Playing with Gels

Gels were something I hadn’t really given much thought to using until recently but when Andy Harris decided to purchase some for the studio it seemed like a good idea to take a closer look.

Initially I wasn’t impressed at all and found it rather difficult to understand why you would want to photograph someone with a blue face anyway, but then I started to read up on the subject and search YouTube and all of a sudden I started to see it. It’s far more complex that just pointing a light at someone and turning them a funny colour and I am now thinking that this could turn out to be an interesting project.

We have had a couple of shoots now where we have used the gels and, although there is still work to be done, I think we are now starting to see how the gels can be used creatively to obtain some interesting images.


Lighting in general is something that interests me greatly and plays a large part in my photography and I am always looking for new ways to light my models to produce that different look.

I don’t think there are any totally new ideas out there. It’s probably all been done before in some way but we all see things differently and add our own personality to the image and that is what I enjoy about photography, the fact that you can put your own “mark” on an image. So with that in mind it’s back into the studio next week and another look at lighting with gels, building on the experiences to date. I’m looking forward to that.

Another think I have realised is that it doesn’t end when you leave the studio. As ever, post processing has a part to play and so this is something else I will be looking at more closely. Take a look below. The same image but treated in three different ways in Lightroom. Which one do I prefer? I don’t know yet, there are a few more images need to be taken and processed yet before I can decide which my ideal “gel” image is.


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