September 22, 2011
romantic wedding portraits with video light
By now it should be clear that I’m quite a fan of video lights for the romantic portrait session with a couple. The Incandescent WB of the video light usually matches the existing light fairly well. Because video light has a rapid fall-off in light intensity to the edges of the beam, it doesn’t “flatten” out the light like bounce flash would. In addition, the video light can seem quite natural in context of the existing light, and not even look like additional lighting. Somehow the light just appears to be great right there.
Here are two of my favorite images from a recent wedding, where I had my assistant hold up an LED video light to help light the couple. (It’s the same wedding where I used the black foamie thing during the indoor ceremony.)
July 14, 2011
bounce flash for portraits of a bride
Deep into the busy part of the wedding season, the articles posted recently will be more wedding-centric than usual. But, as I’ve mentioned before, many of the techniques translate to other fields of photography.
This photograph of a bride, Christine, received some very favorable comments when I posted it on Facebook. So I thought it might make a good topic here, as well as being a good recap of some essential bounce flash techniques. The portrait is quite straightforward in execution – the lighting was quite simple, but effective. It was also super fast to set up.
May 25, 2011
video clip – using LED video light for photography
Regular visitors to the this website will know that I favor video lights for dramatic portraits. The what-you-see-is-what-you-get nature of it, makes it really easy to get interesting light on your subjects. But it does need some finessing in how you position it for portraits.
Meeting up with Anelisa, one of my favorite models, Jessica and I created this video clip to show exactly how I use the video light for portraits. It also explains my starting point in choosing the direction of light, and also shows how I direct Anelisa during the shoot.
May 4, 2011
using a gelled LED video light for a change in color balance
Continuing with the theme of combining dramatically different color balances in a single image, there is this striking portrait of Rebekah. She is one of our models at the workshop at Treehaven, WI, this week. Working in the fading evening light, I had Rebekah pose somewhere in the middle of a large clump of trees. I knelt down so that I could shoot up and catch the last remnants of the evening sky as the background.
The blue light filtering through the trees was then exaggerated by using an LED video light with the deep Amber gel on it. LED video lights are balanced for daylight, so the light from them is quite ‘cold’ compared to Incandescent light. By now using the specific gels that are supplied with it, you can change the color balance of the video light to match Incandescent / Tungsten light. It is normal to work with the Amber gel to shift the LED video light towards the warm spectrum of Incadescent light.
In photographing our model here, I wanted to use the warm light from the Amber-gelled LED video light to create a big jump between that and the color of our background light. (I specifically didn’t want to use the LED video light as daylight-balanced light source.) This now caused the blue-ish tones of the evening light to go to a much deeper shade of blue. The rapid fall-off in the light from the video light, gave that typical spot-light effect. This really accentuated her face.
The pull-back shots reveal just how big a jump it really was in the color between our surroundings and the video light …
April 20, 2011
using two LED video lights for effect
A favorite image from today’s workshop (Dana Point, CA), was lit by two LED video lights. Our one model, Virginia, was posed against the back of a waterfall display in the hotel lobby.
When I first saw this display in the lobby, and saw how it looked when backlit by the available light in the front, I knew it would make for an interesting backdrop. Flash would even out the light too much though – especially bounce flash – so I knew this would be an ideal place for a dramatic portrait with video light. So in the late afternoon, the workshop group photographed Virginia against this display.
We resorted to two LED video lights though, since we were able to minimize a specific problem we had in using just one light …
April 8, 2011
March 28, 2011
using video light as fill-light for the romantic wedding portraits
Having just photographed my first wedding of 2011, I’m back in the groove of things. Keeping to the recent theme of showing how video lights are used for photography, I’d like to show a small selection of images of Cherryl and Jim’s wedding where I used a video light to enhance the existing incandescent lighting at the reception venue …
March 25, 2011
comparative review: Lowel ID-light & Litepanels MicroPro LED light & Dedo Ledzilla
The use of video light for stills photography has become ever more popular in recent years, as high-ISO capable cameras made it possible to shoot in lower light without having to resort to flash. The immediacy of video light – the ‘wysiwyg’ nature of video light – makes it an interesting light source to play with and experiment with on a shoot. The dramatic quality of the light is also quite appealing.
Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of video light out there:
- the traditional Tungsten / Incandescent lamps,
- video lights with an array of LEDs providing the light.
The LED video lights have several advantages over the “proper” video lights:
- they don’t become too hot to touch,
- they run for much longer, and most use AA batteries,
- they are balanced for Daylight, and can be gelled for Incandescent,
- they are more compact.
So to see just how this all stack up in actual use, I decided to compare three video lights:
- the Lowel ID-light
- MicroPro LED video light
- Dedo Ledzilla video light
We’re going to specifically look at how bright they are and how their light spread is, and what their quality of light is like …
March 15, 2011
wedding photography – how to work with the videographer’s light
With wedding receptions, we’re most often working within a very warm spectrum. There are tungsten (incandescent) lights all around. (**) There is candle light. There might be twinkling lights as decoration … and there is the videographer’s light. The videographer’s light will be Tungsten balanced, even if it is an LED video light that they are using. (***)
So while a wedding photographer might be using a lot of flash to dominate the lighting .. and settle for Cloudy or Flash WB, there is often a conflict of interest when the videographer joins in with his video light. The video light obviously has a much warmer white balance than flash. So how do we best deal with this?
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March 7, 2011
photo sessions - Shawna – using a variety of photographic lighting options
Shawna is the delightful model I used while I was in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. She helped us out during the mini-workshops I offered, as well as some photos of my own. I’ve posted a few photos from these already, but thought it might be interesting to show a further selection of images and discuss them …
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