'LED Ring Lighting' Category

Fascinated by The Light

Last Saturday was a day of firsts and surprises. I was shooting a 5-month-old and his parents. And I invited a photography intern to join me for this session. That was a first for me, a solo photographer for 10 years. The intern’s employer has an Omicron Chromatically Correct LED Ringlight and he sent it along with his intern to use at the session. Let the surprises begin!

This is the most awesome light! I was fascinated from the moment I saw it and it just kept getting better. The light is big enough to hold lots of LEDs, so it’s bright, yet it’s not heavy. It’s “continuous on” is perfect for the way I like to shoot. We weren’t using a tripod with it, and hand held it takes a bit to get used to the balance. The results are worth the effort! I’m hoping that future development might include a padded hand hold of sorts. Back to the light. The color of the light really matched my sunlight tuned continuous cold lights, so no color competition, just an extra glow of beautiful, “natural” looking light. The additional light gave us faster shutter speeds which is an important element in capturing sharp images of squirming, wiggling babies.

Then there are the perfect round little catch-lights in the baby’s eyes. Love the effect! And unlike flash which can be difficult to control with the delicate skin of a baby, this is a soft gentle light. How it can be both very bright and gentle is for the scientists to describe. For the artist it’s just wonderful, and that’s enough for me.

As a shooter of a mirrorless camera system that creates outstanding video, the continuous light source is critical. I was able to capture a couple of video clips and the light really helps them look their best. Not having to have one light source for video and another for stills is very important to the flow and enjoyment of the session. This light does it all and beautifully!

If getting to see and use the light wasn’t enough of a first and wonderful surprise, the light held one more delight for us. The baby could not take his eyes off of it! He was fascinated by the light, which made getting him to look where we wanted a lot easier than rattling, squeaking and all the other funny stuff that we do to get babies to look.

Saturday was really fun, the images are wonderful and now I must add that light to my kit. Hats off to Quantum for being innovative and doing it so well!

A little about me and my studio:
After 20+ years in a computer tech job, I am enjoying a second and more fulfilling career as a portrait and sports photographer in suburban Milwaukee. For portraits I work on location and from my cozy residential studio.

I have met with some personal challenges and needed to reduce the physical strain from carrying heavy pro cameras and lenses around. I jumped into the mirrorless world with both feet and no safety net. As of April 2012 I have retired my big DSLR’s and picked up a couple of small, light mirrorless cameras and now use them on every shoot. I’m evolving from a still photo only photographer into a photo+video+audio hybrid image maker.

Carol Schlintz
Artist; Photographer; Owner

Make Complicated Things Simple!

Today we are joined by International Fashion Photographer Robert Fairer, who recently took his new Quantum Omicron LED Ring Light on a tour of the world’s fashion capitols. Robert has been shooting backstage at the fashion shows of New York City, London, Milan, and Paris since 1996. Technology has evolved over the course of his career and since going digital Robert shoots around 50,000 images a month. Given the nature of his work, the chaotic surroundings backstage at a fashion show and rigors of traveling the globe Robert needs a flash with good quality light, TTL capability and the tough construction. Thank you for choosing Quantum Robert, and thank you for this glimpse backstage.

Over the years I have been contracted to various international magazines and since 2001 to Vogue USA.  My challenge has always been to make high quality, glossy images that can be run as center book fashion editorials.  This is made harder by the fact that I am not in charge of the cramped, unpredictable and fast-paced conditions that I face backstage where the main concern is to make the show run smoothly and often a photographer is viewed as an irritant and possibly a liability!

The last thing I want to be thinking about is my equipment – it just has to be compact and work properly while I concentrate on composing the image and looking for the next “moment” without being in the way.The Qflash T5d-R has been my workhorse . We use a 2 light set-up with a TTL front light and a manual edge / backlight which works brilliantly. The 2 light set-up creates drama in the usually bland, badly lit space backstage and makes the image look “expensive.”

I still like to look for new techniques to set us apart and give us an edge. I always felt that ring flash would be perfectly suited to my style of photography. Unfortunately the available TTL or automatic ring flashes were not very powerful and the larger, studio ring flash could not operate TTL which is crucial for me backstage.

When my assistant told me about the Quantum Omicron I thought he was teasing me. Quantum’s LED Ring Flash seemed perfect for my needs! I had been waiting 12 years for this!! I was struck by how lightweight and well constructed the unit was, however the supplied bracket just didn’t work for me at all. We were able to improvise by cannibalizing another bracket. We drilled a few new holes and ended up with a perfectly balanced compact solution.

The few test images I shot of my assistant proved that we didn’t need to read the instruction manual (destruction manual?) as it was just like my other Qflashes, so we headed out to our first show to road test the new toy.

First impressions: Incredibly comfortable to hold in the hand, well balanced, light and easy to maneuver through a crowd.  I was shocked by the recycling speed.  Perhaps I am doing something wrong with my regular Qflash, which shoots around a frame a second. The Omicron shoots around 3 fps, which is revolutionary for me.  There is a reassuring “correct exposure” confirmation beep and all the exposures are spot on.  Love the LED’s coming on to help with autofocus.

When we process out these first images the one thing I particularly like is that the feet and lower legs are being illuminated properly despite the black contract carpeting at the venue.  This has long been an issue with regular flash where the fall-off at the feet requires some extra computer work to balance the light when the floor is dark.  The quality of the light is crisp, yet soft and forgiving.  At full length (8-10 feet) it enhances the details in the clothes so you can see the texture, and if you move in closer for a head shot it has a way of smoothing out the skin tones which is very flattering.

I decide to do a few more trials on shows throughout the day and soon I have decided that I can use the ring flash for virtually all the shows.  However, as I mentioned earlier, I use a 2 light set-up backstage, so the genius thing for me about this ring flash is how versatile it is over my old system:  I can use it as a true ring flash which gives and edgy feel to the images; I can use it held to the side of the camera which is more like a traditional flash; I can turn down the power and use it a soft fill-light from the front with the second light acting as the key light.  With all these options (and a few others in-between) I have a whole range of lighting possibilities which I can vary to suit the overall vibe of each designer’s show.

Moreover, you can use it as a continuous light source for both video and photography which is ideal for me to shoot a close-up of a shoe, a piece of jewellery, or even get a shot of the eye makeup.  Again, using the light on or off the camera can give you a great lighting variety but as it’s not the strongest of lights it is better suited for close up work in photography.

50,000 frames later I can see how reliant I have become on the Omicron. There is certainly a place for it in any photographer’s kit who has to deal with fast moving and changing environments – reportage, weddings, events.  The TTL gives you the freedom to concentrate on capturing the moment and the versatility of the light means that you can easily create different lighting styles with this one source.

It is definitely my “go to” flash when I need to make complicated things simple!

Thanks, Quantum.

Robert Fairer
www.robertfairer.com

 

Michael Gilbert and the Omnicron Ring Light

Today we are checking in with third generation photographer, Michael Gilbert. Michael has shot everything from weddings & portraits to fine art. He has studios in Maui, Hawaii and Paris, France and his images are featured in many galleries and even museums.

Michale is working with Quantum’s new Omicron LED Ring flash here. He is creating an image with it roots in Geisha but more modern look, for his client Andrea Bresset.

Modern Geisha

Modern Geisha

“The headpiece was created with a old bicycle helmet and wire which allowed me to wrap material in and around it.”

 

Lace Curtain

Lace Curtain

Here Michael is taking advantage of the “shadowless” property of the ring flash. He has placed his subject behind a textured fabric… “having the ring flash made it easy to keep the lighting flat and even. I like using ring flash as a fill and mix with available light as well”

Aloha Michael

Thanks for choosing Quantum.