» Posts Tagged ‘lights’

Description image

DIY Ring LightOne of the biggest components that contributes to making a film look cinematic isn’t just a great camera and lenses — it’s lighting. Many times, however, lighting kits are the pieces of gear that are rented thanks in part to their large, awkward storage requirements, as well as their high price tag. But, having lights available whenever you need them can save money and headaches in the long run, and what better way to stockpile lights than through dirt cheap, DIY builds! Continue on for a handy tutorial on how to build a $30 ring light. More »

Description image

NFS Reviews

Last month, I had a chance to talk with Andy Waplinger, the founder of Strahlen, about his brand new LED lighting solution, the ST-100 series of lights. Since that time, I’ve had the opportunity to not only have some hands-on time with the prototype ST-100′s, but to formally review them, and shoot with them on a personal project. Needless to say, the ST-100′s and I became quite close during the few weeks that they were in my possession, and I have quite a few thoughts to share about these unique lights. So, let’s get to it. More »

Description image

Airbox-light-1As much as the right camera plays a role in getting cinema/professional quality images, lighting also plays is a key factor. Getting that much desired diffusion applied to your light source to avoid harsh light and bold shadows (unless that’s what you’re looking for), means using diffusion tools, like a soft box and/or an egg crate. Enter the Airbox inflatable softbox. News Shooter has done a great review of the Model 1×1, which works with 1×1 LEDs, offering accessories, like a honeycomb grid diffuser and puncture repair kits. Continue on to check it out. More »

Description image

Strahlen Product Shots R3-020

These days, we seem to be at the beginning of an LED lighting revolution, and the future of the technology is certainly bright (dah-dun-chhh). However, the LED lighting solutions that are currently available on the market are either cheaply built, really difficult to modify, or they’re just insanely expensive. Last year, Andy Waplinger, a freelance filmmaker out of San Diego, set out to create the perfect LED light for low-budget and professional filmmakers alike. He created Strahlen, and the company’s first product, the ST-100, a ruggedly simplistic, yet incredibly powerful LED light is now available. I recently talked with Andy about the creation of these lights. Read on to see what Strahlen’s all about. More »

Description image

kino flo fluorescent soft light lighting Frieder Hochheim Shane Hurlbut ASC hurlblog visuals interview documentary filmmakingThere are several exciting new lighting revolutions in development these days, namely LED and plasma fixtures. The first such high-output/low-footprint alternative lighting technology — all but perfected for the performance needed in high-end film production — came about twenty-five years ago, with the advent of Kino Flo Lighting Systems. Kino Flo isn’t the only manufacturer pushing alternative lighting solutions with filmmaking in mind, but its name is still nearly synonymous with the technology it helped revolutionize. Check out an excellent interview below from Shane Hurlbut, ASC, with Kino Flo founder and president Frieder Hochheim to hear about how it all began and about how the company plans on lending its namesake to some of those new revolutions in lighting, too. More »

Description image

It’s certainly not the sexiest piece of gear you’re going to deal with, but dimmer switches can be unbelievably handy, especially if you have limited time and a limited budget, and you’re already working with DIY lights. A dimmer switch, if you’re not sure, is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a way to selectively dim or brighten the quantity of a light source using electricity, rather than manual means like placing a net over the light. This is an important distinction as you’re not trying to change the shape or quality of the light — just simply lower the output. Most of these can be built for very little cost, so click through to check out some tutorials on building your very own dimmer switches. More »

Description image

LED lighting has come a long way in the past 10 years. While many professionals stayed away from LEDs when they were an emergent technology (despite the fact that LEDs offered some very distinct advantages over traditional lighting technologies), you would be hard-pressed to find a current set without at least a few battery-powered units being used as accent lights. However, LEDs still aren’t ubiquitous, and in most cases they haven’t supplanted more traditional sources such as tungsten fresnels and PARs due to the fact that they have relatively low output and are comparatively harsh in the quality of their light. The Lumapad, an open source LED Kickstarter project from inventor Richard Haberkern, looks to change all of that. Check out his Kickstarter video for the Lumapad below: More »

Description image

Modern lighting technology continues to become more energy-efficient, while at the same time increasing light output. This applies to LEDs, but it also applies to plasma lighting systems, which are growing rapidly in popularity. Plasma is capable of a very naturalistic light spectrum (much closer to traditional Tungsten lights depending on the design), which is usually more difficult with LEDs. A company really pushing the boundaries of plasma technology is Hive Lighting, who recently lamped-up a 30-second Chevy ad using only batteries and a 60 amp generator — to rather impressive effect. Check out a line-item lighting breakdown of the Volt Plasma Challenge video from Hive Lighting below. More »

Description image

LED studio lights keep making leaps and bounds in technological advancement, but the price of such lights has tended to remain relatively high. However the Fiilex P360 and the P200 FlexJet are two LED studio lights touting a high CRI at all color temperatures (and the ability to smoothly tune between them), an option to run on broadcast batteries, and a light/compact form factor, each costing less than $1000. The P200 also features a lighting tool you’re not likely to find in other studio lights: fiber optics. More »

Description image

Even on projects that can afford to rent a lighting and grip package, it can be useful for you to have your own lighting kit stashed away. Whether this kit is something you keep in the trunk of your car, good in a pinch — or what you use to make your living — the boy scout motto applies. Who knows, maybe you’re up the creek, just that one cube tap or ground lift short, but because you brought your kit, your gaffer owes you a brewski when the day is done. Thanks to a few open filmmakers with some ingenuity up their sleeves, we have some details on what extremely affordable and useful gear can comprise your own DIY lighting kit. More »

Description image

Shane Hurlbut –that never-ending font of cinematography knowledge– has another great DIY solution on offer. This time he tackles the simulation of fire light. In the past, Hurlbut had used various approaches to creating fire-like lighting, but none gave him the realism that he wanted to achieve. So for The Greatest Game Ever Played he dreamt up a better way: The Medusa. More »

Description image

ikan had one of the more visible booths at NAB thanks to the extremely bright yellow shirts worn by all of their reps, in conjunction with the plethora of LED lights lining the booth. I knew about their DSLR support systems, but I didn’t know that they’ve been expanding into all areas of production equipment, as they were showing off on-camera lights, table-top dollies, bags, and monitors — both of the on-camera variety (their $1k 1024×600 VX7e monitor won a Videomaker best in show award) and the studio kind, with their acquisition of the ultra high-end Cinemáge monitor line. More »