Getting Creative with Fire and Gels

Creative Portrait lit with Fire and Red Flash Against a Black Backdrop. By Zhi Lee
Creative Portrait lit with Fire and Red Flash Against a Black Backdrop. By Zhi Lee

Flash gels are pieces of coloured transparent plastic film that you can place in front of a strobe or external flash to change the colour of light being emitted.

In our last post post about fire photography, we described the setup for photographing fire.  In preparation for our creative shoot next week, we had a second round of fire photography, this time in combination with coloured gels.

One of the difficulties we encountered was that white cornflour dust would show up starkingly white when flashed with white light, as in the picture below.

White flash on cornflour dust yields very white smoke.  You'd want to place a coloured gel in front of the flash if all that white isn't to your taste.
White flash on cornflour dust yields very white smoke. You’d want to place a coloured gel in front of the flash if all that white isn’t to your taste.

Playing the reflective properties of the white cornflour dust to our advantage, we placed a piece of red cellophane in front of the flash.  These are cheap and easily obtainable from a dollar shop.

Observe the drama added to the setup.

Cornflour Dust Lit with Red Gelled Flash and Fire

 

We did have to spent a bit of time cleaning up the mess we made 😛

But the results were worth it!

Cornflour dust in flames against a black backdrop
Cornflour dust in flames against a black backdrop

 

These images were created in safe conditions with water and fire extinguishers within easy reach.  Be safe and have fun!

Zhi

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D
  • Focal length: 28mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/160s

Zhi Lee

Award winning NZ wedding, travel and portrait photographer. Creating images for the enjoyment of others really gets me going. It is through photography that I get to connect with people and express a little bit of creativity.