Tag Archives: Lighting

Rotolight Releases new On-Camera Lighting Kit

from Gear Patrol


If you’ve ditched the camcorder for a DSLR equipped with video then you already know that flash isn’t much much help when it comes to a dark scene, even if you’re packing a fast lens. The Rotolight ($110) remedies that by providing a convenient on-board ring light packed with 48 LED’s that mounts to either a hotshoe or a shotgun mic to provide you with 50 watts worth of shadowless light. The Rotolight can switch between three color temperatures to match your environment and 6 included filters stow in the light’s rear casing. Go forth, Sundance.

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Color Temperature & Color Rendering Index Demystified

Lowel Lighting have written a great article that takes the confusion out of colour temperature and color rendering index.

Color Temperature Defined
Color temperature has been described most simply as a method of describing the color characteristics of light, usually either warm (yellowish) or cool (bluish), and measuring it in degrees of Kelvin (°K).

That’s a little too simple to be of more than introductory value.

A more technical definition assigns a numerical value to the color emitted by a light source, measured in degrees of Kelvin. The Kelvin Color Temperature scale imagines a black body object— (such as a lamp filament) being heated. At some point the object will get hot enough to begin to glow. As it gets hotter its glowing color will shift, moving from deep reds, such as a low burning fire would give, to oranges & yellows, all the way up to white hot. Light sources that glow this way are called “incandescent radiators”, and the advantage to them is that they have a continuous spectrum. This means that they radiate light energy at all wavelengths of their spectrum, therefore rendering all the colors of a scene being lit by them, equally. Only light from sources functioning this way can meet the truest definition of color temperature.

The above is not a true Color Temperature chart. Instead it is a hybrid, showing the color temperatures of light sources most commonly encountered in professional imaging. In our scale, tungsten-halogen has a color temperature of 3200°K. Household fluorescents are accepted to be around 4500°K, depending on the lamp.

Read the whole article here
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Understanding Soft Light

Lowel Lighting have posted another excellent lighting article, this time explaining how soft lighting affects the subject of your photo/video.

Soft Light Explained
A soft light source would be one that appears larger in relative size than the subject being lit. Being larger than the subject, the light source is covering it from a greater angle and, as a result, filling in more of the potential shadow areas.

This effect is called wrap around lighting, because the coverage of the light source appears to wrap itself around the subject. A light source that is smaller than the subject cannot wrap light around it and fill the shadows.

While shadowless, or flat, lighting can be a legitimate lighting style, light that is too soft can rob an image of its sense of dimension and depth. The shot lit by the overcast sky is an example of this.

Don’t forget that your image is 2 dimensional, and you are giving the illusion of depth thru the creative use of shadows and contrast. These details are also what give the viewer clues about the form and textures in fabrics and food; or surfaces like weathered wood and rough stone.

Lighting is not always either hard or soft. There is a whole range of creative possibilities in between these 2 extremes. Note the visible differences in the shadows behind the 2 statue images above. Moving the soft light back created a smaller source, making the effect of the output harder and the shadows stronger.

Read the whole article here
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Lighting for HD Video

Lowel Lighting have posted a great article on how to use their lights to effectively provide light when filming in HD.

Video cameras and post production equipment have continued to evolve & improve over the years. As a result, there has also been the continual need to improve the art & craft of lighting, in order to take advantage of the additional abilities.

High Definition video cameras offer increased resolution and a greater range of contrast than those of the past. Simply put, your images will be sharper and have more subtlety in the shadings between light & dark.

The ability to reproduce finer detail can be worrisome for people in front of the camera, as cosmetic imperfections are more easily detected. The knee-jerk reaction can be to try and completely fix it with soft lighting.

The HD cameras ability to render more subtle gradients of shadow gives you a wider palette of creative shading possibilities. Slight adjustments to your lighting can have profound implications when dealing with shadow details.

Read the whole article here
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