Welcome to the forum!

As an adjunct to the Tangents blog, the intention with this forum is to answer any questions, and allow a diverse discussion of topics related photography. With that, see it as an open invitation to just climb in and start threads and to respond to any threads.

Using colored gels on studio backdrop

Stephen71Stephen71 Member
edited March 2016 in flash & lighting
Hi Neil and to all others .
On your discussion of coloured gels on back drop can u confirm to me that using gels on cotton grey back drop is not as rich as solid wall back drop ?
Im still experimenting with this and it seems hit and miss.
I had set up a grey back drop in my bedroom for testing and it had taken me a while to get a rich orange back drop from the gelled flash i was using..
In the end my thought process was in a mess , from having the strobe further away from the backdrop , closing down the zoom head on the flash and then rewiden the flash head .
Also changing my white balance for a warmer richer tone.
Generaly what would your thought process be for setting your full cto for such affect or any other cto for such a nice coloured back drop. .?
I would invite all others for there kind input


  • Please excuse the image i sent , that was an accident from my file , i have tried to remove the image but will not for some reason. But hey if you like David Bailey keep on looking :)
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    edited March 2016
    Stephen ... the lack of saturation might be due to the close proximity of your main light. 
    Try taking a test shot with just the light on your backdrop, 
    and then compare it to when you have your main light also switched on.
  • Stephen71Stephen71 Member
    edited March 2016
    Do u know what u may be right to the fact my bedroom is so small compared to a studio , so that main light may be diluting the gelled flash.
    Ive managed to hire a local hall for £30 for sif hour amd its massive , But i tinker in my bedroom with such small room.
    Thank u . I will let u know the results

  • MikeZMikeZ Member
    edited April 2016
    The flash that has the gel on it can dilute the color if it is a higher power setting also. You may need to double up gels or use a heavier cut or back off the power.
  • In addition to what MikeZ said, you can also use ND gels.  I have ND gels ranging from 1 to 4 stops that I often use in conjunction with colored gels.  This allows me to go much lower than the 1/128 minimum power setting when in manual on a 600EX-RT.
  • Hi mike z. And rs.
    Many thanks for your input. Sorry for delay getting back work is heavy at the moment.
    Can i ask also when shooting with the gel on. What is your white balance , Because when u think about it , the gel is kind of acting like an ambiant then mixed with white flash , I did experiment and found it better on cloudy , giving the more orange look , .
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Your WB is set to whatever your main light is ... and since you're shooting in RAW, you have flexibility. 
  • rs_eosrs_eos Member
    There are three types of gels I use:  First are ND (which doesn't affect WB at all; just allows for lowering flash output).  Second is color-correcting.  These allow to you have your flash match existing ambient lights (e.g. tungsten).  I will usually use existing WB presets at that point, or sometimes will dial in a Kelvin setting.  Third is creative where I don't concern myself with WB at all.  Reason is, I want the extra warm, or extra cool or whatever colors.
  • Thank u both for the above. , Im pepping for a shoot , and i want to use this method Neil had done with the full cts gel on the back drop .
Sign In or Register to comment.