Lighting Gels & Diffusion

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Understanding Lighting Gels and Diffusion

Whether you're a professional photographer or a hobbyist filmmaker, lighting gels and diffusers open the door to new visual effects. Gel filters for lights offer adjustments in light intensity, color, and more, making it possible to achieve custom looks for any project.

What Are Lighting Gels?

Lighting gels are colored, translucent sheets of thin plastic. Photographers, filmmakers, and stage lighting technicians use them as filters to correct color and lighting issues. Use colored gels for lights, and color correction filters and gels to create various tones and moods for movies, to replicate either daytime or nighttime lighting, or to balance intensity, light temperature, and other parameters.

Light Diffusers

Light diffusers scatter light to make it softer and more natural. They're available in a variety of different materials. While diffusion gels consist of plastics similar to colored gels, fabric diffusers are also an option. You can use fabric diffusers and colored photography gels to lessen the intensity of studio lights and to introduce colors and tones for different effects. Diffusers reduce exposure and soften the light in varying measurements, known as stops. Purchasing diffusers in various strengths is an easy way to add more variety to light options in your setup.

Choosing Filter and Gel Accessories

There are a few accessories and products you can use in conjunction with gels and diffusers. For example, filter and gel frames hold lighting gel sheets in place. The gel fits inside, making it possible to swap out lighting gel sheets for different effects. They come in different shapes such as rectangles, squares, octagons, or circles. Other filter and gel accessories include magnetic holders and mounts, gel and diffusion extenders, and pouches and storage bags, among other useful items.

Explore the vast selection of gels, filters, and diffusers at B&H Photo and Video.