Fruit Roll-Ups Make for a Tasty Flash Gel When in a Bind

Photographer John B. Crane was ice climbing in Colorado when he came upon a little ice cave full of “tiny wonders”. Wishing he had a green gel, he suddenly had the brilliant idea of using some Fruit Roll-Ups he had brought along for that purpose.

The ceiling of the cave was full of a beautiful, green, soft moss and “Lord of the Rings” style blades of pure, crystal-clear, perfectly smooth ice. “Wish I had a green gel…” I said. And that’s when it happened; the flash of synergistic genius fired. “What about one of your fruit roll-ups?” Ben said. I looked at him for a moment and thought hey-great idea.

I ran out and rummaged through my stuff sacks looking for the food bag. The second roll-up opened was what I was after: a sheet of blue-green fruit pressed into a thin, pliable sheet. The cold made it a little brittle and I gently peeled it from the plastic and ran back into the cave, molding it like a cap on the head of the flash. I’d been shooting manual, +.07EV at about 1/4 power, and cranked it up to 1:1 on the SU-800 to penetrate the thick, plastic-like fruit. Presto: green cave ceiling. We laughed like little kids. [#]

Here’s one of the resulting photographs:

Image credits: Photographs by John B. Crane and used with permission