Making White Light with RGB Gels

Based in Zurich, Maya and Daniele used three separate lights to create white light. It’s not an easy thing to do, and this is a great example.

Mixing red, green, and blue light in order to make white light isn’t rocket science. However, I’ve tried it and found that it wasn’t as easy as it looks. Sometimes the gels you think will work actually give you a pinkish or brown color. Finding lights that focus well enough and have enough power is vital too. Just like the need for a focused beam, any ambient light needs to be cut out.

If you’re looking to recreate this look, you’ll need:

It seems they used the technique with a local furniture store too, and I think it comes out pretty well. From past experience, having the white wall in the background definitely helps bring definition and clarity. In addition, there are limitations to the size of the scene. This works wonderfully for product shots. The technique falls apart for wider shots, for the most part due to difficulties focusing the light with fixtures of this size. Hopefully, this inspires more creative shoots from Maya and Daniele, and from the Fstoppers community.

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3 Comments
Dennis Hill's picture

All things old are new again. I remember we did this is photo class about 40 years ago. And because we were using film, we did a similar thing outdoors. We triple exposed the film, once through the 3 primary color filters. Everything stationary was normal looking but anything that moved (trees, clouds, etc) were different colors.

Bert Nase's picture

school physics!

Andre Kurtz's picture

Very cool, like the effect. well done video with a nice explanation.