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Details of LED video lighting

tdoutytdouty Member
edited April 2014 in flash & lighting
After seeing Neil's great work with video lighting, I had to get one to use for our wedding photography and see what I could do with it. Seeing is one thing, but using is where the questions arise. The main question I have is in relation to color balance. I purchased a continuously variable light in regards to both power and color balance. On mine and on any of them from what I can see, I don't see any sort of indication on the color dial that shows what color temperature a given setting is. So, first off, how do you match the color of the light with the kelvin temperature of the camera? What I did with mine when practicing was to set my camera at 3700 degrees and take some pictures with the light on my subject until the color balance looked about right. I then marked that spot on the color dial as 3700 degrees. Now what I did at a wedding this past Saturday was to take the bride and groom outside against a barn wall and tried out the light. I wanted a cool tone around them so I set the light to 3700 and set the camera to 3700 and shot this picture I'll attach (the picture is just the one I grabbed off my Facebook page because I don't have the full quality version with me at the moment). I think the color looks about right on the bride (possibly slightly cool). You can see slight fall-off on the groom as the color gets cooler and the light fades. Now suppose I didn't want the cool look around them. What would the workflow be? Would I just turn on the light to any temperature and let the camera go with auto white balance or would it be done a different way? For instance, what would the color temperature be outside in the evening as sunlight is falling away? If I knew that, I could maybe try to guess where that is on the dial and then set the camera to the equivalent temperature? The two probably would not match exactly however. Inside seems to be simpler because we know that 3700 degrees may closely match incandescent, but we don't always have incandescent lighting to work with. It's many times a mixture of incandescent and some sunlight. I loved the pictures Neil did at After Dark with the video light, but I'm not sure I understand how he chose the color temperature on the light and the matching temperature in the camera. I'd love to hear how others approach this.

The light I used for this is the Genaray 240 LED battery powered light:




  • No comments? Am I the only one that doesn't have a good handle on this and finds balancing light interesting but yet confusing at the same time? I can't seem to find anything on Youtube that explains the use of video lighting very well.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited April 2014

    Sorry I did not see this post otherwise I would have commented.

    Regarding "suppose I did not want the blue around them", then you would have to increase the kelvin to around 5400 on the video and same setting on camera which will warm up the entire scene and be correct for their faces.

    As to the setting on the light with no markings in between which you described, you would presume the lowest setting is 3700K with 5400K being the highest and have to work out that setting the dial in the middle would give you around 4550K and then adjust camera kelvin to that to get between.

    Other than that trial and error, you would need to test personally as I have no knowledge of this particular light.

    Auto WB, nope, set WB manually in camera, and adjust until you are happy on LCD, shoot in RAW, then bulk sync across the board for all the shots if it's out and you adjust the first image.

    As to exposure, well you adjust ambient light to whatever you want background to be, turn on light and then adjust the light on faces until you get a correct exposure to the settings you chose.

    The above photo you posted looks a little cool, so whatever you set the dial to for that shot, you would need to dial in a couple of hundred K more in the camera's Kelvin settings to suit.

    Trial and tests would be the way to go, it costs nothing, so get somebody to 'model' for you, and start shooting.

  • Thanks Trev. That's pretty much what my approach has been so far so I guess it's just more playing around with it. I was just curious if there was more of a science to it that I was missing. So it sounds like the workflow is to set the camera to the ambient color temperature and exposure you like and then try to match the color temperature of the light with the temperature of the camera and just guess where it might be on the dial and set the power of the light or change the distance for correct exposure. I wish they would put some preset temperatures on the dial so you'd have an idea where to put the dial rather than just guess about where the correct spot is based on ratios between the high and low.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited April 2014
    ummm, no, you set the camera's WB to match the color temp of the video light you set, and let the ambient temp fall where it may be, not set WB for the ambient light.

    Your opening statement is a little ambiguous in stating 'workflow is to set the camera to the ambient color temperature' then you somehow again adjust the camera's WB for the light which is impossible.

    You only set the camera to the ambient light 'exposure' you want, it may not be 'correct' exposure but then you adjust the video light until you reach correct exposure on what you are lighting up.

    Regarding the dial, I would mark say 1/3rd stops on the dial, work out like I did above what the temp should be at halfway, do some maths to get the approx. WB settings on the dial.

  • I would WB off of the brides white dress or a white target, as Trev said “let the ambient fall where it may be”.

    If the photo was shot in RAW just correct the WB using the brides white dress.
  • I actually used my color checker passport for the picture preceding the one above, but I don't think I had the video light on it, so it's pretty much worthless. If I had lit the color checker (and the white balance card with it) up near her face, I could have used it correct?

    Sorry Trev for the confusion on the initial post. For the picture above, I did set the video light for where I think 3700 degrees is on the dial and set the camera for 3700 to match it as well and then let the ambient fall cool. I may do what you suggested and put some other temperatures on the dial for reference.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    tdouty said: If I had lit the color checker (and the white balance card with it) up near her face, I could have used it correct?
    Yep! Needs to be lit in the same light, but I don't have that or ever used it personally.
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