Using gels for product photography- part I


I saw a great tutorial in Stefan’s site (you can get the link in my favorites).He have been shooting products (hand made great looking funny dolls ).Stefan uses a professional studio and pro flashes for his work and you can see the diargrams of some of his studio sessions in his blog. I this piece I tried to get as close to his job, using small of camera flashes for this product photography. So get in and learn how to do it on the budget!


This is the list of things I used in this section:

  • Products to photograph.
  • Black metallic platform ,I use in this site an IKEA magnetic dashboard, but you can improvise with almost everything.
  • Two of camera flash units.
  • DIY gel filter holder and some gels.
  • DIY grid for small flashes.
  • Camera.
  • Good attitude!

Let see the setup:


Sorry for it being a little dark, but you can see is that:

  • On tripod there is a flash (canon 550EX) with my DIY grid for small flash on a tripod aimed at the product I have to take picture of, set to 1/4 power.
  • On the floor beneath the black metallic platform I had a Canon 580EXII with my DIY gel filter holder with some colored gels, set to a narrow light using the 105mm manual zoom .power 1/4.
  • You can add a small white reflector to control the image contrast (setup right side).
  • Camera: Canon 40D  f/7.1, Iso  200, 1/125 sec.

Yep that simple as that!

Here are some more photos I took with that simple setup!








  1. You can see in some of the pictures that the background looks different,that because I changed the manual zoom settings to wider than 105mm.Try to experience the background changes by controlling the flash zoom in and out.
  2. You could change the gelled flash output power so you’ll get a brighter or darker background.
  3. Change once in a while the gels filters and find out what color suits you best.

If you have other tips or want to show as your own examples,please share!!!

2 thoughts on “Using gels for product photography- part I

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× 9 = twenty seven