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SLR Lounge Live Q and A and Image Critique

Lesson 19 of 29

Why and When to Use Gels

Pye Jirsa

SLR Lounge Live Q and A and Image Critique

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

19. Why and When to Use Gels

Lesson Info

Why and When to Use Gels

Let's talk a little bit about gels, though, adding things to the light that you are using. And when we find the question, The question is from Kelly in Portland. Why and when would you use a gel? And how do you change your exposure to compensate? Well, Killian, Portland, Let's do something fun. Do we have? Do you want to do a demo or do you want to just answer it? Let's let's do a demo. Yeah, there's to Kate Cases to gel, and this is what we're talking about. The jail. So this is the magma gel, which you just throw on. This is a regular jail. A lot of times if I can't find this guy and I have a grid and I want to use a griddle, this sandwich it between but same thing these jails air known a CTO gels, color temperature, orange. Right, so these will set your daylight flash. The white balance of this guy is 5500 Kelvin, by the way, who's like me and likes to say Degrees Kelvin? I like saying Degrees Kelvin, even though it's incorrect because they're measuring temperature, why not say degr...

ees? Come on, I'm just getting it. You're not supposed to say degrees. Everybody always called me, and I'm like, I know, but relax. It's OK. OK, so let's just say this is daylight and daylight is 5500. Kelvin on this side, you have tungsten. This is orange and red. That's weird. Okay. And this is 3600 Kelvin, And that's why you have, like, dusk and evening late. And this stuff can get up to the, you know, it could be 8000 Kelvin up to 17,000. Kelvin. It goes like ridiculously. Like, if you're shooting at night, nighttime, you can push that thing all the way up this lighter night. Okay, So flashes air balanced here. When you walk into a indoor situation, it could be your home. It could be a wedding reception. It could be anywhere. Hotels in general. In general, your indoor lights are always in this range. Not always. Okay, in between here, you have the green stuff, like fluorescent. I know I'm not spelling this correct. So I'm just gonna let a trail off, like, Okay, that's some around, like, 4000 maybe 4400 Kelvin. Whatever. That this Just let it trail up. That's when you know you're misspelling for Okay, so that's like, this stuff, the stuff up here, like office kind of lighting. When you go into this situation, you start firing your flash of 5500. Kelvin, what ends up happening is your backgrounds. Yes. Where the You said your camera to 5500 Kelvin, The person that you're lighting. If I'm lighting you, you're gonna look great. The background behind you is going to be muddy orange. It's gonna be over saturated. It's gonna be crazy orange colors. So in that siege situation, we would say balance your flash for corrective purposes. By using this guy, this guy will pull this flash from daylight down to tungsten. Okay, Now, what that does is it matches color in the scene and in post you have such a cleaner image, you can still produce it to be a little bit on the warm side. That's totally fine. But now at least the colors match and you're not gonna get crazy. Wonky oranges and reds, where you have these tungsten lights, candles and all that kind of stuff in the background. Okay. The other thing, too, is let's say that when the sun is setting. What if we want to get more of, ah, dramatic blue look in the sky? Well, if our let's just say, for example, that are in camera white balance for our setting sky, It's 6000 degrees. Six there ago, 6000 degrees. Let's say that it's 6000. Kelvin, just think I'm lying. I'm not. Let's grab our nifty 50. Put this guy on. Okay, so you can see this. So this is probably, like 5500 right? That's fine. It'll work for our purposes. Let's put up a 6000. So I'm looking at this window, and I'm gonna go ahead and just adjust my exposure so we can see the window. Okay, Actually, let's take a shot, and I'm gonna go ahead and just darken it. So we have some. So when you see this, this is like we're getting daylight at a neutral point, right? What if we want that to appear mawr blue? Well, I'm gonna go ahead the white balance. I'm gonna turn this down to 3600 Kelvin. And now what was a neutral looking window now became blue. The problem is, if Daniel comes back over into steps in for one second, and we take a picture with her in the frame. You can guess what color she's gonna be, right? She gonna be blue too and invisible. Let's do I'm just gonna brighten this up for one quick second. You can see it, and then I'm gonna do a little lighting one on one demo. Okay? So if she not super blue, blue, blue, blue So what I can do now is this is where the gel comes in handy. Because if I grab that Jill and I pop it right over the flash and they don't want to hold up. Ah, White reflector for me. Okay, Come back a little bit. This way. Right there. Yeah. Okay. I'm gonna fire this ad. Let's go. One quarter power to see where we're at. Can you come back a little more? I'm actually gonna just take this guy off because we're not getting enough light onto the gonna hold this up for one second. This isn't necessarily something I'd recommend doing with. Okay, Well, powered up a little bit more. Keep in mind that a gel we'll reduce your flat power a little bit. just a note. Okay, so I didn't change the white balance at all. So what happened was now we basically balanced the flash. So we're getting a nice, just warm light on her. So we're at 3600 Kelvin, and then we're shooting. And that background now goes more, more blue. Okay. What? I do this in this kind of a scene. Probably not, because again, the more we try and modify, manipulate something to be what it's not the more kind of looks a little bit odd, But if we were at the beach and I wanted to send that background blue into a deep, rich blue papa tungsten gel on Papa cto on your flash, dial down your white balance and throw that light into the person to make them correctly colored And to send your background all blue

Class Description

Pye Jirsa and CreativeLive held an open Q&A based on the lessons taught in Photography 101, Lighting 101, and Lighting 201 classes. 

This course includes questions based around the fundamentals of using your digital camera, camera flashes, and the intricacies of posing.  Pye demonstrated with live models and gear to make this a free course that truly benefits your catalog! 


a Creativelive Student

Pye is an awesome instructor! He explains everything in a way that you understand it. He is a wealth of information. Love all of his classes!! I love Creativelive and SLR Lounge! Continue doing the great work that you do!!

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Pye is an amazing teacher! I've learned so much from him over the years - both in person and through his tutorials. What's even more amazing is that he is able to do it LIVE! He is able to clearly explain complicated concepts through easy to understand lessons. I highly recommend his courses to learn everything from the basics to advanced topics!


Wow! Pye is an awesome instructor! I've learned SO many things - nuggets of gold!