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Not sure if this is quite the right place to post this, as it might also link to colour theory, but I hope someone can help.

I have been shooting colour instant photograms using a new back from Lomography with a basic flash on Fuji Instax wide film.

The natural light from this flash (or combined with this film) gives a green tint.

I have a load of gels, but I am trying to work out if there is some way to calculate the colour correction needed to neutralise the green. By my reckoning it should be some sort of red tone (I seem to recall lighting uses an additive colour method, but I am rusty).

Can anyone confirm if there is some way to achieve this? If not I am happy to try and trawl through it using various settings and making a note of the results.

Here is an example:

Instant colour photogram

(Interestingly I have also worked creating similar imagery using Fuji FP100C pack film, this gives a blue tone).

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  • It's really hard to tell anything from a picture which appears to be of a green object on an almost perfectly grey background.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 30 '21 at 13:00
  • The object is tracing paper, so pretty much white. The green background is just the film exposed to direct light from the flash.
    – lharby
    Dec 30 '21 at 13:01
  • It seems to me that if you neutralize green you're going to pretty much have a grey scale image. Why not just use B&W film? Is B&W instant film still available?
    – Michael C
    Dec 30 '21 at 15:29
  • That is not unreasonable. But my long term goal is to be able to try and create any colour, currently greys/creams/pastels. But having the control is what I am after. Making it neutral to begin with is good, I want to build on that eventually.
    – lharby
    Dec 30 '21 at 18:28
  • And yes you can get Instax monochrome.
    – lharby
    Dec 30 '21 at 18:28
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To neutralize colors, add the complementary color.

  • Cyan – Red
  • Magenta – Green
  • Yellow – Blue

So for a greenish photo, you can try a magenta gel over the flash or color-correction filter over the lens. Fluorescent lights are historically greenish, so an F-DL filter might do what you need. (They're often included in cheap filter kits, so you might have one already.)

For blue and orange, there are CTB and CTO filters ("color temperature"). Other colors may have some "CC" designation ("color correction"; eg, Tiffen CC30M).

When working with instant film or digital, you can use trial and error to figure out the right "strength" to use. Otherwise, you would need a color meter to read the temperature and tint (CC factors) to select the filter. (Sekonic appears to be the primary extant color-meter manufacturer.)

There are reportedly color meter apps for iPhone.

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  • Thanks so much, really appreciate it.
    – lharby
    Dec 30 '21 at 14:29
  • 1
    @lharby You're welcome... though, I suppose it's not significantly better than "trawl through it using various settings and making a note of the results"... You might be able to cut down on wasted film by using a digital camera with a fixed white balance setting (eg, "daylight" + tint) as a reference to look for filters to try.
    – xiota
    Dec 30 '21 at 14:52

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