Rogue Photographic Design has come out with two new products to help you get the most from your camera’s flash. The first builds off of their successful Rogue 3-In-1 Honeycomb Grid and the second is a more universal light filtering system that can be used with any flash unit as a standalone.
These Gels can be used for a number of different kinds of modifications. For example, depending on the lighting situation and conditions, it is sometimes necessary to correct the color temperature to take a proper photograph. If anyone has tried to take a photo under fluorescent lights without the use of coloring gels, they know that the resulting image will not be white, but rather will be a sickly looking green color that does not look good. This cannot be fixed in post-production and must be addressed in the camera at the shoot.
The fix is to Gel your flash with a green filter to give you a color corrected shot that will, depending on the lights and exactly what portion of the cycle that your camera shutter captures, look much more natural and close to what you envisioned when you took the shot.
When shooting with tungsten lights, you need to correct for the warmth that they give off and you would want to add a CTO (color temperature orange) filter to your flash to offset the warming tone and give a nice balanced look to the shot.
Another reason you would want to use a filter on a flash is to add an effect. Perhaps you want to add a cold look to the scene for effect as in the image at the end of this review. By adding a blue filter to one of your flashes and spraying it on the background, you can cool the scene down and give it a different effect.
Rogue Gels bring to you the ease and convenience of having a full range of filters right at your fingertips. They come in two variations – The Universal Lighting Filter Kit that can be used on just about any flash unit, and a separate set that is made to work with the Rogue Honeycomb Grid.
The Universal Lighting Filter Kit is a set of 20 dynamic colors and correction filters that fit over your flash unit to allow you to adjust the color of the scene that you are shooting. The filters themselves are made of high quality materials from LEE filters in the UK – a leading manufacturer of light filtering products.
Each Gel is labeled using the LEE filter name as well as the f/stop loss value – when you place anything other than a relatively clear Gel over a flash unit, you will lose some of the light and so labeled on the Gel is the amount of light that you will have to accommodate for. This can be done either through increased flash power or adjustment to your f/stop on the camera. There is also Kelvin color temperature correction and white balance information listed when appropriate as well.
The filters come in a small padded pouch that contains the 20 Gels with a set of dividers that breaks the Gels down into Greens/Blues, Yellows/Reds, and Correction Filters. Each Gel is separated by a paper divider to help keep them clean. Also included is a band made of rubber that you use to hold the Gel to the flash unit.
It is all really simple. Choose the filter that you want to use. Attach the band to the flash unit. Insert the first tab from the Gel into the band, and then insert the second tab into the band on the other side of the flash. That is all there is to it. You adjust the flash for the amount of power that you need to light the situation and start your session.
The Lighting Filter Kit for Rouge Grid is essentially the same setup except these filters are made to fit inside the Honeycomb Grid unit itself. The honeycomb grid is a photographic lighting modifier that narrows the beam of light into a circle with soft edges. The grid is formed of hexagonal tubes that look like honeycombs. Using a normal flash, the light is able to just spread out over a wide angle to get to its target. Using a grid, you can target the light to as specific area that you want to light.
By using the Gels, you can focus the colored lights on to specific areas that you are lighting to get specific effects. If you have two or more grids, you can get a multi-colored background like in the image listed here. As with the Universal Kit, these Gels also come in a handy padded pouch and are labeled the same way.
Both the Universal Lighting Filter Kit and the Universal Lighting Filter Kit for Rogue Grid are very easy to use and provided excellent results. I also like how they are stored in the padded pouch that can be easily stored in a camera bag for ready access. At 29.95 for the Universal Filter Kit and 27.95 for the Rogue Grid Kit they are very affordable as well. If you are looking for an easy to use set of color filters for your flash photography then I can easily recommend the Rogue Lighting Filters Kits.