Saturday, 6 June 2009

Litepanels LP-Micro Video Light

For some time now I've worked as part of a multi-disciplined stills and video production team at Paul Noble Photographic in Burgess Hill. I must say I'm lucky enough to work with a very talented team from a large drive-in studio with loads of facilities and kit. When I'm not working with Paul, which these days isn't often, I have a small studio/office at home, where I'm in the process of developing a series of hands-on photography workshops and master-classes aimed at enthusiast photographers at all levels. More on this very soon.

Over the last few weeks we've been using the Litepanels LP Micro on a series of stills and video projects. The Lp Micro is a great little piece of kit which so far has survived the rigours of professional production. First impressions are that it's a little "plasticky" but don't let that put you off, though I don't know if it would survive a long fall onto a hard surface!

The LP Micro provides a good level of illumination when working indoors away from windows or with low ambient lighting and will act as good kicker to get a catch-light into a presenters eyes when working on camera, but not in bright sunlight. Here, I still resort to a good pop-up reflector for that!

Below are a few frames from an agency job we did a couple of weeks ago where Paul shot video, with Ben & I doing the stills.

Canon EOS 5D MK II, 24 - 105 mm f4 IS L Series lens at 105 mm
ISO 400, f5.6, 1/320 sec

Outside on the video camera the LP Micro was fine as a kicker when we were working close-in, at a couple of feet. When working further away and if you're working with an assistant, or your client is standing around with nothing better to do, why not get them to hold the LP Micro just out of frame? In my experience, some clients enjoy getting involved.

Canon EOS 5D MK II, 24 - 105 mm f4 IS L Series lens at 105 mm
ISO 400, f5.6, 1/500 sec

It came into its' own when I had to shoot still inside of the lorry cab; with a 1/4 CTO the LP Micro provided just the right balance with daylight coming through the windscreen and the top light from the cab interior.

Canon EOS 5D MK II, 24 - 105 mm f4 IS L Series lens at 24 mm
ISO 400, f11, 1/20 sec

What you can't see here is the rain - it tipped down for the early part of the day, so I made good use of my trusty Kata Rain & Elements cover E702, which is just too short for my Canon 100 - 400 mm f5.6 IS L series tele-zoom. I've now solved the problem by obtaining th extension sleeve kit E704.

Still frame grabbed from Canon G10 movie

Ben & I are working on an ongoing portrait project Faces of Business where we've used the Litepanels LP Micro on a few of the shots. Watch this space and I'll show you some of the images in the future.

Have a great weekend and if you're in England and out making, creating or even taking photographs be sure to have your Kata Rain & Elements cover handy as where I am the heavens have opened and it's pouring rain.

Ian

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