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Re: [OM] LEDs R Us

Subject: Re: [OM] LEDs R Us
From: Rick Beckrich <rbeckrich@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2015 20:52:16 -0400
*Oh yeah... checked Amazon. They have his book in print and e-form.*

Here's what the author has to say about it, "The road to my LED Lighting
book is a bumpy one that includes twenty years of working in the trenches
of advertising photography.   The actual book is the distillation of new
information about LEDs mixed with a couple years of shooting with them, and
my general knowledge of photographic lighting.  When I started out I worked
as a teaching assistant for several professors who taught commercial
photography at the University of Texas.  We used 4x5 and 8x10 inch view
cameras and, to get deep enough focus, we used small f-stops and very
powerful studio electronic flash units.  Over time film got better and
better which meant you could get nearly as good  quality with smaller and
smaller formats.  Flashes got smaller but the lighting essentials remained
the same.  You worked with:

Color Temperature
Quantity of Light (volume)
Quality of Light (hard or soft)
Direction of Light
When I started working in the advertising field as a creative director in
the early 1980's I started coming up with creative ideas for television
commercials and writing the scripts for the commercials.  This required me
to be "on the set" to inform the director how I wanted a scene or segment
or read to "feel."  With my background in commercial photography it was
only natural that I'd delve into what made TV lighting work.
The first thing you realize is that all light on a set is going to be
continuous lighting.  And in ample quantity. Tungsten lights were the
lights of the day and that meant "hot lights." Very hot lights!  I learned
what all the different kinds of movie lights did and why DP's set up their
lights the way they did. How they "designed" with lights.
I quickly realized that all lighting directors had their own styles and
their own looks.  And I realized that you could get a nasty burn just
handling the light fixtures.  On film sets and TV sets of yore everyone who
handled the lights had a pair of heatproof gloves hanging out of a pocket.
And you had to be careful of what you hung in front of the lights, too.  If
a gel got too close to the light beam of a powerful light it would start to
smoke.  So would wooden clothespins.
And all the lighting back then, still and motion stuff, was very, very
heavy and consumed a lot of electrical power.  In the case of tungsten
lighting it returned most of the power back to you in the form of infrared=
When Canon and Panasonic started coming out with DSLR's that had really,
really good HD video, coupled with big sensors, I started to get excited
again about shooting video.  Or making my own little "indy" films.  So I
started doing research.  I wanted to find the current sweet spot in the
market for things like microphones and fluid heads for tripods.  But most
of all I realized that I'd need a source of continuous lighting.


I had a *wish list* that came about because I like to be able to go out at
the drop of a hat and shoot with myself as *my only crew*.  That meant
everything on my list should be small and light and easy to handle.  I
can't do projects by myself where sound is important  but I sure can light
stuff and then shoot by myself....
*The wish list:*
1.  Small and easy to move/handle
2.  Capable of good runtime on battery power.
3.  Close to daylight balance.
4.  Cool running.  (Hey, I live in Texas, the last thing I need to do is
heat my studio in the summer.
5.  Able to be pressed into service for still photography.
6.  Affordable.
When I hammered down the list everything pointed to LED's.  I bought a
bunch of different units and started practicing.  When I felt like I was
getting to the point where I could light most things as well with LED's as
I had been able to with studio electronic flash, and I had samples of
successful shoots, I approached my publisher with the idea of doing a book
about the subject.  It would be the first book dedicated entirely to using
these new lights in still photography.
This book has a very specific target audience.  It's not aimed at a novice
user.  The person I wrote for is:  A working professional photographer who
has come to the realization that he or she needs continuous lighting in
order to move the business in the direction of including some video
services for clients.  It also includes advanced amateurs who understand
lighting and have probably worked extensively with off camera flash, light
stands and modifiers, ala David Hobby's Strobist work.
LED's have an obvious appeal to film makers but when photographers give
them a good hard look they find the lights to be useful for most still life
work, and quick portraits where balancing ambient light and fill light are
important.  The one group I think will benefit most are food shooters.
WYSIWYG lighting combined with no *lettuce withering heat *means that set
ups are quicker and surer and the comfort level, on set, is much better.
When I wrote the book I didn't have a huge backlog of images that were
created using LED lights.  In previous books I could save time by dipping
into twenty years worth of flash lighting and coming up with photos that
accurately illustrated the text.  This meant that I had to start setting up
test shoots with my favorite models and trying out techniques while I was
in the process of writing the book.  Sometimes I'd write a page or two and
then run into the studio and shoot in the style or manner I'd just
described to make sure it worked.  Like a cookbook writer testing recipes.
I know this will be obvious the minute I write it but photographers who
write books are at a decided vocational disadvantage.  We train for one
thing but have to do everything.  Writing a book is hard enough but imagine
having to write it and illustrate it at the same time.  You go back and
forth, from one side of the brain to the other....  Even though the images
illustrate the text I tried to write this for my readers in such a way that
one could make do without the photos. The photos are like the icing on the
cake and make *getting* the concept that much easier.
My biggest help in getting the book finished and out the door was my friend
and sometimes assistant, Amy Smith.  She patiently set up lights,
positioned models, shot behind the scenes sequences and was a charming
companion at many a lunch and coffee break.  She was also instrumental in
helping bring my book on studio lighting to life as well.
The biggest challenge for writers is always to keep working at our day jobs
(mine is photography) and stealing time to write in the early mornings
before the family is up and late at night when everyone else is settled
into their beds. If we stop doing photography to write about photography we
end up writing about the past. Not about what is relevant right now.
I hope this book provides a starting point for anyone interested in
learning to integrate and use LEDs in their practice of photography or
video.  It cannot be comprehensive, with respect to what's current in the
market, because that changes all the time, but it should serve as a guide
from which you can launch your own research.
Cool. Light. Shockproof and fun.  The more I use LEDs the more I like
them.  "

*No connection, don't even know the guy, but thought it was interesting.*
*Rick, who has cooked his own fingers many times.*

On Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 8:39 PM, Rick Beckrich <rbeckrich@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Late LED response to Chuck, Mike and others questioning their use in
> photography.
> Kirk Tuck, who blogs as
> The Visual Science Lab <http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/
> <https://navigator-lxa.mail.com/navigator/show?sid=ecbc6468d4082f401d07f6fd54f4994b1536ae6d44596f25ff4d1bb907bcc6ff8f5c5219465e3e833bc15c8b996ce007&tz=-4#mail>
> has been touting LED for years. Think he wrote a book on the subject.
> (Meant to post this days ago... just forgot I guess...)
> Think my light is getting dimmer.
> On Sun, Oct 25, 2015 at 8:43 PM, Scott Gomez <sgomez.baja@xxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
>> Although I mentioned huge solar arrays being built in California. I'm not
>> a
>> fan of the practice. Much better to encourage rooftop solar and small
>> distributed systems. Less blight on the views, and no perpetuation of
>> near-monopoly control of  energy.
>> On Sun, Oct 25, 2015 at 8:23 AM Mike Lazzari <watershed@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> wrote:
>> > > Wind is a bad economic decision.  ....
>> > >   The distribution system is actually the most expensive part ....
>> > I agree Chuck. But there are a couple of gaps in the mountain range here
>> > that are conveniently located near large dams. In some places it does
>> > make sense. In most places though the subsidies just make it an
>> > expensive and huge blight on the landscape.  The subsidized large solar
>> > arrays in the desert are similarly both destructive and expensive. What
>> > ever happened to individual rooftop arrays? Even now the cost of
>> > batteries isn't so bad compared with the cost of the subsidies and
>> > distribution. Even without and/or inadequate storage it would lessen the
>> > load on the net.
>> >
>> > M
>> > --
>> > _________________________________________________________________
>> > Options: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/listinfo/olympus
>> > Archives: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/private/olympus/
>> > Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/
>> >
>> > --
>> ---
>> Scott
>> --
>> _________________________________________________________________
>> Options: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/listinfo/olympus
>> Archives: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/private/olympus/
>> Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/
Options: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/listinfo/olympus
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Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/

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