That is often my answer when someone asks “why did you use those gels in that picture?. “Because I could”., “Why not”. And you start adding colour here, there and everywhere. Consider this:
(100 ISO, 1/20 sec, f/16, 24-105 f/4 lens).
Private student Tim made the picture yesterday. And I put the yellow gelled flash inside the car why, exactly? Because otherwise it would be dark. A little colour adds a lot: think matching, or opposite, colours. Deep blue skies go well with yellow: blue and yellow, like red and green, or green and purple, constitute one of nature’s favourite combos.
And it’s so simple, with a Honlphoto gel:
Just strap it onto the speed strap and bingo. (If you do the Honl photo modifiers thing, go http://www.honlphoto.com/?Click=2032 and don’t forget code word “Willems” at the end to get another 10% off. Look at the kits: they rock, especially the last one).
I use gelled speedlights to:
- Add opposites to relieve boredom
- Warm up cold subjects (half CTO gel does wonders)
- Get creative
- Add a little red to skin in low key portraits
- Correct colour when shooting in tungsten ambient light
- Turn backgrounds blue
…and so on. Once you get into the habit, you’ll see how good your photography gets. Speedlights, and easy-to-use, sturdy gels, make all this not just possible. They make it convenient and affordable, too.
This site is called the speedlighter for a reason: speedlights unlock the potential. Just get another flash or two, get some gels and other modifiers, and get creative.