As photography continues to evolve, photographers are always looking for new ways to enhance their craft. One of the most popular methods is the use of coloured gels. These simple yet effective tools can transform any image and add a whole new dimension to your photography. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about coloured gels, from what they are to how to use them.
What Are Coloured Gels?
Coloured gels are thin sheets of coloured plastic that are placed in front of a light source to change its colour. They come in a variety of colours and densities, allowing you to create a wide range of effects. Coloured gels are commonly used in theatre, film, and photography to add atmosphere and mood to a scene.
The Benefits of Using Coloured Gels
Using coloured gels in your photography can offer many benefits. Firstly, they allow you to control the colour temperature of your lighting. This is particularly useful when shooting under artificial light, which can often produce a yellow or orange hue. Secondly, coloured gels can create a variety of effects, from warm and inviting to cool and eerie. Finally, they can add a sense of drama and interest to an otherwise bland image.
Choosing the Right Coloured Gel
Choosing the right coloured gel can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to using them. The best approach is to experiment with different colours and densities to see which ones work best for your particular style. Some of the most popular colours include blue, green, yellow, and red. You can also mix and match colours to create unique effects.
Using Coloured Gels with Flash
Using coloured gels with flash is a popular technique, particularly in portrait photography. To get started, simply place the gel over the flash head and fire away. You’ll need to adjust your camera settings to compensate for the change in colour temperature, but this is a simple process. The results can be stunning, adding depth and interest to your images.
Using Coloured Gels with Continuous Lighting
If you’re using continuous lighting, such as LED or fluorescent lights, coloured gels can be used in a similar way. Simply place the gel over the light source and adjust the camera settings accordingly. You can also use multiple gels to create layered effects, adding depth and interest to your images.
Creative Uses for Coloured Gels
Coloured gels can be used in a variety of creative ways. For example, you can use them to create a sunset effect by using a yellow or orange gel. You can also use them to create a moody, blue-toned image by using a blue gel. Finally, you can use them to create a warm, inviting image by using a pink or red gel.
Coloured gels are a simple yet effective tool that can transform any image. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just starting out, they offer a wide range of benefits and creative possibilities. So why not experiment with coloured gels and see what you can create? You may be surprised at the results!