I'm an advertising photographer/videographer based in Los Angeles, California. My mission is to create striking advertising photography, corporate photography and editorial photography of people for major advertising agencies, fortune 500 corporations and major magazines. I shoot photography and video assignments throughout California including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego as well as the rest of the world. As a photo educator I am happy to share my unique vision and methods. I'm currently teaching classes at College of the Canyons in video production for professional photographers and photography students. I give workshops, seminars and lectures on short form video production at colleges, organizations and conferences around the world.
As an editorial photographer photographing on location and traveling by air frequently, I need sturdy, compacted and powerful lights. Now that editorial photographers have to create videos along with still photographs the lights should be able to do double duty for still and motion. LEDs are the perfect choice since they are very sturdy so able to withstand the baggage handlers and inspections. The bulbs last a long time, up to 50,000 hours with little change in intensity and color balance. LEDs draw little power so hooking up to outlets that also have computer inline do not have the same hazardous that strobe surges create or the power draw of tungsten. The new Spectra series from Manfrotto fit the bill perfectly.
The Spectra 900F is a daylight only balance powerful on or off camera LED compact light. It has a 50 degree wide beam. As you can see from the picture you get the light, ball head and three large filters in CTO, 1/4 CTO and opal diffusion. The ball head allows you to either mount the Spectra to the hot/cold shoe on your camera or by using the 1/4” threading allows various mounting possibilities. You might like to use the new lightweight Manfrotto NanoPole Stand with the Spectra 900F, I’ll describe it more fully in another blog entry. The Spectra 900F works for about an hour at the highest setting on 6 AA batteries, AC adapter, or D-Tap adapter for various power sources.
I was able to use the 900F by itself and with other Spectras for a variety of photographs and videos. I stretched the Spectras to the limit of their capabilities. In the 50’s glamour shot above, I used direct light for the main light high and to one side creating a small shadow under the nose and gently contouring the face. I used a Spectra as a back rim light to softly fill the shadow on the face, neck and shoulder and help give highlights to the hair. To make the background more interesting and add to the 50’s glamour look I used a third Spectra shining through a Chimera Window Pattern Kit to cast a palm leaf pattern.
As a professional photographer and owner of Lee White Photography, I have been a longtime user of Chimera gear with my strobes. When I seriously started shooting video along with my photography, I was faced with using some type of continues light. I wanted to keep the same lighting style I had developed over years of experience so one of the answers was obvious, continue to use Chimera. The only change I had to make was move to the heat resisted Film & Video Chimera lighting gear. I now have the same gear I’m comfort working with and can shoot motion as well as stills.
Chimera also introduced me to some new innovative products that I really enjoy like the Panel Frames/Window Patterns that are much more effective then the traditional cucoloris. Rather than a single pattern on a solid 4X4 frame I have a choice of patterns on three different frame sizes which collapse into a small bag. Chimera also has a line of Chimera constant lights that are mated with the Film & Video Chimera lighting gear and deserve a look.
Chimera Window Pattern in Foreground with Lee White Shooting Video
For more information go to Chimera’s website at http://www.chimeralighting.com/products
I have mentioned how handy the Chimera Window Patterns kit was after using it during my Secrets of Video Production for Photographers in Charlotte N.C., New Jersey and again at my Brooks Institute of Photography presentation.
Chimera Window Pattern projected on wall
In Charlotte N.C.
In talking with Terry Monahan of Chimera, he was kind enough to share a system he has developed to make the Window Pattern kit even easier to use. This system holds everything, light source and window pattern, on one stand to make it easy to move as a single unit. The Chimera softbox also controls the light spill.
As you might remember, one of the great things about the Window Patterns is that changing the pattern is a snap, as each of the many different patterns is attached by Velcro to the matte. Since there is Velcro on both sides of the matte, you can also combine two patterns to make a third.
To see Terry’s system visit http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=200389&id=110580113666
I like to sometimes use a light pattern (cucalorus or cookie) to add a little life to a solid background or imitate a natural light pattern. The great thing about cookies are you have a controllable constant pattern that can be anywhere from a sharp to a very soft pattern. I tend to like a softer pattern when projecting onto a solid background and a sharper pattern on a subject or busy background. You can see the soft pattern I used behind Katie-Britt Greenway, Miss South Miami Beach, in the image below and the video clip.
Katie-Britt Breenway with Chimera Window Pattern projected on background
Chimera has a new window pattern system that makes having a small, versatile and portable set of cookie patterns available to you on location or in the studio. Like the entire Chimera, line the window pattern system is sturdy and well thought out. This was evident from the moment I opened the box and found the kit comes in a heavy-duty long zippered bag.
One of the problems of the traditional cookie is that it is usually a full size 48 X 48 or larger pattern made out of wood. This makes it hard to take it with you. Another problem is that even if you do have that kind of space, you are still limited to one pattern unless you have a grip truck with room for multiple 48 x 48 boards.
Chimera Window Pattern projected on background. Photo by email@example.com
Chimera has gotten around that by starting with a collapsible metal frame with a very smart pin system that works with standard grip head to hold it securely and prevent the frame from twisting. Then there is a black matte to control light spill that fits to the frame with elastic at each corner and is flexible so it rolls up. The patterns then attach by Velcro to fill the center open square. The patterns are black and white designs on what looks like a litho film. One of the beauties of this is that you have a choice of number patterns with the same frame and matte. If you don’t like one pattern, in seconds you can have a different one installed. Since there are Velcro tabs on both sizes of the matte, you can combine two patterns. Note in the image showing the pattern a second pattern is hanging from the Velcro ready to be put in place instantly.
Terry of Chimera told me of a way he uses the system where he attaches the frame to a c-stand and then an arm to the c-stand to hold a light in an open-faced Chimera softbox. This allows for easy movement of the complete light/pattern system together and even more control of light spill.
Chimera Window Pattern in Foreground with Lee White Shooting Video. Photo by firstname.lastname@example.org
Depending on your needs, the frame/matte combinations come in three sizes 22X22, 42X42 and 48X48. For more info go to www.chimeralighting.com
"Secrets of Video Production for Photographers"
College of the Canyons - Photo 177 Video Capture for Still Photographers. A innovative class where students learn to shoot still images and video to complete projects. This class gives the still photographer the skillset to add narrative motion to projects.
College of the Canyons - Photo 280 Large Format Photography and the Zone System. A unique large format class where students will shoot 4x5 film using view cameras and the zone system. They will then develop and enlarge the film for assigned projects.
Beijing, China One-day still photography and video seminar June
Mt. SAC, Walnut, CA Two-day workshop
First day lecture and demo second day shooting and editing
New Jersey, Unique Photo, Video seminar and workshop
Sept 16 and 18 see blog and http://university.uniquephoto.com/e/
Continuing - Photo29 "Video Production for Still Photographers" at Santa Monica College. A class in video production for professional photographers and photography students. http://www.smc.edu/schedules/2011/fall/default.htm
Atlanta, Showcase Photo & Video, Video seminar and Workshop
August 26 and 27 see blog and
Portland, Pro Photo Supply, Video seminar and workshop
June 10 and 11 see blog and
Sennheiser sound capture event at Santa Monica College May 3 see blog http://www.leewhitephotography.com/blog/?p=825
Panel discussion for Brooks, Institute of Photography.