OnSet with Daniel Norton: Being creative with colored gels & using cosmetic gels to capture great skin tones


posted Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 11:30 AM EDT


In all types of color photography, color is an important part of the overall mood of an image. All else equal, a cooler image tells a different story than a warm image. When shooting portraits with artificial lights, you can place colored gels over the light to dramatically change the look and feel of a shot, as Daniel Norton shows us in the video below. 

When creatively working with colored gels in portraits, you are able to impact the saturation of the light by controlling the intensity of the lights and the exposure of your shot. A slight colored kicker light or hair light around your subject can add a subtle, creative twist on a traditional portrait. The possibilities are basically endless with how you can use and combine different colors.

In addition to being creative with color, you can also use colored gels to improve the skin tones in your portrait. Norton recently received a question from a viewer about using an orange gel filter to warm up their portraits. However, this type of filter is for color correction and matching different types of light, not for warming up skin tones. Instead, there are special cosmetic or beauty gel filters, such as these. The cosmetic filters have very soft, less orange tones, which are designed to create a natural and realistic warmth to a subject's skin tone.

To see more educational content from Adorama, including the full OnSet with Daniel Norton videos, click here.

(Via Adorama