Dedolight

Posts tagged ‘lighting’:

Finding Your Niche – Ultra-Precise Lighting Made Possible by the Dedolight Imager Projection Attachment

As noted many times on this blog, the photography and filmmaking business has seen huge changes in the last decade. Smartphone photos are running on the front page of the New York Times. Lights and cameras have become cheaper, often with little regard to their quality. And what does it mean to be a photographer when everyone is always taking pictures? If you’re a freelancer, this last item is an issue you’re forced to reckon with in order to get paying work. As the saying goes: “it isn’t your fault, but it is your problem.”

One way to stand out from the crowd is to find a niche and own it (preferably in a line of work for which people will pay well.) In the case of Angel Penchev of Bulgaria, that means focusing (sorry) on rare coins and medallions. Watch this video to see how he uses Dedolight heads, including the Dedolight Imager Projection Attachment, to control light across each tiny element on the coins’ faces.

Some time ago, I did a few tests on the focusing capabilities of the DP2. We had recently moved into a larger office space and, much to our surprise, discovered that the previous tenants had left a box of old Barbie dolls in one of the filing cabinets. (Why isn’t it ever a briefcase full of cash??!)

Anyway, I had the tongue-in-cheek idea to use the dolls as models; you don’t have to pay them, they never get tired, and they always sit perfectly still. Using the Dedolight Imager Projection Attachment along with the DPEYESET filters, I was able to easily highlight details like the dolls’ jewelry or eyes. Obviously, this method would work equally well on tiny details on live models — who you do have to pay, but, by the same token, can probably give you more than a single vacant expression.

Barbie doll highlighted with Dedolight DP2 and EYESET

Be sure to have a look through some of Angel’s website (I particularly appreciate what he’s done with pasta.) And for more information on how to use the Dedolight DP1, DP2, and their siblings, see the following video:

Lordy… What a Light!

Thanks to James Comey for legitimizing my use of ‘Lordy,’ but a product I’ve been using recently has been just astonishing in what it can do in a package so small it belongs in every shooter’s gear bag.

Aladdin Eye-Light BiIt’s called the Aladdin Eye-Lite Bi. Distributed in the U.S. by Zylight, it’s a bicolor LED light that fits in your hand and is rated to run continuously for two hours (or far longer, if you don’t mind plugging in via micro USB). Color temperature is adjustable from 2900–6400K; a second dial controls dimming from 5–100%. Unlike many of the cheap “me too” LEDs we’ve complained about over the years, the Eye-Lite Bi’s color rendering is excellent – 95 CRI/TLCI.

Its 3.5” x 1.5”aluminum housing is sturdy and weighs a mere 2 ounces. The micro USB port is along the top side, and the ¼-20 tripod thread along the bottom can certainly come in handy when shoe-mounting to your camera or a mini tripod. There’s even a small loop built into one corner, about zip-tie size, if that’s how you like to keep things organized. It’s not cheap—it’ll run you about $160 at your local camera store—but it is worth it! (If you can get by on a non-bicolor version, you may still be able to find Aladdin’s previous models for a few bucks less; I first saw them at NAB a few years ago, and was impressed, but I feel that the bicolor version is a truly outstanding product.)

Aladdin Eye-Lite used as fill light

For its size, it puts out a lot of light, and you can easily tape any diffusion or color gels over the LED array. It is a terrific tool for close-up work, and I can see wide use in forensics. Anyone shooting with a macro lens, whether nature close-ups, food, jewelry, or scientific imaging, will see its usefulness. When you have a light source this small (and therefore this maneuverable), adjustments are incredibly easy.

I used it recently while photographing a necklace made by Martha’s Vineyard artist Kate Taylor. The materials are wampum, sea glass, and gold beads. While the image with no supplemental lighting is fine (if a bit flat), adding the Eye-Lite made a real difference in depth and dimensionality.

Product shot - before and after

As many of you know, I’m always looking for new products that extend our creativity, and this is one of several that I’ll be writing about in the next few weeks.

Rosco Image Spot: Compact, Efficient Image Projection — Even Outdoors!

Rosco Image Spot, handheld

For many years, we have enjoyed a great relationship with Rosco’s gobo production specialists deep in the heart of Round Rock, Texas. Thanks in no small part to many years of hard work by Anne Hunter and her crew, Rosco is a world leader in gobos, from simple metal patterns to colored glass effects and all varieties in between. Gobos find use in theater, architectural work, weddings, and other—sometimes unexpected—venues.

Now, leveraging their depth of experience, Rosco has released the Image Spot line of LED gobo projectors. Powerful, yet fitting in the palm of your hand, the Image Spot IP40 and IP65 projectors are perfect for mounting anywhere you need to project an image or message (or just need an compact and efficient spot light), whether that be in a shop, museum, theme park, or other indoor or outdoor setting.

Rosco Image Spot projecting a flame

Image Spot’s 70,000-hour-rated LEDs are energy-efficient and bright, allowing a maximum throw distance of 40 feet (12 meters) using only 45 watts of power. Speaking of power, the projector accepts universal line voltage input, meaning Image Spot units can come along on your world tour without skipping a beat. And the industry-leading 3-year warranty lets you rest assured they’ll stand up to the rigors of touring, too.

Rosco Image Spot Heat Sink and CablesImage Spot comes with an on-board dimming control, maxing out at 3000 lumens @ 5500K. It’s efficient enough that, even running at full blast, there’s no need for a cooling fan… so Image Spot always runs silently. No noise, and no spinning parts to cause those “unexpected tune-ups” down the line!

Rosco Image Spot, wet

The base model, the IP40, is spec’d for indoor use and can be controlled on-device or by DMX512 using standard RJ45/Cat5 cable. For outdoor applications, look to the IP65; weatherproof (as you might guess from its name), it supports DMX512 over exterior-rated Cat5e.

Rosco Image Spot in White, side viewAll Image Spot units measure 7.8×4.8×3.2 inches and weigh just five and a half pounds. They’re available to match most decors in black, white, or silver. Mounting options include canopy, C-clamp, track mount, and pole mount.

Here’s an important piece of advice: because they’re so versatile, Image Spot units are not packaged with a lens. They’ll work fine without a gobo, but won’t do much without a lens. Don’t forget to order one!

Rosco Image Spot Lens AttachmentDepending on your specific needs, you’ll want to pair your Image Spot with a 19, 25, or 30 degree lens to tune your projection to size. The following diagram, along with your trusty measuring tape, should help you work out just what you need to order. If your lighting plan calls for diffusion (perhaps to illuminate artwork or products in a store) add a pack of Rosco’s OPTI-FLECS filters to your shopping cart.

Image Spot photometrics

Rosco Image Spot Gobo and Filter HolderWhen ordering gobos, be sure to order the correct size for Image Spot by using the standard five-digit gobo number and appending “-SPOT” (e.g., “54321-SPOT”). If you’re looking for a Permacolor dichroic filter, use the format “1203-XXXX-SPOT”, substituting the four-digit color number you need. Gobos that use your own custom artwork should use the formats listed in the table below – call us to set up your order, and we will work closely with the crew in Round Rock to make sure it comes out looking great. We’ll admit to being a tiny bit jealous of our central Texas colleagues; we are huge barbecue fans, and they’re surrounded by some of the best barbecue in the world. We may have to ask to visit them one of these days… around lunchtime would be nice!

Item Code Description
2507210ISPOT Image Spot Custom Steel Gobo
260CUSBWOSPO Image Spot Custom B&W Glass Gobo
260CUS1COSPO Image Spot Custom One-Color Glass Gobo
260CUS2COSPO Image Spot Custom Two-Color Glass Gobo
260CUSMCOSPO Image Spot Custom Multi-color Glass Gobo