Photography Tips & Tricks: Photography Tips & Tricks: Stacking Gels and Achieving Sharper Images – Episode 18


The weekly podcast that offers tips and techniques for taking the best photos you have ever taken.
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Episode Summary

This week on Photography Tips & Tricks, RC goes over his process for stacking gels on his flashes. Red Bull event photographer Chris Garrison stops by to talk about his use of the Induro Hi Hat tripod, which he sets up to get low and high above his subject. Joel Grimes offers viewers some tips on getting sharper images.

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  1. Louis Rojas says:

    RC, Watched the show during my lunch break. Good stuff. Keep it up. Thanks!

  2. lawrence says:

    i love the way you use your gels simple but effective.

  3. Jorge Gomez says:

    Great Episode as always!

  4. Jane Hamilton says:

    great show

  5. Jim Wells says:

    Great show RC — I will have to check out that neet looking high hat


  6. Ken Toney says:

    Love the Hi Hat idea, wonder which ball head Chris uses with it?

    • Chris Garrison says:

      I usually mount the camera directly to the HI Hat or I use the BHL3 Ball head. A bit over kill but it will never fall over!

  7. Amber Butterfield says:

    Awesome tip on gels, Great give away hint hint

  8. Chris Sieritis says:

    Good flash tip and Induro products are great products at a great value

  9. Florian Cortese says:

    Another great show. Like the gel stacking tip. Thanks RC. The spyder cube would be nice.

  10. Tim says:

    Great show, I always learn something from these shows!

  11. William Collins says:

    Love the tip on filters…thanks for these tips….

  12. John Content says:

    Could you have more camera reviews that don’t pull any punches?

  13. Raymond Lam says:

    Love to see ” How to use metering tool ” not the metering build-in camera.

  14. Colin Allison says:

    Another great program RC, just finished reading your HDR book, learned tons thanks.

    Spider Cube, a must have want one please, and the book looks like something I could use too.


  15. Sam S. says:

    Great show.

  16. Tim W. says:

    Another cool show. I’m never bored watching you guys :)

  17. Nick Munroe says:

    Love the gels tip. Do you put Velcro dots on both sides of he gels? Or just on one?

  18. Chuck Sider says:

    Never heard of the Induro Hi-Hat . . . Thanks.


  19. chris says:

    Great Show! You guys rock!

  20. PD Taylor says:

    Good information, great idea on gells.

  21. oscar linnartz says:

    Great cheap flash gel tip.

  22. Mike Hylandsson says:

    That hi hat looked pretty cool! I hadn’t seen it before. Thanks for the tip ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. John Havord says:

    Another good show and excellent catch skills by RC. I’ll presume there wasn’t multiple takes :)

    Regarding idea for show – how about a segment on buying used lens and what to look out for and how to check them.

    Until next week…………………

  24. Steve Thompson says:

    How about a piece on photographing cars at car shows and keeping out the distracting elements in crowds?

  25. Adi says:

    very good tip about the gels! i made myself a few gels on my own. Great show!

  26. Boris Milan says:

    Id love to know when or how you decide to use your gels, cool tip BTW with stacking gels Thx

    • I just finished watching ALL the episodes iTunes offers from now to d-town and I love them. Just signed up for kelbytraining and live that also.
      This episode 18 was great I didn’t know about the hi hat tripod that I might look into purchasing thanks for that advise.

  27. Ant O. says:

    RC Thanks for the Gell idea.
    I am going to try that using elastic bands.

    Joel is absolutely right. Tripod is an essential equipment for serious photographer.

  28. Jeff Lazar says:

    Great show. I hadn’t thought about buying gel material by the sheet. Thanks much.

  29. Siming says:

    Look forward to this show every week.

  30. John Arruda says:

    I haven’t heard a tip or trick for a while where I said that is ingenious. RC, that gel tip was ingenious! Making the gels stack-able is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ah-ha moments. Saves you the hassle of buying a bunch of different sheets of gels and most importantly makes it so much easier to use as you demonstrated in the video. No question that I am going to adopt this for my work.

    Thanks RC!

  31. Hayes Peterson says:

    Woot woot! Yeah RC, thanks for the gell tip. ordering my sheet right now.

  32. GM Miller says:

    Thanks for doing these shows! Snow day in Kansas today

  33. thanks for these tips
    see you in Orlando ๐Ÿ˜‰

  34. Larry Ligget says:

    Never won a damned thing in my life!

  35. Ray Warren says:

    Great tips. RC is such a friendly guy you want to walk right up to him and shake his hand.

  36. Alex Barrett says:

    Loved the flash tip. Careful with that flash RC ๐Ÿ˜‰

  37. ken campbell says:

    Good show, like the low tripod.

  38. Rich Stopa says:

    great tips as always New gear reviews are great there so much out there

  39. Diane Schulman says:

    Another great show!

  40. Pam Gates says:

    i am a beginning photo bug love all the tips i learn somethng new everytime i watch a episode.
    Thanks so much

  41. Jock Goodman says:

    Great Gel tip and
    Chris Rocks…….get it?
    Glyn’s funny commercial has knocked Joe McN crappy light commercial into 2nd place. hu yuk !
    Good work by the PR team.

  42. Bob Stehler says:

    RC , Just watched the episode. I always come away with something that I will use. Your tip on the gel quick attachment will work better than my current use of rubber bands.
    Maybe a few tips on external meters and their use would be interesting to your viewers? Just a thought
    Keep the tips coming!

  43. Ed Kennedy says:

    Great cheap shots tip RC.
    Thanks. :)

  44. horace cheung says:

    RC good gel tips.

  45. John Swarce says:

    Super gel tip, RC! Very useful. So, did you call up the Red Bull guys personally for this week’s appearance? :-)


  46. Rick stuve says:

    Really like the show. Always good stuff. I like the gel DIY.

  47. Harjinder says:

    I really appreciate the getting sharp pictures tips from Joel Grimes and GEL tip from RC.

    Thanks for putting this together.


  48. Terry says:

    How about a show on macro photography.

  49. Jason Strickland says:

    Great show and I loved the Gels tip! I would love to win the Spyder Cube. I can’t wait for Orlando!

  50. Valerie Martinez says:

    Really appreciated the tips on achieving sharp images! Thanks for that! I also really liked the hi hat tripod! Overall good episode!

  51. Jason Strickland says:

    Really enjoyed the show and I loved the tip for the Gel strips… definitely plan on using the tip!

    I would love one of the SpyderCUBE’s!

    Really looking forward to Orlando in a few months!

  52. Rusty Parkhurst says:

    Nice tip about the gels. Thanks RC.

  53. Phil Beavis says:

    Great show and nice tips from Chris ..Thanks

  54. Vicki Ardoin says:

    Great tips. New to photography and really appreciate the sharpest F-stops tip. I need to get a tripod.

  55. Henrik Filskov says:

    Great episode :-)

  56. Robert Martinez says:

    Great show once again RC! I can’t wait for PSW I already have my ticket! Icing on the cake would be to win that spider cube.

  57. Sascha says:

    Very nice show with helpfull tips.
    Thanks RC

  58. Paul Truepenny says:

    Great show. Thanks

  59. martin gillette says:

    thanks for the gel tip….

  60. jason davis says:

    Great show! I think Red Bull should be part of every show. RC hopped up on Red Bull would be able to speed through twice as many tips in half the time. Keep the tips coming and I’d love to have a Spyder checker

  61. Jackie says:

    I really loved your gel tip, thanks RC!

  62. Luis Mazier says:

    Great tips as always. Look forward to the show every week when you are doing them.

  63. Glenn Hewitt says:

    Enjoy every show you do R.C.

  64. Matthew Mellen says:

    Love your tip on using gels!!

  65. Hubert says:

    Enjoyed the show… thanks much.

  66. Leonard J. Provenzano says:

    Another fine set of bite-sized info. Keep them coming.

  67. Nice tip the one of the gels!

    I’m still struggling with using gels with a stofen diffuser, or a fong “sphere”. Any thoughts?

  68. Pedro Oliveira says:

    RC, awesome tip with the 1/4 gels!! Totally going to start using that technique!

  69. Learned something new about mounting a camera.

    Very interesting tip on f stops for sharpness.

    Love prizes. a spider or a book. thanks!

  70. June Condruk says:

    Thanks RC- great tip!

  71. Dean Wittle says:

    Loved the gel tips RC, always looking to save.

  72. John Dabarno says:

    Great show this week I really like the piece with Joel Grimes, i use a tripod for most shots wnen I can and the come out nice and clear, thanks RC.

  73. Bryon Wiley says:

    Great Show!

  74. Robert Hilsinger says:

    Good tip on the gels. Looking forward to trying them. Thanks

  75. tim martin says:

    Good show.

  76. Jason says:

    I’ve never considered the concept that even at 1/1000 a tripod will help get a sharper image. I’ll definitely be experimenting with this to see the difference. Thanks.

  77. Great show. Could you give tips on family photos sessions.

  78. brian lottis says:

    I really liked the idea of the gels. Have to try the stacking thing. Thanks.

  79. Johnson Kevin says:

    RC !!!
    Im now using your method of stacking gels !!! Awesome stuff ! thanks !

  80. Peter Steeper says:

    Loved the gel tips and hi-hat ideas.

    future show idea: Is Canon getting too pricey? Can I get better value with Nikon new cameras? 7100, D800, D600?

  81. Don McKay says:

    Thank you for lightening up the humor was good as well as the information.

  82. Love the show ! That Induro high hat is really cool- more stuff like that in the future!

    Keep up the great work guys.

  83. robin brown says:

    The tip on stacking the gels came in very handy for me. I am just getting into using my flash.

    Keep the flash tips coming.

  84. Dave sees says:

    Another awesome show guys, love your show i watch it every week. Keep up the great tips and tricks you guys rock !

  85. Harry Conte says:

    Great show and tips.

  86. Debbie says:

    another good one thank you. love the gel thing!

  87. Hey guys, love the spider, is it my turn already???

  88. Great tip on stacking the gels. If you want to keep your flash from getting sticky gunk from velcro on it, get a HONL speedstrap. Not DIY, but dang cheap.

    Not sure I need a book on adventure photography. I photograph a lot of small children and that is an adventure in itself. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  89. Pierre U says:

    Great show! I love that CT gel stacking tip!

    Keep on bringng more tips like that….

  90. The Hi Hat looks pretty cool, but you guys didnt really touch on how to remote control the mounted DSLR?

  91. Steve Hinds says:

    Like to see Bird photography episode or other nature related.

  92. You guys Rock!!! I’ve learned an immense amount of photography from your shows. Keep up the awesome work!

  93. Rick Potts says:

    Liked the tip on stacking filters cheaply. I hope Larry doesn’t sue.

  94. Rob Sidebottom says:

    New to the site. Catching up on the episodes I missed.
    Great tips.
    Many thanks

  95. Tyson Murray says:

    Awesome show. This is the 1st show I’ve seen and I love the idea do the Velcro good job!!!!

  96. Andy says:

    Good Show.

  97. Great show. Can you do some tips on doing family photos business?

  98. Tina Rife-Bastin says:

    Enjoyed RC’s gel tip this week! I always look forward to the show.

  99. Jeff B says:

    RC who cleans up after you. Great show.

  100. Audrey says:

    Love you guys!!

  101. Tracy W. says:

    Wish I could find a cheaper hi-hat, but hate buying equipment twice.

  102. Justin Roush says:

    I am so excited for the Bag Giveaway. I can hardly wait.

  103. Thanks for an informative show RC! I really enjoy it.

  104. George Dimitrov says:

    The tip about stacking gels was awesome, really helpful. This “Induro” tripod really got my attention, it’s nice and handy, I’ve got to check it out.

  105. Chris Christie says:

    Great show and tips especially the gels idea.

    Could you do a show around what gear to use for a ‘wet shoot’ like shooting in the rain to capture the droplets with dramatic lighting?

  106. Jeremy says:

    I don’t know, it could be just me, but I’m starting to feel that the episodes are having more advertisements and less content.

    I enjoy the content that’s there, but I think it’s a little ad heavy.

  107. David White says:

    Great tip with the gel stacking thanks RC

  108. Karl W Kohman says:

    Make me a winner, PLEASE

  109. John Richardson says:

    I like the new “Kelby Prop-Delivery System”

    Now that Induro Hi-hat is exactly what I need for my get in the mud macro photography, I will no longer have to lug the Manfrotto and swing an arm down for stability. Thanks!

  110. Gen says:

    Nice show again. Would like to get more tips on how to shoot a podcasts.

  111. Lauren says:

    Would like to see some more product reviews. Excellent show as allways.

  112. Frank Eng says:

    good job R C keep it up

  113. Patrick Thayer says:

    Nice show — loved the bit about gels. Amazing, amazing. Great, great. Nice, nice ๐Ÿ˜‰

  114. Shaun S. says:

    I like how you stack filters RC. Thanks for that tip!

  115. Randy Hanson says:

    great tips of the flash and using tripod

  116. Gordon Norris says:

    Great show RC, love the tips. Been looking for something to give me ideas and this shows seems to be best I have seen. So much so, just setup the computer to down load all the shows I a missing. Keep up the good work =8^}

  117. Duane G says:

    Thought the gel tip was very helpful.

  118. David Keneipp says:

    Great tip on gel stacking, RC.

  119. Wayne Robinson says:

    Great tips on using gels. I use stage lighting gels and gaffa tape. Stacking using velcro is a much better idea. I need to look into the Hihat.

  120. Frazer says:

    As usual. Great tips!

  121. Kristyanna Virgona says:

    love the tip on the CTO gels I just ordered a sheet of 1/4 CTO from Adorama thanks for the photos of the gang too

  122. Robert Ogletree says:

    Great show! I really appreciate your tips for the DIY’ing photographer on a budget.

  123. Kevin Lane says:

    How does the High Hat attach to the wall? Is it really better than a Gorilla?

  124. Curt Wells says:

    RC, great tip on the 1/4 CTO…makes a lot of sense and economical too. :)

  125. John A. Fugel says:

    Great tip on using gels, RC! Give us more practical stuff like this.

  126. Kevin McGrath says:

    new member of napp

  127. James Kellar says:

    I really liked the highhat!

  128. Thanks for another great show – I really love your bite sized easy to remember and even easier to action tips.

    Guess what I have just ordered some velcro dots to make my own flash gels!


  129. Hey RC, nice episode about the tripod. I’ve started using a trypod more and more and am now saving for a better ballhead!

    Keep up all the shows at KTV!

  130. Phil Matusiewicz says:

    Always enjoy the variety that comes with the shows. It makes think what I can be doing with my photography.

  131. Kris Olsen says:

    Love the tip on the gels, so simple. Thanks

  132. Lynn Smith says:

    Great idea using lower angle for shoots. Love watching your tips!

  133. Javier Aguilar says:

    I like the way RC gives simple and effective tips. I like the tips about the gels and just grabbing a 1/4 of the thickness to change the light and stacking them if you need a stronger filter. Great Job Guys and keep them coming because I don’t miss any episodes.

  134. David Lundin says:

    Love the use of the Hihat!

  135. Roger says:

    Great show.

  136. STANLEY MOISE says:

    I watch this show all the time. I think you guys have a lots of great photography Tricks.

  137. jeff st.onge says:

    Great tip on using gels.

  138. W Patrick Clements says:

    Great show Great Redbull too

  139. Joseph Myers says:

    Hey I like your show and your prizes. Thanks.

  140. Edward Deiro says:

    Good stuff

  141. Nils Petter Bakkerud says:

    Hi guys!!! love your shows. im starting my photoedjucation soon, andยจreally need a calibrator. so i hope i win! hehe. greetings from Norway.

  142. IraE says:

    Showing how to stack gels was very interesting. Also about how using a tripod will render sharper images.

  143. Chris Helms says:

    Why don’t you use the kelbytv/contest page?

    Other than that, great show!

    Great tip on saving money getting sheets instead of precut gels, RC.

    It’s cool to see one piece of gear be able to get WAAAAAY up high for mounting on the rafters, and also get the lowest shots with the minimal footprint necessary. Nice one, Garrison.

    Those prizes look great! I hope I win them :)

  144. Dave Prill says:

    Great show as always, very informative. Joel Grimes hit the nail on the head, nothing beats a tripod for tack sharp images.

  145. Vinay says:

    Thanks RC for the tips on gels .. cool

  146. Ken Johnson says:

    How about a primer on syncing video & audio clips from multiple cameras into a show.

  147. Ed Durr says:

    Another Great Show!

  148. Ron Lute says:

    Another great episode. Thanks for the tip on making your own gels. Great way to save.

    Nice to hear about the high hat and ways it’s used.

  149. Len Taubman says:

    RC please talk about calibrating monitors with an emphasis on types of monitors are best to calibrate.

  150. Rich says:

    Good show RC – always enjoy the tips and alway keen to learn.

  151. Jeff Whitford says:

    Great tip on the gels and an easy way to use them.

  152. Gerardo Palermo says:

    Great show as always! I’m loving PT&T

  153. CARLOS ZALDIVAR says:

    Great show and episode 18 hope to see longer time on the episodes. More on canon equipment and all other equipment. I would like to see some info on Canon 5d Mark 3. Also more info on how to use canon speedlights.

  154. Tim Erskine says:

    Thanks for the tip RC; I’ve got full sized gels and didn’t think about snipping some for my speedlight. Cool Hi-Hat!

  155. Good tips this week. How about the new D7100 next week? ;<)

  156. Steve Vansak says:

    The Induro Hi Hat is something I never knew existed. Can’t wait to add this to my tool kit. Would love to see more niche accessories featured. Thanks!!

  157. Jeremy says:

    Great show as always, I loved the high hat tip, and I’d love to see more inventive ways to mount remote cameras/flashes.

  158. Larry Bye says:

    Great filter tip and show

  159. Jim Gilliland says:

    Great show. Your tip on the gels is a great cost saving way to color correct.

  160. Bob Nowak says:

    great show. it would be nice to show the effects the various gels have on pictures at the same time as the velcro tip. Kind of a 2-fer for us new photographers

  161. Guy Baker says:

    Love the show and loving Kelby Training. Any chance of some tutorials on photo restoration at some point ??

  162. Ash says:

    Hi RC, Another great show it’s a shame nobody in the UK seems to produce anything as professional. Anyway my only suggestion is that maybe (if possible) you could shorten the opening credits – I cant wait for each show to start and I lack patience.

  163. Robert Wolf says:

    Enjoyed the gel DIY… great tip RC

  164. Rajender Paul says:

    great job

  165. Rich says:

    Where did the Concepcion go R.C.?

  166. Flora says:

    Great gel tip. I’d love to see more simple and practical tips.
    Glyn’s class on Kelby training is great.

  167. R.C.

    Great presentation on gels for the flash. Could you show the effect of each gel on a photo? That would really help in understanding when to use which gel.



  168. Eric says:

    Am I too late to win?

    Love the show as always.
    I would like to see more longer shows. 25 mins? You can do it!

  169. Dana Stiefel says:

    Haven’t watched in a while, great episode….Loved the gel tips for stacking…..I’m curious though, is there a bigger light loss going through multiple sheets as opposed to one sheet say at a Full CTO (instead of 4 – ยผ cut gels)?

  170. As always, great stuff!

  171. carl ziegs says:

    thanks for the show

  172. Joe Marino says:

    Great tips on the gels …
    Please provide some ideas on balancing light when using strobes on your camera.

  173. Ernie Lau says:

    Loved the show and the Induro tripod.

  174. larry white says:

    WOW !!

  175. Lewis Johnston says:

    Velcro……’s a wonderful thing!
    Great tip RC

  176. Ramesh says:

    Great episode thanks for the tip about using tripod-induro!

  177. Thanks for sharing your insights. Every episode something new to learn and discover.

    A tutorial on using gels and the various possible effects to achieve would be fantastic to see here on the “Kelby” site.

  178. Steve Barrett says:

    Great show – it is always good to see what’s new for gear and the tips are even better. Thanks for the time and trouble to post these.

  179. Jason D says:

    If you are using a Grey card to set WB, do you really need the CTO filters when mixing ambient incandescent and flash?

    Great Show!

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