A question of small light systems  


Hi there,

Until few ago, I was only shooting outside, with natural light.

Sometimes, I was shooting inside, using my Aputure LED panel and ring lighter. It was enough, but now, I'm more in inside shooting, and the lighting possibilities of the panel and ring seems too limited.

so, I'm looking for a small LED system, that can be placed close to the minifigs to light them up.

I know that there is the Lume cube, but it's quite expansive.

what are you using? Are there other compact systems?

Posted : 19/01/2019 8:26 pm
Member Crew*

Most interesting question.

Here are my indoor lightening solutions.

There is first of all the “tripod”. We should start from the exposure triangle, and since we are shooting not too overactive subjects (did anyone say still photography) we should not forget the tripod and allow the natural (indoor) light do it’s thing by allowing for a longer exposure.

Second light source I (and others) have been using is one or more little flashlight to light paint in the scene. So have on averarching darker light setup and then manually light paint it in. This one is also very useful when outdoors and you want to give your main character a little bit of extra exposure. 

I used to have a little mag light (warm light bulb) but carry today one of those led lights (very cold light) that allows me to paint in a touch of light (and see in the dark).

The third thing I used inside is the enevu light cube that Julien introduced me to, but I only used it a couple of times.

Julien and some others use the Apature Amaran to light up the scene and fill it in. I know Julien used this one in a shoot of the Old Fisherman’s House.

Have a look in Julien’s blog post here. He has a link to all of them:  https://www.stuckinplastic.com/2018/07/a-wolf-an-axe-a-lantern-and-leds/

And then there is the by now infamous Lume Cube. When you look at their creative photography it seems to be able to do “everything” and then some more. I have been using it (disclaimer, we got a review copy) and it is for sure a beautiful light to have around. It travels in my bag and has been proven handy out and inside to add that touch of light. Now, if you want to add a lot of different light spots it may become a very expensive addition, and a simple DIY collection of flashlights can do wonders as well.

And then there are the real strobes and studio lighting. 

I am after a couple of years still learning on how to use them, but I tend to go back to a classic setup inside, where I shoot Manual so the scene is dark if my strobes don’t fire, and then start adding key, fill and backlights until I am happy. Right now I use a mixture of Nikon SBS strobes and Elinchrome strobes, controlled by Elinchrome Skyport, but that is for sure an even more expensive setup as the Lumecube one.

For now, I would first invest in a good tripod (if you don’t already have one) and then build your light up towards the scene you want.

Ohh. And my final ones I fell in love with are the tiny leds of lightmybricks as I used in this shoot  https://www.stuckinplastic.com/2018/12/and-so-it-is-xmas/

Mainly that one was made up of a composite lightening mix, using long exposure shoot to capture the small leds, mixed together with some strobe shots to get the snow captured correctly.

I am sure others can ship in.
And keep us posted.



Posted : 20/01/2019 12:06 pm

Thanks for your answer Boris.

Gorillapod like tripod: as I don't have small light sources like Lume Cube, there's no need right now. I have studio tripods to hold my LED panels, and if needed, I hold it with one hand. Not always the easiest way to push the shuter button, but often the easiest for placing the ring light correctly while the eye in the viewfinder.

but for sure, when I am to buy some very compact lighters, I will get some.

Enevu light cube could be a good compromise, regarding the price. It's almost certain that Lume cube is the best in this category, but still the price of a car (LEGO sized) if you want 3-4 sources to increase the light work.

I've also seen macrophotography systems, with 3 articulated 30cm long lights. Maybe I'll try this in a cheap version. It's like a flash, but with snake like arms bearing LED at the end. The intensity of each is independant, and there's a color filter.

I know that it's safer to spend money in recognize material, but maybe it's even safer to test cheaper versions in order to be certain of what I am going to do.

it's very complicated to choose.

Posted : 21/01/2019 10:27 am