How To Use MIXBOOK® To Choose Gel Colors For Your Next Photo Shoot

Paul Monaghan is a photographer and Sigma Ambassador from Scotland who recently published a review of our MIXBOOK Digital Swatchbook on Below are excerpts from Paul’s article that describe how MIXBOOK works, how he used it for a self-portrait project, and how photographers can use MIXBOOK to choose the gel colors for their upcoming photo shoots.

Paul begins the article by stating how important colored light is for photographers. He notes how color can be used to establish time, place, or even emotions in an image. He then asks the million-dollar question: “Wouldn’t it be nice to have something that makes working with color easier?” Paul answers that question by introducing his readers to the Rosco MIXBOOK Digital Swatchbook.



Here is how Paul defined MIXBOOK in his review: “This tool isn’t designed to be used as an LED
light source, but rather a tool to help visualize and share color ideas when
planning a shoot.”

Inside the box: MIXBOOK - neoprene pouch - micro-USB charging cable

In the article, Paul notes the simple, minimalist design of MIXBOOK as he describes how it only has a power button, the micro-USB charging port, and an LED indicator on the side, with a ¼-20 thread for mounting on the bottom.

Next, Paul explains how MIXBOOK is easily controlled via Bluetooth® using Rosco’s free myMIX® app, which is available for both iOS® and Android® mobile devices. Using the app, Paul notes how photographers can create their own colors in the myMIX app, and then use a MIXBOOK to explore how their colors actually render as light. They can also upload inspirational photographs into the app and explore those illuminated color palettes with a MIXBOOK.

What Paul found most useful, however, were the True Rosco Color™ gel matches. Using the myMIX app, photographers can now previsualize over 130 different verified Rosco gel colors. Paul noted how useful it was to experiment with the MIXBOOK before his photo shoot so that he could choose the gel colors he needed to buy.



Near the end of the review, Paul described how he used the MIXBOOK to determine his color choices for the “Mad MIXBOOK Scientist” self-portrait that he created for the article.

choose gel colorsShot using a Sigma SD Q-H with an 18-35mm f1.8 Art lens and a K&F Concept 1/4 Black Mist filter.

Using the MIXBOOK, he was able to explore what different gel colors would look like on a 5600K source. He ended up using R89 Moss Green, E049 Medium Purple, and R04 Medium Bastard Amber gels on his 5600K Spekular LED lights to create the color washes seen in the photo. 

choose gel colors



Paul concludes that “MIXBOOK is a great little device to help creatives see color while visualizing a shot.” He appreciated how easy MIXBOOK makes it to choose colors before buying the sheets or rolls needed for a photo shoot. Paul also noted how photographers “could even use a few MIXBOOKS to see how different colors will mix together.”

Make sure to read Paul’s original DIY Photography product review of the MIXBOOK for more insight. Inside, you'll find another lighting setup featuring Rosco gels that Paul chose after experimenting with his MIXBOOK. You can also follow Paul on Instagram if you’d like to see more examples of his photography. If you want to learn more about Rosco’s MIXBOOK Digital Swatchbook, please visit

Joel Svendsen April 29, 2021 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.