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Video Production Tip: Using Color Correcting Gels

color_gels.pngIf you want your lighting to look more professional, you'll want to give special consideration to "color temperature" especially when you're mixing light sources.  A great way to change the color of your lighting is by using color correcting gels.  Gels are small plastic transparent sheets that can be mounted onto your lights.  Outdoor lighting with a higher light temperature appears to have a blue hue or a "cooler" feel to them, whereas Indoor lighting with a lower light temperature appears to have a more yellow or "warmer" hue.  By using color correcting gels, you can match different light temperatures.  2 of the most common gels used are Color Temperature Orange, and Color Temperature Blue, often referred to as CTO and CTB respectively.  Color Temperature Orange gels allow you to turn the higher temperature or "cooler" light sources into warmer ones and Color Temperature Blue gels allow you to make lower temperature or "warm" light appear cool.  Gels are also available in different intensities from dark to pale, so you may have to experiment to achieve the look you want.

Some other types of gels that can be used include Plus and Minus Green gels, Neutral Density gels, Diffusion gels, and Color or Theatrical gels.  Plus and Minus Green gels can be used when mixing fluorescent lights with daylight or incandescent lights since fluorescent lights give off a greenish hue.  Neutral Density gels are gray and rather than changing the color temperature, they merely cut down the lighting, making it softer and less intense.  Diffusion gels work pretty much in the same way, as they are frosty or milky white, and do not change the color temperature, rather just soften the light.  Color or Theatrical gels are used to accent or create dramatic unnatural effects or actually to add a specific color to your "stage".

Remember to replace your gels over time since they can become brittle or fade from the heat of your lamps, thus changing the degree of your color correction.
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To learn more about successful lighting techniques, why not try out one of our Video Production training classes; Call today!

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