About Flash Photography Lighting Gels

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    Identification

    • Lighting gels are made out of plastics (such as polyester or polycarbonate) and generally come in sheets 20 by 24 inches in length, half sheets, 25-by-4-inch rolls and standard paper sizes. Depending on your necessities, you can get lighting gels in other shapes and sizes.

    Considerations

    • When using lighting gels for flash photography, a 2-inch-by-3-inch lighting gel sheet should last you a few years (lighting gel requirements in flash photography are a lot less than in theater). When buying lighting gels, you want to make sure that your gel can withstand an endure high temperatures. You don't want one to dissolve because of a very hot flash head.

    Types

    • There are several different types of lighting gels for flash photography. There are three popular "stops" in lighting gels (meaning the number that comes with the gel you are using is the amount of light your gel is consuming). These common lighting gel stops are 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8.

    Prevention/Solution

    • It's very important to know how to properly store your lighting gels so they don't get ruined. Tape can very easily come off lighting gels since they are so slick, so it's a good idea to fold the tape on your lighting gel sheets over to attach the gel to the flash. After the tape is folded over so it doesn't stick onto anything, it should be stored in something like a folding business card case. This encloses the gels neatly, safely and tightly into the case.

    Theories/Speculation

    • There are a lot of great online vendors for purchasing high quality lighting gels for flash photography. Some places to check out include Rosco, Eos Lighting, Jensen Best Imports, PC Lighting Systems, Lighting-Product.com, B&H Photo and Video and Premier Lighting.

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