Avant-Garde Photography With Lindsay Adler & Rosco Gobos

Fashion and beauty photographer Lindsay Adler has risen to the top of her industry as both a photographer and as an educator. Based in New York City, her fashion editorials have appeared in numerous publications including Marie Claire, Numero, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. As a photographic educator, Lindsay’s energy and enthusiastic teaching style showcase her excitement to share her passion and knowledge with others via live and digital photography workshops, and through her five books. She also offers photographic tutorials in the Learn+ section of her website. Below, Lindsay describes one recent tutorial that utilized Rosco Color Glass Gobos, which inspired a lot of interest from photographers around the world.

My lighting style is all about control and color. I use slices and textures of light to create dimension and interest in my shots. You seldom see me using something as simple as a single soft light to create my more recognizable images. Instead, I use lighting modifiers like grids, fresnels, and gels for control, color, and impact. In fact, I designed my very own light modifier - the Westcott Optical Spot by Lindsay Adler - to give me even more control. The Optical Spot is a modifier with a lens on the front that allows you to create an extremely hard and focused beam. You can also use it to project Gobos, which can add shadows, shape, texture, and even color into your photography lighting setup.

Use the Westcott Optical Spot with a Westcott FJ400 Strobe (sold separately) to project gobos in your photography lighting setup.The Westcott Optical Spot attached to a Westcott FJ400 Strobe (sold separately).

I use gobos in my work in several ways:

  • To create subtle dappled patterns of light on my scene or ‘emulate’ natural light.
  • To project bold shapes and patterns onto my subject or background.
  • To create interesting textures and colors of light that would be impossible otherwise!


For the last decade, I have been using traditional metal gobos in my images, and a few years ago I tried out the Rosco Pride Glass Gobo in one of my shots for a colorful and bold image to celebrate Pride Month. Recently I decided to revisit the concept of glass gobos, and I am in LOVE. Glass gobos can provide more detail, color, intricacy, and unique gobo concepts than I get with a traditional metal gobo. I can have everything from the pattern of a stained-glass window to a kaleidoscope, or even the texture of rain on a window.

Rosco Prismatic Effects Glass Gobos

In this photography lighting setup, a Westcott Optical Spot projects a Rosco Kaleidoscope Prismatic Gobo onto the model and the background.

I am always pushing myself to experiment with light. ALWAYS. Then I pass on what I discover to my audience of passionate photographers. In fact, I have a monthly membership platform called Learn+ where I select a new topic to explore and create images. A recent Learn+ episode had an “Avant Garde '' theme and I decided to revisit glass gobos, which led me to pick up an #R43801 Kaleidoscope Prismatic Gobo from Rosco. Using the Optical Spot, I projected this affordable Effects Glass Gobo, which is covered in dozens of pieces of colorful glass, as a background light and to create beautiful streaks of light toward the subject.

Photographer Lindsay Adler used Rosco Prismatic gobo #R43801 Kaleidoscope to create colorful streaks of light on the subject's face in her Avant-Garde photography tutorial.

Rosco Color Glass Gobos

The results of the Prismatic gobo were SO striking, that went through the Rosco catalog to see what other colored glass gobos I could introduce into my glass gobo collection! One of the Rosco Glass Gobos I found was #R86763 3D CD. When this Multi-Color Glass Gobo was placed inside the Optical Spot, it projected vibrant splashes of color onto my model and onto the background.

Lindsay used Rosco Glass Gobo #R86763 3D CD in her photography lighting setup project vibrant colors onto the model and the background.

If you want to see the making of both of these gobo images – and even more bold, experimental photographic techniques – be sure to sign up for Learn+ and watch the Avant-Garde episode: lindsayadler.photo/learnplus. Not only is there a tutorial video, but I also have lighting recipes to show you exactly what you need to recreate the shot, including distance of light, power of light, the modifiers that were used, behind-the-scenes images, diagrams, and more! Sign up for Learn+ and begin experimenting with me today!

An #R43801 Kaleidoscope Prismatic Effects Glass Gobo and an #R86763 3D CD Color Glass Gobo.#R43801 Kaleidoscope Prismatic Gobo (L) and #R86763 3D CD Color Glass Gobo (R).

To learn more about Lindsay Adler, and to see more of her stunning work, you can visit her website: lindsayadlerphotography.com, or follow @lindsayadler_photo on Instagram. If you’d like more information about the photography lighting tools she used in her Avant-Garde tutorial – you can learn more about the Westcott Optical Spot by Lindsay Adler and you can explore the entire Rosco Gobo Catalog.

Joel Svendsen January 11, 2024 Questions?

About Joel Svendsen

Marketing Director: Joel's Rosco career began in Rosco's Hollywood office in 1999 – first in sales covering the Western US and the Los Angeles Film & Television market, and then as Product Manager for Rosco's Film & Television Products. Joel's knowledge about Rosco's products and how they're used in each of our different marketplaces makes him well suited for bringing the stories in Spectrum to life.