VIDEO LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY
Video light in photography is becoming very popular, I must admit I have been using these great little lights for many years because of my experience filming events around the globe, I remember doing a special corporate shoot in Frankfurt where the light was quite a challenge and I had one of those eureka moments where I thought lets utilize the video lights in the shoot and the results were fantastic, from then on-wards using video lights during a wedding have become second nature with my wedding photography, its fantastic when you want to capture that special moment, where the low lighting is just wonderful however just a touch of extra glow from a tungsten light will add the finishing touch to the photograph.
The main difference between TTL Wireless Flash and video light is that the video light is an independent light source and not controlled by the camera. It is up to you to move the video light closer or farther away to control the amount of light falling onto your subject, and its intensity. Think of it very much like a torch but with a warmer light. Some models, like the Lowell id, have a dimmer lever and also the ability to focus the light (that is: to make it wide or more zoomed in) which is very useful.
The light achieved with a video light is a lot warmer and usually a lot less powerful, so is mainly used indoors or at dusk or night-time outdoors. It can give a very 1950’s Hollywood feel to your images. One of the great advantages of the video light is that it gives you the ability to see exactly where shadows fall on your subject’s face (this will also help you to learn good placement of Speedlight’s) so you can make instant adjustments. This feedback is very useful in determining the final image.
For an artistic-looking image, place your subject near a natural light source such as a large window. You don’t want them too near but in the sweet zone of light (usually 12-36 inches away). Pose them as normal and shine the video light onto them so it is reasonably strong. You should have an acceptable image. Now change your white balance to Tungsten and retake the shot. You should find that the camera has rendered the window light blue and the video light a beautiful contrasting warm tone. It is a nice look if used sparingly.
Move the lights around, shoot at different times of day, look at the ratios and really understand what you are doing. Get to the stage where you are comfortable and can do this anywhere. Once you grasp the concept then it is really very easy to do and gives you the edge over your competitors.
The image used in this article was taken at a wedding in Somerset, Charlton House owned by the multimillionaire Duncan Banatine, we had the fabulous privilege of being the official wedding photography team for this wonderful wedding, this shot on the stairs was beautifully lit by the hanging chandelier however adding a touch of extra light from the video light gave me the shot I wanted.
You can get hold of these little video light at most online stores; they are not expensive but will open up another level of opportunity for your wedding photography.