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Tungsten or Flourescent Lighting + Non-White Walls + On-Camera Flash + (?)

I've read a few of Neil's great articles which delve into this stuff but I still have the questions -

- do you gel or not gel when the walls are non-white? And I mean goofy (for photography) colors like dusty rose, aqua, light maroon ....


  • gel to match the light source.
  • I do that. When shooting in a room with Tungsten, I set the camera WB to Tungsten, and use 1/2 CTS as a gel. I find CTO is too orange. But, it always seems I have to do a bit more work in LR to get the skin tones correct. I was just curious to hear other opinions.

    Last night, I had a fundraiser at a mansion. Light yellow walls, Tungsten. I did some test shots with and without gel with WB set to Tungsten in both instances. The shots without gel looked a little too much towards bluish tint, but this was on the LCD. If I had had more time, I would have played with the WB setting.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Dave - I gel for these reasons: 
    If the light on my subject is predominantly tungsten, then it makes sense to have the flash also be a warmer tone. 

    I also gel for tungsten if the the background is lit by tungsten, (even if my subject is lit predominantly by flash.)

    I don't gel when the reception venue has uplighting of various colors - then Cloudy WB makes more sense to keep the colors of the up-lighting. 

    Now, to your specific question - that's a complex scenario.  The best (and most complicated) solution would be to have a Color Meter and then gel accordingly to neutralize the color cast. However, I don't know of anyone who does that!  

    I would take a test shot, and see if some Kelvin WB setting doesn't get me close enough. 
  • Thanks, Neil. The tip on the "various colors" scenario I will keep in my head and try it out.

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