July 20, 2012

photography: video light and daylight

With the recent lighting workshop in New York, we again played with the use of video light … and then took it out to the street. The blue-ish tones of the shady side of the building here, contrasted beautifully with the warm glow of the video light.

As with the article, gelling your flash to get a blue background, this is something that can work very well when we use light sources with different color balance, thereby attaining those complementary colors. The rapid fall-off in light also helped give the photograph a dramatic quality.

The photo above is a crop of the actual image which is also a pull-back shot then to show where the light was positioned:

camera settings:
1/200 @ f/3.5 @ 800 ISO

equipment used:
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II (vendor);   Lowel ID-Light (vendor)
Turning into another direction, we had the early evening city as a backdrop. Using a long telephoto zoom helped isolate Anelisa against these out-of-focus colors.

The technique here was to choose a background which wasn’t much brighter than we’d be able to get from the video-light … and then bring up the exposure on her with the video light. It really is the same technique we use with flash – expose for the background, and then lift the exposure for your subject with flash … or, as in this case, a video light.

I used Imagenomic Portraiture and Nik Color Efex 4 filters here to retouch the photograph.

camera settings:
1/200 @ f/3.5 @ 800 ISO

equipment used:
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II (vendor);   Lowel ID-Light (vendor)


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{ 6 comments. } Add a Comment

1 Jason Craven July 20, 2012 at 11:07 am

What are you using to power the light?


2 DougG July 20, 2012 at 11:49 am

Thanks for posting. I looked at the link to B&H for the ID-Light, but is the power supply for the light?


3 Neil vN July 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Doug, the link to the power supply is there in the list of video light equipment.

Bescor MM-9 XLRNC battery


4 Trev July 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm


You need to also purchase a power supply [battery] for the Lowell light.

However, a cheaper and a much longer lasting [but heavier option] is I also purchased the XLR connector which goes into the Lowell’s connector and soldered the other end onto slide clips which fits onto a 12V sealed motorcycle battery, cost me only around $80 and I still have the battery which is now over 4 years old.

It lasts a very long time in power. I also got a little carry bag with it at the same time, $6, with a shoulder strap so my assistant has the light on a mono, and carries the power supply over shoulder.



5 Felipe Anciaes July 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Hi Neil!
Once more, a fantastic shot!
With flash, you can easyly control the background exposure and the flash fill, separately.
How do you do this with video light? Once you have your expouser for the BG, how do you meter it for the subject? Just with the spot metering of the camera?


6 Neil vN July 25, 2012 at 3:35 am

Felipe … I don’t specifically meter. From experience, I know what the range of my exposure settings will be. So it is more of a guesstimate, and then I adjust my settings by looking at the camera’s display.

Neil vN


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