Light is something that plagues us all, whether we’re photographers or filmmakers. There’s either never enough, or it’s coming from the wrong direction, or it’s too hard or soft for what we need. So, we often need to add our own to get that look that we really want. So, with cameras and lenses out of the way, that’s what we’re going to be covering in our lighting gift guide.
Slow-motion video is a lot of fun to shoot. I’ve been playing around with it myself a bit since recently receiving the Insta360 ONE R, which is capable of shooting up to 200fps. It can be tricky, though. You need subjects that benefit from being slowed right down for a start. And if you’re using artificial lights, you need ones that are flicker-free at the fast shutter speeds required for high frame rates.
Filmmaker Edden Ram recently teamed up with the folks at Spiffy Gear to overcome both of these challenges, bringing skateboarders, capoeira and fire dancers and more together to bring water, light and motion together for a pretty awesome final result.
With cameras and lenses out of the way, it’s time to light your scene. So, you’ll need lights. I’ve noticed a distinct trend over the last year towards continuous lights, so while there are some flashes and strobes in this list, we’ve put quite a few of our favourite continuous LED lights in this year’s list, too.
A few days ago I submitted a photo to the new DIYPhotography facebook group, I am very happy to share how it was taken. Feel free to join our community and submit your best shots.
Lately, I have been playing with color gels quite a bit. While this is something I enjoy, I felt I was falling into a repetitive pattern. I started looking for a way to grow above the technique and use colors to tell a story.
Like many good things, my chance arrived part via collaborating and part via accident. My partner in crime was Yael.di . She is an amazing cosplayer. She is also a kick-ass hula hoop dancer, but I digress. One of her customs caught my attention. It is a one-of-a-kind full-body mirror outfit (check it out here). I thought that this outfit, combined with smoke and colors would tell a good mystery story. Smoke and mirrors, you know. Here is how we did it, or actually did not.
We’ve had cameras and lenses so far in our 2019 seasonal gift guides, so this time we’re turning towards lighting. Whether you shoot photography or video, you need it. And when the natural light isn’t giving you what you need, you need flash or good continuous lights. There is a wide range of flash and continuous lighting available these days, and here are some of our favourites.
The three-point lighting is the basic and the best-known setup for portraits, but it’ also the bread-and-butter of interview lighting. Coming to you from Spiffy Gear, this video will show you the basics of three-point interview lighting in a clear and concise way. There’s a breakdown of the setup, and then you’ll see some small additions to the setup that make a big difference.
If you’re like me, and you shoot mostly on location, power is an issue. For photography I solved those issues by switching to Godox strobes with light battery packs or integrated batteries. For video, though, power for continuous lights can be troublesome. Or at the very least, expensive. Some lights will allow you to use relatively inexpensive Sony NPF batteries, while others require expensive V-Mount batteries.
I’ve found another solution to my continuous power problem, though. RC lipo batteries. I had a few left over from my DJI Flamewheel F550 drone after the controller was stolen. So, I figured why not put them to good use elsewhere? They’re also great for powering cameras for battery-draining long exposure timelapse sequences, too.
So, you’ve got your camera and your lenses, but now what? The days are getting shorter, and darker, potentially limiting what you can shoot, and for how long. Even when the weather is great and the days are long, the available light doesn’t always give you what you want and you want to augment it or obliterate it completely.
So, here we’ve put together some of our favourite lights and lighting accessories, including quite a few that we use ourselves on a regular basis for both photography and video work.
Spekular is spectacular! Hmmm – a little over the top? Not really. I recently had the opportunity to put this new LED lighting system from Spiffy Gear to the test. Spiffy Gear are the folks that brought us the Light Blaster (buy link).
Spekular is a modular lighting system that can take on all kinds of shapes depending on your needs and this can save you money and the time needed to pack and set-up light modifiers especially when you are working on location. Spekular comes as a kit of 4 LED sections. Each section is built with aluminum and ABS plastic. The sections can be configured using the included hinged connectors or with the accessory extension kit.
Just when you think you’ve seen all LED lighting panels that the world can have, here comes a new LED light that makes you open your wallet again. Spekular is an all-in-one lighting panel that in addition to being a “panel” can also be a ring, a strip, an octa and even a star (how do you like them catch-lights?).
The idea is quite simple and will probably be familiar to anyone that likes playing with LEDs. Each kit holds four super-bright sections that can be connected and manipulated into various shapes.