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Old 10-10-2006   #1
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Default Using Gels To Change The Background Color

One of my favorite backgrounds is gray! Sounds rather unexciting doesn't it! It looks great for those head shots you are asked to take of the mayor, or an attorney, or a physician, but what about senior portraits? Use a gel to spice it up a bit! Rosco sells gels as does a number of other manufacturers. What is a gel? A photographic gel is a heat resistant piece of clear plastic that you simply place in front of your background light and it will change the color of the light emitted and as a result change the color of the background. If you put a red gel on a red background the background gets REAL BRIGHT red, same with blue or green or whatever. For a more subtle look, I like to use a gray background. All of the images below were taken on the exact same gray background. This first image shows the gray background with just a "white" flash unit on it (in other words no gel.)

Benji

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Old 10-10-2006   #2
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Same background but with a blue gel with the flash unit at full power.

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Old 10-10-2006   #3
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Same background same gel, but the flash was at 1/2 power instead of full power.

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Old 10-10-2006   #4
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Green gel, everything else as before.

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Old 10-10-2006   #5
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Finally a red gel at 1/2 power. Red can be overpowering, so be careful when using it.

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Old 10-10-2006   #6
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

I love these tutorials. It's so nice of you to show the effect of the various lighting techniques you use.
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Old 10-10-2006   #7
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Albertp,

Thanks.

It would seem, according to some, that I'm simply not doing anything right, so just last Saturday I decided to amend my ways and start shooting like a more "modern" photographer. After perusing the net for several years and looking at hundreds of images from hundreds of photographers, I have finally generated the perfect image. This one will make all of those guys happy because I have taken care of everything that I have been doing wrong for 25 years and have combined it all into this one image. Now all of the guys who say there are no rules of portrait photography can just drool over this image. I've taken great pains to get the lighting just right. I picked this lighting idea up from a photographer who proudly posted a bridal image using this technique on his website. Another thing I like about this image is the background, and the beautiful bokeh. EVERYONE who has owned a point and shoot camera for more than two weeks knows that a photographer must be able to get the bokeh just right. Unfortunately however I'm told by a Nikon owner that Canon doesn't make a lens that will give one good bokeh, so I guess I will have to junk my stuff and run out and buy a Nikon and some good bokeh lenses.


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Old 10-10-2006   #8
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

You missed the telephone pole/tree/streetlight element sprouting out of head that is so crucial to the perfect candid.
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Old 10-10-2006   #9
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

It's magnificent!!! The shadows fall just perfectly hiding all her good points and the pose really shows off her teenage slouch mode. The background is interesting with all the geometric lines intersecting and drawing your attention away from the girl.

All kidding aside, I love your tutorials. Can you make them in brick form, so I can pound them into my head?

Oh and that Canon equipment you are junking, I will gladly take that off your hands at no charge to you.

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Old 10-10-2006   #10
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Default Re: Using Gels To Change The Background Color

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrancho
You missed the telephone pole/tree/streetlight element sprouting out of head that is so crucial to the perfect candid.
That is true, but I did manage to get the brown steel bracket to look like it is sprouting out of her ears, isn't that close enough? Give me a break. Why just look at the bright yellow window sticker and bright red taillight behind her, don't you think I deserve some credit for including those two crucial elements in this shot? Man oh man are you guys ever hard on a poor guy like me. I may never post again.

Benji


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