I’ve searched hard to find a LED light panels that I felt I could rely on that didn’t cost as much as a lens. For me there’s always been a color and flickering issue with the lower end lights I’ve tried. The last one I used that I really liked was an Astra Lite panel kit with V mount batteries, but the budget for the production I was researching them for didn’t have near the budget to afford those. I liked the Ikan LED panels but they just couldn’t throw enough light.
Enter the Dracast Silkray 500 Bi color LED panel. I purchased one when B&H photo ran their deal of the day on them. I had seen them in the past and was tempted by their affordable price but many bad experiences with previous panels made me a wary buyer. For this deal however I could get the panel, a 2x battery kit, and a light stand for $130. I finally pulled the trigger and ordered it. From the moment I got it I was extremely impressed. The build is solid and is just a little thicker than my 2015 Macbook pro. Coming from my Mole Richardson tungstans this was simply amazing. The bi-color- is excellent and the dimmer is the full range of the light. The best thing is, this fixture can really push some light. I was shocked at how diverse this light could be. Even at its normal price it is an amazing deal on a light that I think will become a staple in my kit.
Today me and my class did some testing on lighting a green screen and pulling a clean crisp key. We started out by raising a roll of green foam fabric about 10′ into the air, suspended from 2 c stands with mafer clamps holding a long wooden pole. We had 2 DIVA bank lights, a 1k Arri zip, Lowel case lights and a small arri 300wt fresnel. We started by using the two DIVA banks on either side of the green screen. The soft light was perfect for the vertical width of the small screen we were lighting.
We then bounced the 1k zip light into a 3×6′ white bounce card and filled with the Lowel case-light through diffusion.
We then used the Arri 300wt on a boom stand over the top edge of the green screen for a edge light.
With this setup we were able to achieve a great degree of separation between out subject and got the exposure on our subject to around 65 IRE on the false color scale
Canon C100, ISO 1600, 180 degree shutter, color temp at 3300k
Film Noir Lighting. Recreating a scene from “The Man Who Couldn’t See Far Enough”
Finally got to experiment with noir lighting. I think the result is pretty amazing considering a rigged lighting setup. I used my Mole Richardson 1k fresnel lamp which I modified by removing the fresnel lens to create a 1k open face lamp that I could spot and flood. I then made a custom bar cookie to cut the light from foam board I bought at Lowes. I suspended the foam from two stands with grip head on them so I could angle the cookie high in the air. I planned to use a fog machine to haze the room but due to a PA overfilling the tank it crapped out as soon as we went to roll.
Overall this tough shoot was fun and I’m happy with the result. Full scene coming soon but I wanted to show a sneak peak at what it looked like.