Tip on using colored lights

You have probably seen them in kits… color gels.
Most used are the so called CTO gels which can be used to correct colorcasts for example when mixing strobes and tungsten. However there are also the “special effects” gels, for example bright red, green and blue (and many others).


Now when I started out using these some years ago I used them on my black background to give it some color and this is probably how most use them. Later I used them (a lot) when working with smoke for that real “live concert” feeling. However they can also give some great results when you use them as accent lights, which we did during the last glamour workshop of 2015 with Jade.


Today some of the results and some more tips.

Jade December 18 2015 0139

Jade December 18 2015 0406

As you can see I did not just use them as accent lights but also to light the floor.
The main light in these shots is an Elinchrom snoot aimed at the face of the model and the rest of the lighting is all from the colored spots from the back (gridded reflector with gels).


If you start doing this, make sure to not overpower your strobes because in that case the nice tints will be replaced by blowout white areas and only sides with the original color, you can better feather the light slightly away from the model and use the light that way, the benefits from this technique is that you can actually get some funky lens flare if you want but most of all the light fall off is much smoother on the wall, ceiling, model or floor.


If you like these kind of tips make sure to check out my book “Mastering the model shoot” or one of our instructional videos (you can order them from the menu on the left).