Scattergels – pictures and inspiration

Jul 6, 2015 | Continuous Lighting, Fujifilm X, Location, Studio | 7 comments

A lighting style defined by a £42 accessory

It was just under three years ago that I decided to create a set of gobo (go between) filter gels. I wanted to utilise the clips on the barn doors of the then new Lupolux LED spotlights. Luke and I set to work and between us we created the Lovegrove ScatterGel™ collection.

01.

01. I usually just use one light with a Scattergel to create my looks. The shot top left however has three lights, two of them with Scattergels.

Here are my favourite shots taken with Scattergels. They are all taken using Fuji X cameras. In this post I share and the tips and tricks needed to get the most from these fabulous light modifiers.

02.

02. Scattergels are designed for use with spotlights with fresnel lenses. They need a point source of light to project the pattern on the subject. They are not compatible with flash systems because the light source in a flash unit is shaped like a horse shoe or doughnut. The two tungsten lights shown in the photograph top left are the Arri 300 Junior and the Arri 150 Junior. These are the most powerful hot lights that can be used with Scattergels and only if they are used briefly for a minute or two at the most. Scattergels work best with the LED and HMI range of luminaires from Lupolux.

03.

03. Here are the 5 designs that Luke and I came up with. Some are more subtle than others and each luminaire/ Scattergel will have it’s own characteristic look. Some lamps like the Lupolux LED 1000 have a larger light source and deliver a more diffused calmer look than let’s say the Lupolux HMI 800.

Lupo Dual Colour LED Spotlights from Damien Lovegrove on Vimeo.

04.

04. Sometimes I use an ‘Alto’ Scattergel to add a dappled effect on a plain studio background.

05.

05. They work well when lighting the background and your subject with the same light. By rotating the barn doors slightly it is easy to align the clear parts of the pattern with your subject’s position. It is this process that is almost impossible when using a Speedlight or another light source without a modelling light.

06.

06. One light magic on the top shot and Chantelle in the bath. For the Film Noir shot of Chloe-Jasmine at the bottom left I used a Lupolux 650 as a back light too. The key light was a Lupolux 1000 with a ‘Crunch’ Scattergel.

07.

07. A thoroughly modern twist on boudoir uses a single Lupolux LED spotlight and an Alto Scattergel. You can add a 1/2 CTO gel too to reduce the colour temperature as I have done here. The next generation of Lupolux LED spotlights due to be released in July 2015 have an adjustable colour temperature control built in. How cool is that!

08.

08. Each Lupolux LED spotlight has a built in dimmer and the colour temperature remains constant throughout the range of adjustment. I use the dimmer in conjunction with the ISO/ exposure on the camera to control scene contrast.

09.

09. Low key works well too when using the Scattergel and Lupolux LED spotlight combination.

10.

10. I like to be brave with design and shape. I rarely let shadows disappear into blackness but occasionally it can work quite well.

11.

11. High key works well too. I used a Lupolux LED 1000 to capture this fun scene with top international model Wlada Schuler. I left the house lights on in this studio in Munich to keep the contrast manageable.

12.

12. There are so many subtle uses for Scattergels that just add that bit of magic to a simple scene.

13.

13. It’s easy to see how a lighting style can be so well defined using simple Gobos like Scattergels.

Scattergels are available here, the Lupolux 1000 spotlights are here and the great value 650 spotlights are here. From time to time there are great deals on lights or gels. We notify our customers with discount codes in our occasional newsletter. Feel free to comment below.

7 Comments

  1. Zhenyu Cai

    I am from Canada. I just stumbled on this product Scattergels. Yeah, I am very much behind :-). Nevertheless I think Scattergels is a fantastic product. Any chance you are going to make a different size of gels to go with 7″ reflectors? 7″ is the default size of the reflector on most mono LED lights, like Aputure, Godox and etc. At the moment I only found gobos or cookies to create similar background. And they need an additional light stand and they are unreasonably expensive.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Zhenyu,

      Thank you for your message and your compliments about my Scatterflash product. I’ll answer this here and post the answer on my Scatterflash website too because yours is a frequently asked question.

      In order to create distinct shadows, the light source has to be small. A small point source of light, when shone through a patterned gel or object, set some distance from it can create dappled light. The larger the light source, the softer the shadows become. The further the gel or object is from the light source, the harder the shadows become but the gel then needs to be bigger to have decent coverage in the scene. In general, non-circular light sources produce ugly shadows, these light sources include horseshoe-shaped flash tubes etc.

      With a light source as small as a Speedlight fresnel head, soft-edged shadows can be created with a gel set 35cm in front of the flash head. The shadows are pleasantly soft at this distance. The gel needs to be about 70cm wide to give a decent spread of pattern. When the size of the light source is scaled up then the gel distance and size increases too. Hence gobos for larger flash heads are often placed a few meters in front of the flash. One way around the need for this distance and size is to use an optical device to reduce the effective size of the light source, making it ‘harder’. Such devices are currently expensive and inefficient. The best options right now for creating patterned light with flash is to use a Godox AD200 fitted with the fresnel head and a Scatterflash kit. This combination is small, lightweight, powerful, battery-powered and has HSS, TTL and dedicated triggers for all modern cameras.

      I hope this helps,

      Damien

      Reply
      • Ed

        Hi Damien, have you tried this with a Godox 600 and small softbox, replacing the regular diffuser with one of the gels? It may be just about the correct distance from the flash head. I’m looking at using this in larger spaces and with a large DOF that needs more power than an AD200 can put out. Thanks.

        Reply
        • Damien

          Hi Ed,

          Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately a softbox has a reflective interior and produces soft light. Even without the diffuser it doesn’t work. However to get you going you can use a Nanlite Fl-20G and these gels: https://www.scatterflash.com/products/set-of-scatterflash-gels

          The fresnel lens only works well in full flood mode but I use this rig with my AD1200 pro and it works fine. I use croc clips to attach the gel to the barn doors.

          The rig is quite heavy and doesn’t fold small.

          I’m working on a new design optical block that has Bowens fit and will take scatterflash. It’s still at the concept stage then we have to prove the system before committing to design and prototyping.

          I hope this helps,

          Damien

          Reply
          • Ed

            Thanks Damien. I may play around with multiple ad200s tied together then, could be a solution.

          • Damien

            Hi Ed, You need a small single point of light to create clean shadows.

            Another solution may be to take a shot with the flash in the grand and another without it and remove the flash in post. I do that quite a lot. Check out picture group 5. In this recent post: https://www.prophotonut.com/2021/03/21/martina-in-lazio/

            Best wishes,

            Damien.

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