I have been using the Litepanels Astra EP 1×1 Traveler Kit for the last few months now and I absolutely love them. I’ve used them on so many shoots — almost all of them — over the last few months since late August and have found them invaluable as part of my main lighting package for smaller shoots and as great supplementary units for my larger shoots. (On the larger shoots, we used pretty powerful lights and also had a full array of other units that there wasn’t much of a need for these.) I’ve found their strength, with my lighting style, is in backlighting and as background lights for interview setups, which I use them for mostly. I still haven’t been able to use them as suitable key lights because I like to have broader light sources than a 1×1 panel. Even if I try using them as a key light, I would fire them through diffusion panels but then a single panel didn’t have enough fire power to give me the light levels I needed so I kept them in their secondary roles as backlight and background units.
This may not be the most ideal lighting kit for the airborne shooter, but the Litepanels Sola 4 Traveler Kit™ definitely packs a healthy punch for its size, weight and power consumption.
I was up in Oregon a couple of weeks ago shooting a little mini doc piece about a senior missionary couple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The couple called their journal, “Serving in the Valley of Volcanos,” because the region they were in (circa Bend, OR) is surrounded by volcanos and buttes. I wasn’t able to take too many pictures because of run-and-gun nature of the shoot, but I was able to steal a few here and there. We shot with our usual setup of 2 5Ds, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 16-35mm, 2 Litepanels 1×1, GlideCam, GoPro, etc. These photos don’t tell much about the shoot, but here they are anyway.
Looking for the ideal portable lighting kit? The Litepanels Sola ENG Flight Kit may be it. I’ve had the opportunity over the last few weeks to use the Litepanels Sola ENG Flight Kit on a few different projects: a series of interviews, a documentary in Alaska, a commercial spot, and a music video. These little lights were designed as on-board camera lights, but this kit attempts to make them a little more than that. As such, I took them on a few shoots and used them as “conventional” lights, so keep that in mind as I review this kit.
“This is it?” and “I need some space.” One mildly annoying thing about the film industry is that, regardless of how simple a shot may be to get, you almost have to put on a big to-do to make the producers feel like they’re getting what they paid for. Sometimes, if given a blessed situation, all you need to shoot a scene is a bounce card or nothing at all. But take a few hours to put an 18K HMI through a double 12×12′ silk and now you’ve got a production even the biggest movie star can be proud of walking on to! Maybe I’m exaggerating… or maybe I’m not. My point is, sometimes you really don’t need much of anything to get a good looking shot.