DIY Ways to Color Light

In this demonstration, I’m going to show
you how you can color lights to create a different kind of mood than the lights you might be
using in a studio or the natural light that you might be using outside. You can do this by placing a gel, some sort
of plastic that has a color to it that’s semi-transparent, in front of the light before
it hits your subject or before it hits the background of the scene. When you’re doing
this, keep in mind that different colors of lights interacting with one another will have
different effects on each other. So if you choose to use, say, a blue colored light near
a purple colored light, together they might in some areas interact in terms of the way
that the light’s hitting the subject. And thus, the color might be something in between
purple and blue. There are times when you might choose to combine
the two colors. So for example, if I knew I wanted a purplish blue hue, since these
are semi-transparent,
you could place one over another in order to combine the two color effects. When you’re
doing this, make sure to place these, these colored filters between the subject and the
light. So basically letting the light shine through these and then hitting the subject
or the back of the scene. To make one of these, you just need a frame
and what’s called cellophane. You can buy the cellophane at Michaels or any craft store.
It’s actually used to wrap gifts. So they have it in various colors, yellow, purple,
green, many different colors. We’re going to use purple in this demonstration
and we’re going to wrap it around a foam core frame. This example is blue, but it’s actually
wrapped around a wreath, it’s a wreath frame. So you could choose to have a circle one as
well. Take your cellophane, place it on your table,
and we’re going to wrap it like we did, like we wrapped the diffuser in the last demo. So you want to wrap it around the edges and
then staple it down. [sound of stapling] You just want to wrap this sort of like a
present in the corner. So now we’ve made a frame for our plastic
gel. Similar to diffusion material, you could layer a couple on here if you think that you
want the light to have a stronger more intense effect. As I mentioned before, you could mix
blue with purple and place blue on top of purple so you have a mixture of the two colors.
As you’re doing this, think about how the different colors might have different connotations.
So for example, cool colors such as blue or green might represent the sea or nature, or
as warm colors can sometimes represent violence or hostility or aggression or warmth even.
So as you’re doing this, think about how you could use the colors to enhance your image
and create a new story or to improve the story that you’re already telling in your image. And now I’m going to show you how you can
use these in a specific scene. This is the color filter that we made using
cellophane and a foam core frame. You place this between the light and the subject to
change the color of the light. So this is purple. It’s changing the hue of the light
from our tungsten, which is a warm color, to a purple color. As I mentioned before, you might consider
trying different colors and then mixing the two as well. So again, our color light filter.

17 thoughts on “DIY Ways to Color Light

  1. just what info I needed. Cellophane wrapping paper. Going to the store right now! Thank you 🙂

  2. Looks good, but with a skeleton crew, who holds the gel? I am finding all kinds of DIY Gel stuff online, but none that A: Provide a solution for mounting the filter, and B: Allow for portability.

  3. Depends on what type of light you use, how much heat it puts off, and how close the cellophane is to the light.

  4. I'm thinking she needs a jager bomb or two and this would have been a great tutorial. Be as a bright as the purple!

  5. Thanks for this! I have the same questions as those posed below. Would welcome a response.

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