A flash-gun can do wonders to your photography. Simply using a flash in your photos can elevate them to a new level altogether. However, flash in his primary form is very unattractive & often needs to be used along-with other accessories like reflector, diffuser, flash gels etc to create the desired effect in the photographs. In this article, I’ll talk about flash gels. About creating flash gel for yourself.

Flash gels are simply translucent sheets of various colours which are used by placing them over the flash head. The flash gels alters the colour of the light coming through the flash(which is generally balanced close to daylight temperature). The flash gels when used correctly often leads to a dramatic boost to the quality of your photographs. Imagine shooting a portrait in the morning at 10AM indoors close to window with light which feels like orangish sunset light. This is possible with flash gels. However, most photographers do not own or take such flash gels with them on a shoot. A quick remedy to this problem would be to make your own flash gels.

You’ll being good people, receive plenty of gifts around the year. What do you do with those colourful transparent gift wrapping paper? Tear them in a hurry & throw them apart most probably. Wait, take them out carefully & use them as flash gels. Simply, put them in front of your flash head & fire away the shots. Depending on the colour of the wrapping paper, you’ll get the desired effect in your photos. Not happy with the intensity of the colour? Simply, fold the paper & shoot. If required fold it more & shoot again & check whether the results are what you expected.

Fold to Double Intensity - DIY Flash Gel

The photograph you see below, was taken with a flash covered with an orange gift wrapping paper. It was shot during the afternoon but it appears as if I shot close to the sunset(golden hours).

Tulsi - Shot with DIY Flash Gel

In similar way, you can use gift wrapping papers of different colours & make your photos truly unique. Just a note that the colour cast made by the gift wrapping papers will not be 100% accurate as that provided by commercial flash gels, so you’ll need to adjust it accordingly in post-processing. Its just a small price, you pay instead of buying expensive commercial flash gel set. So you know now what to do with the gift wrapping paper when you receive a gift next time. :)