two properly exposed (metered) images of a reference scene which includes at least neutral white, grey and black. One shot lit with a speed light, one with the strobe.

In your image editing program, correct the strobe image to neutral and then apply the exact same correction to the speedlight image. Now you can see exactly what your colour bias is. If you INVERT that image, you can see what your correction gel (pack) might look like for the speedlight.

Get a swatch book from your gel supplier - the kind that has hundreds of different gel samples, each about the exact size of a speedlight lens.

Start combining those little gel samples to look like what you think it should based on your first experiment and re-shoot your reference scene with it applied to your speedlight. Apply that same colour correction in post and compare to the strobe version of neutral. If it's off, adjust your gel pack and re-shoot. Repeat until you get close enough for your satisfaction.

Keep accurate records, mark a corner of your gel with its designation when you remove it from the book and use your RGB values in the post editor as a guide to whether you are heading in the right direction or not. Fail to do these things and you may quickly end up lost and confused.

This is the science part of photography (experimentation, documentation, scientific method, etc.) Hope you paid attention in high school, or like me, they re-taught you in photography college.

John

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