DIY Photography Hacks: make colour lighting gels from candy wrappers

DIY Photography Hacks: make colour lighting gels from candy wrappers

In our latest DIY Photography Hacks post we show you how to re-use your candy wrappers as color lighting gels for fun, creative camera effects.

DIY Photography Hacks: make colour lighting gels from candy wrappers

This time of year, most of us are drowning in tins and boxes of chocolates! But did you know that there is a great photographic use for all those candy wrappers that you will still be finding hidden down the sofa well into 2013?

The colorful cellophane wrappers create low-cost lighting gels that can turn the light from a flash red, green, blue or purple.

Lighting gels are commercially available to help warm up or cool down the color temperature of hotshoe and studio flashlights.

DIY Photography Hacks: make colour lighting gels from candy wrappers

But the bright hues of these sweet wrappers are brilliant for painting subjects in the foreground an unusual color – great for special effects or for giving a rock concert look to your portrait photography.

You simply cover the diffuser of our pop-up flash and fire. But there are a few ways of refining the effect…

Step by step how to make color lighting gels from candy

Step by step how to make color lighting gels from candy: step 1

01 Attaching the cellophane
You can use your camera’s pop-up flash for this technique. Fasten the cellophane sweet wrapper carefully around the flash tube using a rubber band or electrical tape. Make sure the plastic is not touching the flash reflector as this can get hot and melt the cellophane.

 

Step by step how to make color lighting gels from candy: step 2

02 Go incandescent
The flash colours subjects in the near distance, and shows up better on light-toned surfaces. To maximise the colour, turn White Balance (WB) from auto to one of the presets. We found the Incandescent option worked well with a red wrapper when shooting portraits outdoors.

 

Step by step how to make color lighting gels from candy: step 3

03 Switch to full power
The pop-up flash may not be bright enough. To compensate, go to the Custom Settings in the Menu screens. In the Flash options turn the Flash Control for Built-in Flash from TTL to Manual. Then then turn power to Full. Adjust overall brightness using exposure compensation.

READ MORE

Flash Photography Tips: external flash techniques anyone can understand
How camera flash works: free photography cheat sheet
Flash photography made easy: master everything from pop-up flash to multiple flashguns
DIY Photography Hacks: boost your flash with foam and Velcro

  • jmeyer

    The internet is a big, wide place. Perhaps we should say ‘small pieces of sugary substance’? :)