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Quick Tip: How to Use Gels to Change the Look and Feel of Your Portraits

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Popping a gel in front of your rim light is a quick, easy way to change the feel of your portraits.

As JP Morgan of The Slanted Lens shows you in this quick tutorial, there are a few things to consider when using gels to augment the look and feel of a portrait—from your background, to the clothes your subject is wearing, to whether or not you’re using a smoke machine.

Morgan chooses to use a Rosco V-Hazer, which is a little different from a smoke machine, to put some particles in the air that will catch that accent from the gelled rim light. That way, when he starts playing with gel colors, you can really notice the difference:

The Slanted Lens Gels 1

The Slanted Lens Gels 2

The Slanted Lens Gels 3

The Slanted Lens Gels 4

Check out the quick video at the top for a run through of different gels and how to use them, and then let us know if you have any tips of your own to share.


Image credits: Photos by JP Morgan and used with permission.

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