Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Bagging" your flash

Back when I shot for the newspapers in the mid '80s, we had a term for putting a gel on your flash to match the ambient color temperature. That technique was called "Bagging." I am not sure why we called it that, but we did.

At the wedding this past Saturday we did a still life of the bride's shoes, jewelry, and garter. The wedding dress was hanging up in the background, but was lit by the incandescent light of the master bath. The bedroom was lit by a window and our flash. Here is the first attempt. It looks like what everyone else takes. Even "Uncle Bob."
You can see that the dress is a little orange due to the warmer light of the master bath's incandescent bulbs. I added at 1/2 CTS filter to the on-camera flash and and changed the white balance (WB) on my camera to Tungsten. This is the result.
As you can see, a much more pleasing rendition of the scene. This looks more professional and less like everyone else.

These filters can be purchased from most any photography store on line, or do a search for flash gels, flash filters, or color filters. They cost about $6 or $7 dollars for a sheet big enough you will likely never use it all. Then, you can "Bag" your flash and make your images look more professional and less like "Uncle Bob's."

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it looks much better! Where is the flash aimed? Are you straight up to bounce off the ceiling or what. Could too much flash direction or too much gel change the shoe color?