Gel Your Flash




Introduction: Gel Your Flash

The first question may be - WHY?

Simple - to balance the color of your flash with ambient light.
When shooting with flash under incandescent lighting your subject will often be too blue and background too orange. A correction filter (gel) will make the light from the flash warmer to match the incandescent lightning. There are also filters available to match fluorescent lightning (green) and for special effects.

Excellent info can be found here:

Some flashes come with dedicated filters, some people use Velcro to attach filters to the flash. I will share my way how to do it.

Step 1: Materials

You will need:

* a compatible flash. The flash needs to have a protrusion at the back so the filter does not fall out. Nikon SB600 SB800 and probably others work great but check your flash before proceeding.

* color correction filter kit. Search for "strobist" on ebay.

* Piece of clear plastic film that will maintain its form when bent.

* Clear "Scotch" tape


* 10 min of your free time

Step 2: Measure and Cut the Holder

Place your flash on the plastic film so it covers the bottom 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) of your flash.

Trace around with a sharp object. I used a blue marker so YOU cold see it better in the pictures.

Draw some flaps that will hold the plactic to the flash.

Cut out and fold.

Attach to your flash with tape.

Youre done!

Step 3: Enjoy Your Color Corrected Flash!

Cut the filters according to the size of your flash head.

Then just slide the filter in the pocket. They are held secure in place. I have never lost a filter this way. They are cheap to replace anyway. One strobist kits costs around 7$ and is enough for 4 or 5 complete sets of filters.

If your flash does not have the necessary protrusion, use the velcro method instead. 

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    For smaller flashes (e.g., on a point and shoot camera), you can also use the Lee or Rosco sampler packs. They cost around $7 and come with about 200 gels that are 1.75" x 2.75" (with a hole that mounts it in the sampler book). I use them as telescope filters, by mounting them in a 35mm slide and holding them between the eye and eyepiece--one could also mount them in a 35mm slide and handhold them in front of a point and shoot camera's flash.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    i got free samle from lee filters theres 100+ filters in the pack


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Actually Rosco sampler packs are just large enough for big flashes. I used them when they were still available for free.
    I also made a filter for my point and shoot camera but unfortunately the camera defaults to "flash" white balance whenever I use flash. Fixing the WB in post processing yields poor results because the compressed file contains very little blue information. Your mileage may vary.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting. I have used a hoist of materials while on the road to get coloured light from a flash. A good solution is actually a blue pepsi bottle that has a lot of material. Just cut off the bottom and hang it over yr flash as can be seen in the attached picture. BTW, the girl on the bed is the make-up artist (but model on other occasions)