Quick Tip: Storing Speedlite Gels

I actually like using gels on my speedlites but the biggest hassle has always been how to store them effectively. At a recent shoot, my Strobist Gell Kit had an unfortunate incident which resulted in gels flying all over the place. There simply had to be a better way to store and and organize these gels.

My good friend Chris Diset comes over yesterday and tells me that his significant other Debra has come up with a solution.

Fortunately we all had some of the small Think Tank Photo Pixel Pocket Rockets (for 6 CF cards) laying around that Think Tank Photo had given away in a recent promotion.  The trick here was to cut the separator out of each pocket, this way the gels would be able to fit into the pocket perfectly. This is not the easiest thing in the world to do, you need to be careful as the material in the back of the pockets will tear easily.

Since I use a Large Pixel Pocket Rocket for my CF cards, and its a different color than the small one, this wouldn’t be confusing during the heat of a shoot.

The result is better than I expected as the gels fit absolutely perfect into the pockets. The next decision was how to organize them, and while you may do it differently I figured I would explain how I decided to do it.

The top pocket holds my main color correction gels, this includes the CTO’s (Color Temperature Orange) or the green’s for correcting in fluorescent lighting. This middle pocket holds the color effects gels which is all of the rest of the colored gels. The bottom pocket holds all of the Neutral Density gels. This layout makes it very simple to find the gel you are looking for, and if you happen to drop it in the wind, the gels are not going to go flying everywhere.  This is such a perfect solution for storing gels that I am actually going to encourage Think Tank Photo to offer a version of this pouch like this.

So thanks to Chris and Debra for this awesome quick tip. If you have your own quick tip that you would like to share, please post in the comments section.


Kerry Garrison lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife and two dogs. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms.

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6 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    That's a much more elegant storage method than the one I use, just putting the one gel I regularly use into my regular money walllet!

  2. Ivan says:

    That'll work great. But, I use the Honl Filter Roll up. It's excellent, and keeps my gels organized and protected.

    Check it out: http://www.honlphoto.com/filter-rollup.html

    • kgarrison says:

      thanks for the tip, it seems to be a little bulky when rolled up though. If you don't have either yet, I think I would still opt for the $9.95 Pocket Rocket vs the $19.95 Rollup.

  3. J. Ash Bowie says:

    I happened to have this exact pouch from attending the Flash Bus Tour and it was just sitting there unused. A perfect solution! And it's easy to take out the middle seams with an Xacto or small sharp knife…just clip the thread from the top, not the inside, then pull out the remainder.

    Thanks for the tip!

  4. Joe S says:

    I picked up that storage tip from Joe McNally about a year ago. It works great. Think Tank bags all seem to come with the pocket rocket so I had a few of them sitting around.

  5. A quick tip on Storing 'Speedlite Gels" is quite informative…thanks for sharing with others..! 🙂

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