Rosco CalColor: The "Whatever You Want it to Be" Gels

At this point, most of us are probably pretty familiar with the gel fixes for fluorescent and tungsten ambient light situations. And for the trickier sources, you can check Rosco's free FIlter Facts booklet to learn what filter combinations can be used to balance lights such as sodium- or mercury vapor, etc.

But what about really weird, non-standard lighting environments, like a high school gym with sodium vapors and a brightly colored wall affecting the overall ambient color?

There's a gel kit for that, too.

CalColor = Chameleon

CalColor is a calibrated set of gels that can turn the light from your flash into any color you want. It is a stadardized set of color gels, in varying strengths, from all around the color wheel. By combining the gels you can dial in your flash just about anywhere.

This can be used to balance your flash for any color of ambient, too. First, you would do a custom white balance for your ambient. Then you add your (ungelled) flash to the scene.

Finally, you would build a "color pack" for your flash until you created the equivalent of white light in the new white balance. You can do it by eye, using your TFT screen as a guide. Essentially, you'll be building the complimentary color of the ambient light you have just balanced for.

Sadly, this could be an automated process if Nikon and Canon would merely share the information which is already inside your camera. But nope.

By stacking the gels (which come in several different densities in blue, cyan, green, yellow, red, magenta, pink, lavender) you can easily make any color. If you shoot in the same weird environment a lot -- such as that high school gym -- just make note of your color pack combo and it is an instant fix next time you shoot there.

The packs are about $50, but they are big enough (10x12") to easily create at least a dozen or so full sets when cut to speedlight size. In fact, I cut my pack big enough to cover a Profoto standard reflector and made several full speedlight sets with the scrap material.

:: Rosco: CalColor Kit ::


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