Using color gels

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
Ed Shapiro
Ed Shapiro Regular Member • Posts: 329
Re: Using color gels

Coloured gels have a simple function, they colour the light for a strong colour effect, a tint, or a colour correction (cooling or warming) issue.  A company like Rosco has hundreds of colours of clear and diffused gels for a wide variety of effects.

Bard dorrs are meant for light shaping and control- the act as a gobo- a go-between, built on or added to your lighting device to subtract or block part of the beam for more precise control. They are most often use with light units equipped with parabolic reflectors, Fresnel and p[tical; spotlights as these kids of light are aimed directly at the subject. They can be used on softboxes but that can be rather cumbersome.

Oftentimes, the adapter used to attach the barn doors to the lighting unit have a slot to accommodate gels and diffusion materials.

If you want to use gels in conjunction with umbrella bounce techniques you simply add the gel to the primary light unit and aim it into the umbrella so as to fill the reflective area of the umbrella - edge to edge. A richly colour filter will absorb light so you need enough power for adequate practical exposure.  Barn doors usually have no utility in umbrella lighting.

Google Rosco photographic materials and find a local distributor or your nearest supplier. They will send you a free swatch book of sample gels.

Ed Shapiro- Commercial and Portrait Photographer. Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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