Last week, there were two questions about gelling flashes. Tom on the Big Island asked:
For those who use interior flash, do you always or more often than not, gel the flash? I have been trying to get a better understanding of how to use gels.
I have seen videos that gel the flash to offset the different light sources in the room, with no mention of adjusting the white balance. I have seen others where they will adjust the white balance first (generally, make it bluer) and then gel the flash with the CTO (Color Temperature Orange) at 1/4 or 1/2. I believe that some of the CTOs have the recommended white balance on them.
I have never used gels but I see how they might be helpful in producing better-balanced flash shots vs. overpowering the different lamp color casts with higher flash power. My workflow is to do several flash shots at different exposures, followed by several ambient shots at different exposures, and then I put the images together in Photoshop. As an FYI, I generally turn the lights off, other than in windowless bathrooms, with the ambient shots to control the color casts. I do a lot of vacation rental condos (which generally have darker rooms/areas) and the same lamps in the same rooms always seem to have different types of bulbs!
Curious what others are doing.
This is a great question and my guess is that:
In researching this question I ran across this interesting post by David Hobby who points out that:
"Lighting and Photoshop are different because lighting is three-dimensional and Photoshop is two-dimensional."
He's saying that by gelling your flashes, you get a more realistic three-dimensional look than if you do all the white balance control within Lightroom and Photoshop.