Using Gels to Change Portrait Background Colors

The variety of having a collection of different colored background muslins may sound appealing at first, but there is a more affordable and easier way to change your background than having to fuss with hanging a new cloth each time. Below, Mike Luter instructs viewers on how to take advantage of gels with studio lights to give photographers more versatility from their single muslin setup. The gels make changing the background color happen in a matter of seconds and can be used in many different settings. Take a look at Luter’s helpful video here:

As you can see in the photo below, the gels are attached to a light by sliding them into a holder on front of your flash. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

studio lighting

“If you’re on a budget and just getting started, my first recomendation is a grey muslin. We can obviously shoot it as grey, but I can make the [grey] background any color I want by putting gels on it or changing the amount of light on it.”

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2 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    This is like Dean Collin’s Chromazone system from the 80’s. You can also change the background color by changing the exposure on the model not just changing the background light.

  2. Leon Barnes says:

    Very interesting. Using a grey background is especially a good idea.

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