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Old 12-06-2006   #31
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Benji, I recently purchased a white background (paper) as my first background. I have been using hot shoe flashes ETTL with the Canon 580 and 420 speedlights. I also have two hot shoe flashed set up remotely to sync with my Canon 5D. I ran out and bought some colored gels thinking that I would simply place them on the front of the remote flashes and bingo I would get that color on my background. BUT it did not happen. I placed a bright blue filter on each of the remote flashes and proceeded to take some photos. Na da. Nothing changed. I changed the power output on both flashes and still nothing. I did notice, however, that when I pushed the test fire button on each that I could indeed see color on the background. So, do you have idea as to why I can not get the camera with the flashes to register any color? I know there must be a simple explanation but I am confused. Thanks, Denny.


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Old 12-07-2006   #32
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Mhh. what I use is a black background ... sounds silly but works perfect.! I can get (almost) any shade of color I want by adjusting the power of my strobes. A gray background will also work or even better. I think a white one is not ideal for that, at least that's what I read.
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Old 12-07-2006   #33
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny
Benji, I recently purchased a white background (paper) as my first background. I have been using hot shoe flashes ETTL with the Canon 580 and 420 speedlights. I also have two hot shoe flashed set up remotely to sync with my Canon 5D. I ran out and bought some colored gels thinking that I would simply place them on the front of the remote flashes and bingo I would get that color on my background. BUT it did not happen. I placed a bright blue filter on each of the remote flashes and proceeded to take some photos. Na da. Nothing changed. I changed the power output on both flashes and still nothing. I did notice, however, that when I pushed the test fire button on each that I could indeed see color on the background. So, do you have idea as to why I can not get the camera with the flashes to register any color? I know there must be a simple explanation but I am confused. Thanks, Denny.
My best guess is that the pre-flash fires the other two units which are still recovering when the main flash fires. A white background does not work well with gels because they reflect the light rather than absorbing it. Placing a blue gel on a flash that is positioned behind your subject and using a white background will result in a light blue background and a blue halo around your subjects expecially their hair.

Benji
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Old 12-15-2006   #34
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny
Benji, I recently purchased a white background (paper) as my first background. I have been using hot shoe flashes ETTL with the Canon 580 and 420 speedlights. I also have two hot shoe flashed set up remotely to sync with my Canon 5D. I ran out and bought some colored gels thinking that I would simply place them on the front of the remote flashes and bingo I would get that color on my background. BUT it did not happen. I placed a bright blue filter on each of the remote flashes and proceeded to take some photos. Na da. Nothing changed. I changed the power output on both flashes and still nothing. I did notice, however, that when I pushed the test fire button on each that I could indeed see color on the background. So, do you have idea as to why I can not get the camera with the flashes to register any color? I know there must be a simple explanation but I am confused. Thanks, Denny.
Could it be the white balance used on the 5D. I read that the Flash WB setting will auto white balance and possibly remove the blue tint reflected from the paper. Have you tried using daylight balance instead. Or a fixed Kelvin temperature that matches your flash. Then the blue might show up. I don't have gels with me to test this theory.
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Old 12-16-2006   #35
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny
Benji, I recently purchased a white background (paper) as my first background. I have been using hot shoe flashes ETTL with the Canon 580 and 420 speedlights. I also have two hot shoe flashed set up remotely to sync with my Canon 5D. I ran out and bought some colored gels thinking that I would simply place them on the front of the remote flashes and bingo I would get that color on my background. BUT it did not happen. I placed a bright blue filter on each of the remote flashes and proceeded to take some photos. Na da. Nothing changed. I changed the power output on both flashes and still nothing. I did notice, however, that when I pushed the test fire button on each that I could indeed see color on the background. So, do you have idea as to why I can not get the camera with the flashes to register any color? I know there must be a simple explanation but I am confused. Thanks, Denny.
My guess is that your background is overexposed.
Even with a gel, overexposing the background will blow out your color.
Use a grey or black background, and your color will magically appear.
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Old 12-17-2006   #36
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Benji,
I enjoy your tutorials. I'm learning a lot! I'm a wanna-be portrait photographer and you're helping me greatly! Thank you!
Becki
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Old 12-17-2006   #37
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny
Benji, I recently purchased a white background (paper) as my first background. < snip>

Thanks, Denny.
As Mark said you are likely overexposing. Adjusting your lighting to have colour read on a white background is not easy. If you need to work with white ( white wall? ) then adjust your lighting so that it reads a dark grey ( 2 stops down from your main?), then start adding gels, but not more light. The more light you add the whiter it will become.

Glenn

It is easier to put colour into a dark grey or black background
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Old 01-04-2007   #38
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Great tutorials Benjii. How are you managing to get such an even gel on the background? Are you boncing ito an umbrella? When I gel a background light with the gel over the light I get a hotspot (almost white) and then it tapers out to the edges with the coulor I prefer. My light is approx. 3-4 ft from the background.
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Old 01-04-2007   #39
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Most of the time I put a frosted white "gel" behind the colored gel. The frosted one softens the light a spreads it out. The frosted "gel" looks like sandblasted glass but has no color (kinda like a 1 gallon plastic milk jug.)

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Old 01-04-2007   #40
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Thanks Benji. I have a couple of those and didn't think to try it. I'll give that a shot this weekend.


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