Using gels for swimming pool

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by blurred vision, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. I've been asked to shoot some models in a swimming pool at night. I wanted to use gels on strobes to add color to the water. I don't have underwater lighting, so I was going to place strobes somewhere around the outside of the pool. I'll be operating them off a battery and will use GFIs for extra protection. My concern is how to get the colored light into the water. I'm worried it will bounce off and do little. I have some pretty powerful lights -- a whole range of Alien Bees and White Lightnings. I've used them before around a pool, but not with gels. Any ideas? I could've sworn I saw some photos of models in a pool with colored lights, but I can't find them now and am not sure if they used strobes or had a high-ISO camera and just sued the pool lights.
  2. Does the pool have its own underwater lighting? Gel that. Use some double-sided stick stuff that will at least last a few minutes at a time under water. Drag the shutter if you have to, to soak up some of that colored underwater light. Will your models be completely submerged? If not, then as appropriate, consider skimming the top of the water with gelled flash from the side of the pool so that you cast matching reflections off the surface onto your subjects, enhancing the sense that the water is producing that color.
  3. Model will not be underwater. At least that is not the plan. I may try different things and, just for fun, may shoot with a cheap underwater point-and-shoot during the afternoon using natural light. This would be easier with underwater gear! Unfortunately, I have not seen the pool and will not see it until I get there. Gelling the pool lights is a good idea. I just wonder how much they kick out. I am wondering where to place strobes. If I put them behind model, I expect a lot of reflected light that might cause flare. But from front, the colored light might reflect onto model.
  4. If I recall, my last pool lights came with plastic colored covers, might ask the owner.
  5. Thanks guys. Using the pool lights sounds like a possibility. But, really, the point of the post was how to use gelled strobes around the pool. Please, no lectures on safety -- I have that covered. I'm just wondering how to place and aim the lights. I'm figuring grids to minimize flare.
  6. It's very hard to answer without having a diagram of the set. Pool layout? Model positions? Camera position and angle of view? Ambient light involved? What look is the art director after in the scene and in the models themselves? Can't talk about placing lights when we don't know where everything else on the set is going to placed.
  7. You could try using a black plastic tube ( a long one ) the same or larger diameter as the strobe as a snood. place the open end under water ...
    You could also use speed lights with gels in waterproof boxes fired by radio triggers in the pool.
    The strobes above the water will reflect off the surface of the pool.
  8. One of the photo magazines a while back had a piece on a photographer who had shot something showing off canoes or kayaks in a shallow pond. He placed speedlights in watertight clear plastic boxes and fired them with radio triggers. You obviously would want to test the boxes pretty well before trying this.

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