Use gels to capture images with a post-processed look in-camera
With the advent of popular smartphone apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic, image processing is now commonplace. Whether it’s clicking a single filter on your phone, or adjusting curves and levels sliders in Photoshop, fiddling with the colours can have a dramatic effect on the feel of an image.
Limiting the tonal range and colour palette of an image in this way is great, but we reckon it’s more satisfying to create similar effects straight out of the camera. All we need are two flashguns placed either side of a model, with some coloured gels placed in front of the lights. With a bit of clever placement we can separate the light that falls on our model’s face to mimic the processed effect.
We used Speedlights for this, but studio lights or continuous lights would work just as well. This is a project you can get really creative with, by adding as many lights and colours as you want. But to keep things simple we’ll start with two lights, and add a little diffusion.