Colored Gels for Reference Photos

If you’re interested in finding ways to vary your reference material and explore color options without using photo editing software I suggest giving colored gels a try. I recently took pics for a painting project and used colored gels over my flash-kit to get various color effects.

They can be relatively cheap and all you need to do is attach them to your flash-kit or light source. You can use gaffers tape or a heat-resistant clip. I used a metal binder clip.

All of the color effects in these images were captured in-camera and not manipulated at all.

With the exception of the first image (which was a paint mixture of ultramarine and white), the other paint splats were only zinc white with a high level of linseed oil.

I only removed the background for the pic of all the splats.

I used amber, hot pink, and blue gels. You can lay sheets over each other for different color options.

The flash-kit I use:

The gels:


Absolutely amazing Tony! Thanks for putting this together and sharing here. :heart:

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Thanks for this. I have gels floating around in my camera bag (haven’t used in ages) but never would have thought of using it with paintings.