Thursday, May 10, 2012


If you've ever stared up at a row of colored lights in a theater or auditorium, you're familiar with the use of gels in stage lighting; they're also used in photo lighting to provide color effects or color correction. They're sold in sheets and rolls, but the strobes photographers use don't play too well with big square gels.

One at a time, they're not too bad to cut out with a knife or a pair of scissors, but I recently took delivery of a pack of about 60. On the scale of things I'd like to do (from 1 to Picking Which Porsche to Drive Today), cutting out 60 gels by hand sits at about a 2. So I stacked them up, made a CAD file, and marched off to the friendly waterjet shop, where they did in about 3 minutes what would have taken me hours. Hours because of course I made them more cool than just circles, what with nice little tabs for velcro and whatnot.

Gels I

Gels II (you can do some forensics on the path the water took through the stack!)

Gels III

Really, the only downside of doing this is that I was morally obligated to photograph the cleanly cut stack with the ultra-macro lens (each gel is about 0.003" thick, so this whole stack is well under a quarter of an inch...) and a couple of flashes. By the time I was done with that, I likely broke even on time, but hey, such is life.


No comments:

Past Detritus