If you’ve ever tried to shoot people by candlelight, you know that you really need a lot of candles to cast light more than a few inches and your subject has to be really close to those candles to pick up that light.
When I was working on the shoot for Nikon Japan with the 24mm f/1.4 lens, we had a nice setup with the lovely Rose, a family friend, in period clothes at the piano of the Parry Mansion lit with several candelabras.
But the candles weren’t casting a clean, usable light.
So, how to keep the feel of candlelight, but boost the volume? Hit the jump to find out how some video technology came into play.
When putting together a little kit for my small video camera, I came across the Litepanel LP Micro LED On Camera light. It’s tiny, rides in the hotshoe of your videocam or video-enabled DSLR, has dimmable light from a bank of LEDs. It also comes with a diffusing panel and a warming filter.
I dug the light out of my bag o’ SB’s, put the warming and diffusing filters on, and had Peggy hold it just off camera left, from the same direction as the candelabra. Then it was just a matter of using the dimmer to just add a kiss of light on Rose’s face.
The light was the same color, direction, and intensity as the candles, and it blended in nicely.
The LitePanel Micro now comes with me (and my speedlites) everywhere. Ironically, the one place I haven’t used it yet is on the video camera, which was the original reason I bought it.
I’m sure that will change one day, but in the meantime, this has become my favorite little accent light for stills too.