A little while ago I was teaching one of my lighting workshops and one of the attendees was looking to implement some of the set-ups I was sharing into his workflow. Seems simple enough right? Well it turns out this photographer was a Formula 1 trackside shooter that needed to get portraits of drivers and crew. As you may well imagine, there is limited time to setup a photoshoot in a busy pit-lane on race-day, so he was after lighting modifiers that would be suitable for his slightly more ‘run-and-gun’ portraits.
Every new Slow Mo Guys video just makes me go “wow!”. Seething every day things shot at tens or hundreds of thousand frames per second and then massively slowed down just reveals such amazing things. It might be something incredibly beautiful, or funny, or just plain fascinating to watch.
One thing they get asked about regularly, though, is to film light itself. A seemingly impossible task, but now they’ve done it, using a camera that shoots at an extremely crazy 10,000,000,000,000 frames per second.
Well, even though Light’s L16 wasn’t the critically acclaimed success that the hype hoped it would be, it looks like Light’s technology is definitely being taken seriously by the smartphone world. After some heavy investment from Leica, a partnership with Sony, and the new Nokia 9 PureView containing Light tech, Light has now announced a new partnership with Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi.
Light, the company behind the Light L16 camera which contains 16 sensors and lenses, has announced that they’ve teamed up with Sony to create the next generation of multi-camera smartphones. Well, we knew Light was working on something to do with phones, and now it looks like it’s official.
The system began a few years ago when I needed more light stands and, like most DIY types, didn’t want to pay a lot for them. I happened to have a lot of 3/4″ PVC and 1/2″ metal conduit laying around so I started experimenting. My goal was to come as close as I could to the functions of a retail light stand. The basic stand fits the bill except for the fact that the legs don’t collapse. Since this was a DIY project I wasn’t limited to manufacturer’s accessories. I could dream up as many different add-ons as I wanted. The simple stand soon grew into a complete light support system.
If you’re a photographer, chances are that someone has bought you a lens mug so far. Or maybe you already have a few of those (I know I do). We all know more than one lens mug is just too much – so why not repurpose it? In this video, Dave Knop a.k.a. Knoptop will show you how to turn a lens mug into a desk lamp. It’s simple to make and it looks pretty neat!
When it comes to lighting effects for photography, only your imagination is the limit. In this video, Derrick Freske will show you five tricks that require nothing but your smartphone flashlight as the light source. They’re simple and cheap, but they can give many creative effects to your images.
I have no idea where I first heard this, but it’s extremely true: “the main difference between painting and photography is that the painters need to work hard to put things into their images, whereas photographers have to work hard to take things out of their images.” Painters start with a blank canvas, and every single thing that ends up in the final piece of art is a result of careful craftsmanship, years of hard-earned skill, and raw intention. The photographer’s canvas, on the other hand, is all of the world’s visual chaos, and he or she must deploy an equivalent amount of craftsmanship, skill, and intention to weed out all the fluff.
Light made big news when they announced the L16 back in 2015. A crazy handheld camera that was actually 16 cameras in one. Not much bigger than a smartphone it threatened the end of DSLRs. The sample images looked very impressive, but when it got into peoples hands, they were entirely underwhelmed. It didn’t kill DSLRs.
But people did take notice. People at companies like Leica Camera AG and SoftBank Vision Fund, who have now invested $121 million in the unconventional camera company. It’s an interesting, but not an illogical investment for Leica. The merging of their hardware knowhow and Light’s software expertise could be a perfect combination.