TAMPA BAY, FLA.
Though there are countless variations and nuances, there are really only two styles of lighting—hard and soft. My Lowel kit consists of two Onmi and two Tota lights and provides me both looks without any sacrifices.
PLENTY OF OPTIONS AVAILABLE
For a hard light—say for a rim or kicker—I just pop the barn doors on one of my Omnis, then flood or spot it to taste. There are scrims if I need to further control or cut the light, and these conveniently clip into the barn doors.
If I need a more diffuse light, I can pop in the frost filter or even change the color temperature with a CTB filter, both of which clip into the barn doors as well.
For a soft look, an umbrella can be mounted on either my Omnis or Totas. And depending on the look I desire, I can shoot through the umbrella to illuminate the subject, or spin the light around and bounce it into the subject. Over the years I've amassed a small collection of umbrellas that give me several different qualities of light, from a simple bounce to a shimmery ethereal look.
On the rare occasion when I'm not entirely happy with a certain look (it does happen—perhaps the "mojo" just isn't there), or when I want to give the director another option, the look of the scene can be changed in just a few moments merely by changing the configuration of the light instead of having to change out the instrument.
On lower budget or quick turnaround projects there often just isn't time for proper preproduction or visualization, so having a few lighting options waiting in the wings can really be a lifesaver.
In addition to being able to easily produce a wide variety of looks, there's also the advantage of size. I shoot a lot of b-roll for retail television and infomercials, as well as independent films and music videos. All of these are location intensive. The small size of my Lowel kit not only makes it easy to transport, but lets me put lights in improbable places without taking up a lot of space or being obtrusive. My four lights—as well as the barn doors, scrims, filters, umbrellas, gel frames, extra lamps, a few gels, and two extra clamps—all fit into one small case not much bigger than a large briefcase.
That's not to say that I don't like some of the newer lighting technologies. In fact, I'm particularly excited about the possibilities of LED lighting (I really can't wait to get my hands on Lowel's new Blender light), but even after 16 years of constant use, the versatility and durability of my Lowel kit never ceases to amaze me—and more importantly—to deliver. I keep the kit handy, no matter what kind of shoot I'm working on—and more often than not, almost every job I do affords me the opportunity to pull the proverbial rabbit out of my hat using that kit.
Brent Reynolds is an independent producer and director of photography. He has 16 years experience in film and video production. His company, August Moon Productions, specializes in lifestyle b-roll production for retail television and infomercials. He may be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information, contact Lowel-Light Manufacturing at 800-645-2522 or visitwww.lowel.com.
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