How to Add Some Energy to Your Product Photographs Using Creative Gels

How to Add Some Energy to Your Product Photographs Using Creative Gels

Shooting product photography can either be a tedious task or it can be a fun and rewarding one. Likewise, looking at product photographs can either be boring or it can enlightening. Using gels to modify the light in your product photographs can be an easy way to add some energy to your images.

Young photographers are so quick to add filters and other creative effects to their photographs during post-processing these days that it’s becoming less common to see certain effects actually created in camera. The process of using colored gels to modify your off camera flash has been around for a long time, but it's really never been easier thanks to MagMod and their Creative Gel Set. I won’t go in depth about the MagMod system, instead you can investigate on your own what I’m finding to be a very practical and handy set of tools. 

Here you can see the three light setup used to create the final image.

For the shot I'm about about to talk about, three speedlights were used in combination with various modifiers to shape the image the way I wanted it. The first image (below) was taken using a single speedlight and small Photoflex Octabox for a consistent and soft main light. 

At this point the image is pleasing to the eye, and I could just about bring it into Photoshop for the final touches, such as removing small blemishes in the bottles as well as specks of dust that are visible on the glass (I live in the desert - it’s impossible to avoid). For additional fill light, another speedlight was used, aided by a single MagMod grid accessory. 

Things are starting to look just about right at this point. An additional speedlight with a magenta colored MadMod gel was conveniently placed behind the bottles for an out-of-this-world glow that really contrasts well with the green bottles and adds an energetic flare to the shot that wasn't there before. 

Tools are excellent. I'm a fan of them. There are so many tools on the market today to help you create the perfect image. What are you using to add flare to yours?

Log in or register to post comments

4 Comments

The only problem here is that by introducing the colored gel without a flag you have contaminated the color of the bottles. The "lead" bottle is not too bad with only a little discoloring on the neck, but the other two have spill on the base, neck and have tainted the green. The green in your second image is quite nice. No manufacturer or designer would approve the 3rd shot though. Maybe try flagging the 3rd light so it does not spill so much forward.

Dusty Wooddell's picture

You are correct. If you wanted to isolate the green of the bottle from the color of the gel completely, some card stock behind each bottle would do the trick

Chad D's picture

grey vinyl orange gel :)
do agree you see so much post over in camera both have pros cons but when you have a vision just do both and have options :)

Dusty Wooddell's picture

Nice shot