how to use gels?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Sontizzle, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. Sontizzle

    Sontizzle TPF Noob!

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    ok so i finally got around to trying out my gels but im really confused on how they work. is there a lesson on the web i can read on them? im trying to light my white backdrop a certain color with one strobe and trying not to kill that color with my other strobe but i cant get them balanced out. its either too dark on one side, not enough color from the gel or the subject in the picture is also the color of the gel.
     
  2. MX962

    MX962 TPF Noob!

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    Do you have a light meter that will read the light from your strobe or flash ? I will generally start say some new set up ~ with a background light about 2 stops less and go from there till I have the desired look,remember the gels will also darken your lights further so you may need to either brighten your B/G light or decrease your main light what ever works best in your case.
     
  3. MX962

    MX962 TPF Noob!

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    Do you have an example you can post?
     
  4. Sontizzle

    Sontizzle TPF Noob!

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    the strobe with the barn door and gel is stage right and my other strobe with a soft box is stage left.

    [​IMG]

    dont mind the wrinkles, i just opened the backdrop from the package
     
  5. MX962

    MX962 TPF Noob!

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    I use a norelco hand steamer to straiten them out a bit.. I see now what you are having an issue with Duh on my part ! One background light can be used 2 is more efficiant for even coverage ,But I would put it rite behind the subject so you cant see the light rather then from the side If I can find a good example i will post one of how i have done this
     
  6. MX962

    MX962 TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    I dont know if this will help or not but here goes .. This image was shot with 3 lights one main light high and directly infront second main light is stage right high but half the power as the main light, 3rd light is directly behind the subjects with a red gel over it [note the background is black and white] I painted it this way so I could change it to what ever color my gel filter is red grean what ever... The main lights are aproximatley 5 feet from the subject and about 12 feet from the background just slightly less power then the second main light
     
  7. Sontizzle

    Sontizzle TPF Noob!

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    i might have to play with it some more. i have 2 big strobes and a smaller one with a gold umbrella on it.
     
  8. Sontizzle

    Sontizzle TPF Noob!

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    i still dont see how u got such an even color pattern across the fabric with one gel.
     
  9. MX962

    MX962 TPF Noob!

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    It really isnt even and the light will fall off at some point thus I had to crop it tight this is why I use it directly behind the subject so i have the most usable light surounding my subject on the B/G . If you need to light a bigger area you most likly will need 2 lights with gels ,but 1 light should get you started with some fun and creative shots ,I started with 2 lights and did alot, then got one more for B/G lighting or hair lights 6 years later I have around 15 different lights .But I still try to keep every set up to a minimum of 3 to 5 lights .
    [note]The light in this shot for the B/G was shaped like a light bulb and screw into any ordinary light socket, set to slave . the gel was a screw on cap that alows wide angle coverage. Hope some of this helps
     
  10. Sontizzle

    Sontizzle TPF Noob!

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    u say the gel was directly behind the subject? can u explain the positioning of this more? what power setting did u have the strobe with the gel on it set at?
     
  11. MX962

    MX962 TPF Noob!

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    The 2 mains are 200 watt seconds the back ground light is 110 watt second sorry had to go check my books for this ,this is an old image.

    The main was set at 200 watt seconds the light off to the right was set at 3/4 about 175 watt seconds and the back ground was set at 110 watt seconds close to 3' from the back ground give or take, pretty standard set up for me
     
  12. Sontizzle

    Sontizzle TPF Noob!

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    this is the equipment im using

    [​IMG]

    the 2 big strobes are 150watts with a 100 watt continuous light.
     

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