FORUMS: list search recent posts

Re: Baby's First Lighting Kit

COW Forums : Canon DV

Return to posts index   •   Read entire thread

Donald Berube
Re: Baby's First Lighting Kit
on Mar 14, 2003 at 3:27:13 pm

Lowel Kits excel and sometimes are the only choice these days when you are flying to different places and want to minimize costly excessive baggage fees, porter fees, security fees, etc. Kino flos are also great lights, but they are much bigger in size and you could say that Lowel lights beat Kinos hands down as far as the output level/ size ratio. Also, I would not recommend using Kinos to a beginner.

It's important to learn what *type* of lighting fixtures exist and for what purposes/ situations each type is typically used for. Before you spend that $1500 on any lighting gear, you should read Ross Lowel's "Matters Of Light And Depth" which is a thorough, very easy to understand and well-written book by one of the best lighting masters around. If you want to learn what light and movement is all about, even if you have many years of experience behind you, this book will motivate you. It's a highly affordable book, considering how much knowledge, tips and techniques you will learn.

For when I am traveling and shooting on the road, I primarily rely on two Lowel kits which consist of a Rifa 55 & Rifa 88 softlight, each with an Eggcrate for controlling spill, (2) Totas with Tota Frames & Tota-Shades, (2) Omnis with barndoors, (2) PhotoFlex RUD translucent umbrellas, Pro Light with barndoors and gel frame, gels, diffusion and blackwrap, KS stands, half poles, full poles (for when I need to make my stands go up high), compact Uni-stands and assorted grip pieces such as some Interlinks (for when I need to connect some full-poles together to make a backdrop support), Grip clamps (for mounting lights and also when I need to make a "C-stand" with a stand and half-pole), Tota clamps, Lobo and Lobo arms, Tota flag, scissor mounts, floor mount and a few Lowel weights (for when I cannot carry sand bags with me when flying). I also pack several different wattage bulbs for each light depending on the size of the interview space. Basically I can light any size interview or b-roll situation with this kit. Having the Lowel grip clamps, interlinks, half/ full poles and Lowel weights allow me to leave my backdrop support, C-stands and sandbags (which would be quite expensive to fly around with) at home. This gear easily compacts into two Lowel Multi-cases with wheels for easy carting through airports, etc. This is the kit I used for shooting the video segments for Canon's "Explorers Of Light Digital Workflow" CD-ROM, which took us to 11 different locations in 8 different cities around the US.

I also pack a couple of Westcott Illuminator 4in1 (black/ white/ gold/ silver) reflectors for daylight fill or indoor fill in a pinch and a couple Westcott Illuminator 2in1 backdrops (black/ white) for creating an instant backdrop for interviews.

Fresnels are also often times used due to the quality of light and directional beam control. I will often times use some Arri fresnels when I have to place my lights far away from the subject. I also have a few Mole Richardson lights and my favorite Mole is the 1,000 Watt Molequartz Baby-Baby Solarspot, a heck of a lot of light in a small package - great for recording stage performances such as poetry jams, podiums, etc. I also will use a large Chimera on this light when I want to create a huge softlight.

Again though, when I am flying with gear, Lowel lights are key.

Your best starting point is to read Ross Lowel's book in deciding exactly what type of lights you need when designing your light kit. If you are just starting out, start with one light forst and learn how to light with one light. This will help you to understand techniques such as modeling, high key lighting, etc - all of which is explained in Ross Lowel's book. I just can't recommend that book too often! It's that great of a book.

Please do keep in touch and let us know how things progress for you,

- don

DV Filmmaker/ Camera, Lighting & Sound
DV Consulting & Training for Business, Education and the Arts

CREATE and SHARE with BOSFCPUG - the Boston Final Cut Pro Users Group at

Posts IndexRead Thread

Current Message Thread:

© 2018 All Rights Reserved