It’s been 6 months since we launched our LED Lighting range and what an amazing response we’ve had. Customers have been loving the power that these lights give and the small fan and thermal cut-out means these lights won’t overheat which is a great asset in a studio setting.
The LED colour panels have also been popular with everyone as they are so versatile and if you haven’t already seen our introductory videos on these then do check them out for more information on the panels or lighting kits.
This is our LED Lighting playlist on youtube
All our LED range are compatible with the studio accessories we stock and there are some great kits we have put together incorporating these. We have single lighting heads and soft boxes all the way to our three head kits with boom arm and accessories. If there is something you would like to see we would love to hear from you and will do our best to accommodate your requests.
With the Christmas season upon us we would like to thank all our customers this year and wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year. We are entering our 11th year here at Smick and will continue to bring you innovative and versatile kits and accessories to enhance all your photographic needs.
We now have LED photographic bulbs the next innovation in continuous lighting for video or still shots. About 10 years ago we introduced photographic compact fluorescent bulbs to the UK and coined the phrase Daylight balanced bulb. It seems now that everyone sells them and uses our phrase so we are now introducing to the UK and Europe mains ES screw fit LED bulbs, they are 5500k and have a CRI of 90 and come in 2 strengths 25 watt and 45 watt.
The bulbs are very powerful and there are panel of 25 watts which one of our bulbs is and the 45 watt bulb the costs are very much lower than a panel would cost. Although the LED bulbs are sold separately we sell these as LED Supersoftbox and this has 2 25w bulbs in each head the light output is stronger than the 4 x 50w CFL bulbs we had and 2 x 45w LED bulbs in the head give out as much light as 5 of our 105w CFL bulbs.
So any bulb holder with ES screw fit can take one of our LED bulbs, old lighting can be transformed, the good thing about these bulbs is they are smaller and more robust than the compact fluorescent bulb. They can be stored easily and will take a knock and unlike CFL bulbs which loose power over time the LED bulb outputs the same light throughout its life.
We have a big range of Micansu compact fluorescent bulbs and we are glad to announce that the 105W bulb all with ES or E27 fitting are on Special Offer.
We were the first company to sell compact fluorescent photographic bulbs in the UK and use the phrase Daylight Balanced Bulbs, ours are 5500k colour temperature ideal for still photography and for video.
Just like a fluorescent light but coiled around into a small package. If you already have one of our light units such as the Supersoftbox series then you can replace the 50w bulbs it comes with and use the 105w which will give you much more light. Using these bulbs in your softbox lighting kits means more versatility with your exposure, you can have your lights further away.
This consists of using shoot through umbrellas and using the 125w bulbs to give you a wider area of light. This kit comes with 2 stands, 2 ceramic bulb holders, 2 125w bulbs, 2 white shoot through umbrellas and we also include 2 silver umbrellas.
So you set your camera on ISO 100, aperture priority and this allows you to set your aperture, you want to go to an aperture of about f11 to give you some depth of field the camera will decide your exposure, you may need to use exposure compensation if the camera is seeing a lot of white or black.
This is a very versatile kit, you need to set you camera on a tripod as the exposure will be longer than you can hand hold, so you can shoot large items room scenes and most product photography that you need to do. We have made a video to illustrate this kit
3 point lighting is a fundamental setup for video lighting and also for digital which gives a solid basis for any lighting setup. This digital and video lighting setup allows you to use a main light or key light with a fill light and the third light is used as a hair light so that will light the rim of the hair and shoulder line. The hair light is more important with darker backgrounds although with a white background can still help separate the subject.
To make this more easily understood and to visually see how to implement this type of video lighting we have a video to show exactly how to do it and this has now made 350,000 views on youtube. With this many views it has made this one of our most popular videos which we have many with overviews and tutorials. So be sure to visit the video section which is on the right hand side of this page. It can also be a good idea to subscribe to the youtube channel and you will be informed of new videos as soon as they are published.
Any of our three head systems a three point lighting setup can be applied we have 4 different systems in this category 3 head kits, there is a kit for any budget. The kits which are recommended are the supersoftbox kit which is featured in the video, the Supersoftbox 4 and the Supersoftbox 5 which are more powerful give you versatility and help you with exposure and ISO settings making them more versatile to use.
We now have a Supersoftbox 4 Video Lighting kit, this has softboxes 50 x 70cm with removable outer diffuser. It uses balanced four daylight bulbs 105w 5400k which have a CRI of 90, these are compact fluorescent bulbs. This works well for interview or youtube type videos.
This kit is also great as a Continuous Lighting kit for still digital photography for 1/2 body shots and head shots which give an exposure of 1/80th sec iso 200 f 6.1 so gives a very versatile exposure range for continuous lights.
There are a range of Video Lighting kits, a single head kit a 2 head kit and a 3 head kit. The 3 head kit comes with 2 – 50 x 70cm softboxes and the 3rd light uses a boom arm with a 45 x 45cm softbox that has 3 x 50w bulbs. There is a choice of boom and there is also a choice of softboxes as there is an alternative choice of 80cm Octagonal softboxes that come complete with an outer diffuser. If you want pure white backgrounds on your video then a 2 head kit is used to light the background. Then either another 2 heads can be used to light the subject and a 3rd hair light can also be used.
You can choose the Supersoftbox 5 video lighting kit which takes 5 x 105w bulbs and has 60 x 90cm softboxes and this is suitable for full length video you can also choose an Octagonal softbox.
Chroma key all started in the movies with chroma key blue backdrop in the last few years green screen has now become the fashion chroma key green backdrops. It does not matter what colour you use but the colour you are using that colour should not appear in your subject.
You need to care for your cotton muslin backdrop because it is cotton it creases , there are several ways of reducing creases ironing is not advised as this can give a shine to the material that you don’t want. Using a hand steamer that can be picked relatively cheaply this is one way to tackle creases, the backdrop is hung up or opened up creases will diminish the other method is to use a spray bottle and mist it with water to ease the creases out. Being cotton the large backdrops can be machine washed but should be given a fairly cool wash so that any dye will not run and tumble dry to help keep the creases out and as soon as you remove from the tumble dryer get onto the background support to minimise the creases. Its a better idea to minimise the backdrop getting dirty in the first place as washing and getting the creases becomes a bit of a task.
You need to have more light coming from the background than is coming from your subject this effectively overexposes the background while keeping your subject properly exposed. Wether your shooting with a DV Cam or DSLR you need to override the settings otherwise automatic settings will try to make the background grey.
Using 5 x 105w compact fluorescent daylight balanced bulbs at 5400k in each head which gives out the equivalent of 420w of a normal household bulb, the way this is calculated is to multiply the starting wattage by 4 and this would apply to all of this type of bulb. Some companies will multiply the wattage by 5 times which makes it look like there equipment gives more power than it really does, so find out the wattage of the bulbs they are using and do your own calculation, some of these companies are not small ones either.
In the Supersoftbox 5 kits go up to a three headed kit, the 2 head kit and 3 head kits are suitable for full length portraits and for video lighting quite a big scene, on the back is 2 switches to allow 3 bulbs to be lit or 2 bulbs to be lit, the will also work with not all the bulbs in place.
We have produced a video overview of the Supersoftbox 5