gels

How to Use Color Gels for Outdoor Portraits

You don’t often see photographers using gels outdoors in natural light, but why? I think one of the core reasons you don't see too many natural light gel shots, is that you need a lot of power and control from your lights to make gels visible in daylight.

3 Ways to Boost Your Portraits Using Color

We photographers obsess about finding the right light. We understand how to use hard light, when to use soft light, and get excited by directional light. Portrait photographers learn how to control light using flashes and modifiers, and become experts in getting the most from natural light.

Stop Using Tape to Attach Your Gels: How to Use Magnets Instead

If you’re like me and you’ve tried to attach gels to your lights in the past, you’ve likely resorted to using one of the many types of sticky tapes available. When I used to manage a studio, I would see all manner of tapes being used to attach gels to hot modifiers.

How to Create Rich Color Spots with a Speedlight in Product Photos

Color spots are a beautiful way to add atmosphere behind your still subject. By cutting out what would otherwise we a catalog black product shot, we can invoke a vibrant, moody look that has been popular for decades. The video above is a 15-minute exploration of this 2 light setup, and it’s colorful flexibilities.

Shooting Blade Runner-Inspired Portraits Using Color Gels

Almost a year ago I purchased a set of color gels on Amazon but never got around to actually trying them out. Recently, after watching Blade Runner 2049 and being smitten by the gorgeous cinematography by the legendary Roger Deakins, I just had to play with them. Not only that, the original Blade Runner, shot by Jordan Cronenweth, is one of my biggest influences ever so this shoot was bound to happen.

Using Dichroic Materials for Art Photo Shoots

I came across dichroic film years ago while researching materials for an art lighting business, Lightlink Lighting. The color changing properties of this material was so inspiring I ended up creating new lighting designs based on it.

Portrait Tip: Flash and Shade Don’t Mix, Here’s How You Fix That

Nearly every photographer has spent a portion of a session bouncing from tree to tree, placing their subjects in the patches of shade that these saviors provide. After all, it tends to be one of the easiest settings to work in. Your subject’s eyes are relaxed, your camera’s meter is calm, and if you’re lucky you get to cool off too.

How to Keep Your Gelled Backgrounds Perfectly Lit in Studio Portraits

In a recent article, I spoke about the best ways to perfectly light your background with colored gels. We covered the best things to keep in mind if strong and vibrant colors across your backdrop are your objective. It turns out that gelling your background is actually relatively simple -- it's keeping those strong vibrant colors that's actually the tricky part.

Super Colour: Exploring the Play Between Color, Light, Motion and Emotion

By his own admission, photographer Andrew McGibbon doesn't like using natural light. It's not that there's anything wrong with shooting natural light -- he's done it before when the situation called for it -- it's just that he prefers the wow factor that he knows he can get by experimenting with crazy lighting setups.

He wants to create "surreal" images, and so it makes sense that he would be the photog behind Super Colour, a series of psychedelic portraits taken by combing the effects of colored gels, paints, powder and sometimes water.

DIY Small Softbox with Color Filters

Today I spent a couple of hours designing and making a simple box to fit directly onto a normal flash unit. I also made a couple of colored filters. After doing all this I thought I could share this with others and hopefully make them happy by doing so.