Lights, camera, action!

I’ve been trying to do some stuff with photography and video. The former being mainly attempts at food photography, the latter some basic music videos for YouTube.

The photography thing is a long-term thing – I haven’t done much serious photography, and food photography is a particularly challenging area. I have a learning curve to navigate, but I am enjoying myself.

On the video front, I thought things would be simpler, but I wasn’t getting the quality I wanted, and knew my camera was capable of. It came down to lighting, as my outdoor videos were fine.

So I started looking around for something on eBay. Now, I know there is a lot of rubbish out there, and it is very easy to be sold a pup, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. Reading reviews, I realised that going cheap wasn’t an option, while I didn’t want to waste too much on a hobby that may be a five minute wonder.

photoIn the end, I came across a seller with good feedback. I went to order some lights, and then saw he did a package of lights + a backdrop stand. This appealed, as it could be used to hide a multitude of sins when filming video in my lounge (although Julia Nunes did become famous for having an open loo door in the background of most of her early videos).

Anyway, it arrived today, and I am very pleased. While by no means pro kit, nor is it cheap and nasty. The kit included

  • 3 telescoping stands, 3 light fittings, 3 85W halogen spiral bulbs.
  • 3 soft white umbrella reflectors, plus one black/silver umbrella reflector.
  • Carry case for above.
  • 2 telescoping stands (same as the lighting stands) and 2 cross pieces, for a background screen of up to 2m x 3m.
  • 3 Background cloths, in white, black and bright green (chromakey, anybody?)
  • Again, a carry case for above.

All light and easy to carry, very easy to put together and take apart. Astonishingly, it really does look like the eBay illustration.

I think it’s all going to be useful, and hopefully will see me finally producing something creative.

It also occurs to me that the lights (or at least one of them) would be great to take along to gaming sessions at the pub, where lighting is often an issue.

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