What Is Gelling in Photography?

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When it comes to the world of photography, the term "gelling" is used to describe a very particular thing. Learn about gelling in photography with help from an experienced director of photography in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Photography Lighting
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dan Reinecke with Unknown Media. Today, I'd like to talk to you about gelling in terms of photography. Now, what gels are different sheets that the light actually passes through and it will alter the, the color or the temperature of the light itself. Now, there's several different options, but one thing you need to understand is I guess the temperature of light. Now, those bulbs that you may have around your house, the kind of orangish ones, those tend to be around 3200 degrees kelvin, which is basically a temperature scale. Now, the lights like a, a sunlight and some HMIs and even strobes in photography, they're considered 5600 degrees kelvin. Now, there are ways to alter this now. Say you have a light and it burns at 5000, 5600 degrees kelvin. Now, one thing you can do to bring it down or, or warm it up, make it a little bit more orangish is use something like this. It is CTO or a color temperature orange and it's basically going to alter the temperature of the light and it's going to cause it to get that more of a warm feel. And just by looking through, you can tell that that it's actually going to turn things a little bit more orange and it's going to give it a bit more of a warm glow. Now, just opposite of that, if you have more of an orange light and then you want to turn it a bit more blue or cold, give it more of a, that daytime feel, you have this CTB. And what that is going to do, it's going to actually cool down some of those warm tones in the light itself. Now, from there, opportunities are literally endless with gels. You can get almost any color that you can imagine. You can get cosmetic gels that'll kind of cause people skin tones to look a little bit more tan or a little bit more flush. It's really just up, up to you and it's going to take a lot of practice and a lot of playing around with. But then they have things such as, such as party gels where they're just a, they're just kind of crazy colors and it's just to add like a little bit of flare to your photography. You also have, this, here's another type of, of a party gel, it's like a purple. And again, it's not necessarily great to throw on somebody's skin tones, but again, that's completely up to you. So, that was just a, a, a few little insights on gelling in photography. I'm Dan Reinecke, take your best shot.


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