These days, more and more manufacturers of lighting accessories are making small gel kits for small flashes. This is largely due to the growing population of photographers who call themselves Strobists, me included. There are lots of options out there, but the best one for me was to go the DIY route.
Face it, gels are cheap… dirt cheap. You see those gel swatches in the shot above? Yeah, those are $0.01 each at B&H Photo. Did I mention they were cheap? Every time I order something from B&H Photo I always order two more Rosco gel swatches. B&H limits everyone to two per order so guys like me don’t buy 100 of ’em for a buck! They have a hard enough time keeping them in stock as it is.
Out of the swatch book, I primarily only use 10 of the gels. I do keep the rest in the event I get a wild hair one day and want to do something crazy. The swatches are a sample of all the different gels in the Roscolux line, and they just so happen to fit perfectly over a flash head on a speedlight!
- Color Temperature Orange (CTO)
- 3/4 CTO
- 1/2 CTO
- 1/4 CTO
- Quarter Blue (1/4 Color Temperature Blue or CTB)
- 1/2 PlusGreen
- 1/4 PlusGreen
- Primary Blue
- Light Red
- Moss Green
The first seven of the gels are used for correcting the color temperature of my speedlights. The last 3 are for special effects. I keep two kits in my camera bag, in little zip-to-close baggies which keep them all together. These kits probably cost about $0.05 to put together. I hold the gels in place on my speedlights with a little bit of Gaffer’s tape. It works pretty darn well.
I’m currently working on making a slightly different kit that will work with a DIY Speed Strap. I recently made 6 of those things in under 30 minutes, and it cost me $3.25 for the 24″ bicycle inner tube and 20 ft. of 3/4″ Velcro was $17.00, and I used less than half of that. For the gels, I’m going to buy 20″x24″ sheets of each of the 10 gels and cut them into 2.5″x4″ pieces which will net 48 gels per sheet to use with my speedlights! I’ll throw up a post to show you how it works when I’m finished with the project.
So if you aren’t gellin’ already, now you have no excuse! Of course, if you have questions feel free to hit me up in the comments. Have a great day and I’ll see you back here tomorrow!