Rosco Litepads on Location

Interest in LED lights for still and video photography is growing as is the range of lights available. I recently visited the BVE show in London to check out what the broadcast video industry are producing and there are some interesting developments which will soon be viable supplements, but not replacements for flash in stills photography.

My lighting tool box contains a variety of lights including incandescent hot lights and now LEDs in the form of Rosco Litepads. I first used the Litepad range in 2010 and was impressed from the start; native soft light that mimics a flash soft box, 8 mm deep, daylight colour temperature, battery or mains powered, compact, light in weight and consequently portable. And most important, a continuous always on light source which may be dimmed from 0 - 100%.

The image above was created on location after sunset with 50 mm f/1.4 glass on my beloved Canon 50D, images were recorded RAW (with JPEG just in case), daylight white balance, 400 ISO, 1/30th second f/2.8.

This is good light powered from 8 x AA batteries in the provided battery pack, which delivers about 2A current - the 24 inch Litepad needs 4A to be fully effective so the image you see was effectively created with the light at half power! Now in the same situation I take along a 12Vdc car auxiliary power supply which delivers sufficient power for a multiple Litepad setup.

The photographer I mentored on this shoot now works for Urban Outfitters in the UK. The 24" x 24" Litepad is a beast and was supported on a painters extension pole fitted with a Gel Clip Extension Spigot allowing standard industry lighting grip gear to attach to the Litepad frame. At a guess, I'd say the that a Rosco Litepad emits light 2x the physical size of the unit.

Litepads will not overpower sun light but are great where ambient light levels are low. Rolando Gomez and Rick Friedman both use Rosco Litepads as part of their extensive lighting repertoire.

If you get the opportunity, give Rosco Litepads a try, I think you will be impressed.


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