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Blog for Photographers

Behind the Shot - Video Light

Brian Callaway

WHERE
Noon at the bar in the Culver Hotel in Culver City. 1:00 pm

CAMERA SETTINGS
1/200th of a second at f3.5, ISO 800, Manual Mode.
 

1st test shot

1st test shot

HOW
The video light has become one of our strongest portrait tools. The key with this type of shot is to set your camera exposure for the room, and then add in the video light to illuminate your subject.

In the photo below you can see that the bar was bright and you can see daylight and the glasses on the wall. Using my camera, I metered the room, and then knocked it down a stop or two so that the walls and bar appeared darker.

Next I illuminated Kate and Mike (our bride and groom) with the Lowel GL-1 Hot Light, which I prefer because I can make the light considerably lighter or darker with the GL-1's variable strength dial. If your video light doesn't have variable strength, bring it closer to make it stronger, or step back to make it weaker.

Please note that the entire process: from seeing the shot, to metering, to setting up the light, to completion took about 2 minutes. Using a video light takes make this much easier to do when you have no time. You simply check your work on the back of your camera, and adjust the light as needed.

That screen on the back of your camera is an amazing tool - use it!

POST
Again, very little post was done to the photo. Our goal is to get it right out of the camera. The only thing we did was crop in a bit from the top right and burn the walls and glasses down a bit. Finally we added a little fade and warmth from AlienSkin Exposure. We use Exposure on every retouched image to give it that special Callaway Gable signature look. For more on AlienSkin, click the link below. Use this code to receive 30% off: CAL1410.

 
Lowel GL-1 Hot Light

Lowel GL-1 Hot Light