How to Use Color Gels Creatively in Portrait Photography

Photographer Eva Creel demonstrates how you can make creative use of speedlight gels to capture a scene that imbibes a sense of cold and fog and then bring everything together to transform into photographic magic:

Creel sets up three speed lights for the shoot. The first is the key light that illuminates the model’s face. For that light she choose the Frost filter from the Rosco Beauty Flash Pack. The color produced from the flash is thus a little pinkish.

For the second light, placed under the skirt of the model, Creel used a filter from the CalColor Flash Pack. The light emanated from the flash appears purple.

The last light, which is the backlight and doubles as the hair light, Creel used a blue filter from the Digital After Dark Flash Pack.

The fog was created using Rosco ColdFlow smoke machine, which really added to the overall cold mood of the scene and made the images pop.

Rosco ColdFlow

Fog Machine

The end result is pretty magical:

color gels for speedlights

Final Image with Color Gels

How do you use color gels in your photos?

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

Leave a Comment

Personalize your comment with an avatar from!

Prove Your Humanity * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever