How to color match strobes to any lighting condition

I’ve worked out a process I wanted to share for color correcting my strobes that results in a lot less post-process color correction time (like none). This works well whether you’re shooting a wedding in a windowless hotel ballroom and need a little fill light, or when doing portraits under florescent lights.

I bought a sample pack of roscolux gels and removed all the gels that converted Kelvin and Magenta-green correction. I then taped two of the same gels together and trimmed them to fit inside my Canon 600 ex-rt gel holder.

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Using my Sekonic c-500 meter, I took a reading of the gels’ temperature by strobing the gel through the flash at the color meter. This gave me the gel’s temperature reading, which I then recorded directly on the gel with a sharpie.

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When on location for a shoot, I read the color temperature of the ambient light in an indoor location. This will give me two readings: a temperature reading in kelvin and a tint reading in magenta.

Next, I take the gel filter pack I created and stack the gels in my 600 EX-RT gel clip to numerically match both readings from the C-500.

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The last step is to color balance the camera to match the color of the gels. This is done by shooting a grey card with a flash and white balancing the camera off the grey card. Just to be safe, I will also shoot a color checker passport to create a profile in Lightroom to ensure accuracy. See examples below.

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Here are a few more examples below.

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