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How often do you really grid and gel?
  
 
leethecam
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p.3 #1 · How often do you really grid and gel?


simplelogik wrote:
I'm surprised to see so many people here using gels! I really don't see the point in trying to match the ambient or background light. Unless I'm missing something here ?

Matching ambient colour helps to maintain the illusion that flash hasn't been used - which is usually what is required. Ideally light would be perfect enough in a natural environment, but when it isn't we can help it along with reflectors of flash, but hopefully not at the expense of creating a false image.

Another reason for gelling lights is because flash is 5600K and interiors are generally 3000K - 2600K This means that backgrounds tend to be quite orange when no gels are used, and this can conflict with good colour separation on skin tones against backgrounds.

Personally I prefer backgrounds to be equal or maybe a little cooler than the main subject so I find I'm frequently using 1.5 or 2x CTO in dimly lit environments where the ambient is often only 2600K (dimmed tungsten gets quite orange...!)

Give it a try - I'll bet you'll love the results when you find you can control atmosphere and separation with a simple gel.



Jan 12, 2014 at 07:54 PM
simplelogik
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p.3 #2 · How often do you really grid and gel?


leethecam wrote:
Matching ambient colour helps to maintain the illusion that flash hasn't been used - which is usually what is required. Ideally light would be perfect enough in a natural environment, but when it isn't we can help it along with reflectors of flash, but hopefully not at the expense of creating a false image.

Give it a try - I'll bet you'll love the results when you find you can control atmosphere and separation with a simple gel.


So the main argument for gelling is to give the perception that no flash were used ?

I did try gelling when I first started using flash but stopped pretty quick because the idea of matching ambient doesn't appeal to me. For me, the quality of the light take precedence over matching background light, especially in a mixed light environment.



Jan 13, 2014 at 12:11 PM
leethecam
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p.3 #3 · How often do you really grid and gel?


No problem, we each have our own styles and preferences.

I've been picking up work specifically because my "flash" work (no pun intended,) doesn't look like any additional light was used - so that's been a real benefit to me and gaining clients.

Other photogogs prefer the difference in light / colours, and that's fine too if their clients prefer that look as well...!

I must admit, balancing ambient against flash, (particularly when matching colour balance,) can be as frustrating as it is rewarding. It's taken me quite a while to get the balance right when often presented with very unfavourable conditions. Nowadays I can get it just about perfect (ish) so the hard work has paid dividends.

There's no right or wrong with photography, only what we prefer and our clients will pay us for...



Jan 13, 2014 at 02:30 PM
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