Stan was commissioned to shoot stills for the Lowel Blender™ print ad. Blender is a compact location fixture that mixes daylight & tungsten color LEDs for balanced fill light on location. We wanted to demonstrate Blender's versatility. So we chose three different ambient light settings; daylight by a window, a fluorescent lit workspace, and an intimate tungsten living room. Blender was the only light to augment existing illumination. After the shoot, we asked Stan to share his thoughts on using the light.
Lowel Blender ad, click to enlarge
For details on how each shot was lit, click on the images to the right. These setups could also be used for video.
What is Blender to me? The ideal light for the digital age.
"When Lowel first told me about a light that could intuitively blend to match different sources, I had one serious misgiving: Fluorescent-difficult to correct for in any mix. But the beauty of Blender, is that it doesn't over-compensate for this failing. It simply provides enough punch to take advantage of the forgiving nature of digital cameras like my Canon 5DII.
In fact, it worked perfectly as the key light, with all-fluorescent ambient light (image #2), just the sort of thing you might encounter in an office or large factory. In the workshop shot, the kick Blender provided was a nice antidote to the bland, overhead fluorescent.
In the living-room set-up (image #3) with a tungsten "practical" lamp, Blender was the key "drama" that was missing in the room. Note that I used it with a battery for maximum mobility in the actual apartment.
But I think it was most surprising when matched up with daylight in the window setting (image #1). Going toe-to-toe with the diffused sun, Blender was a nice little fill, light-weight enough for an assistant to move it unobtrusively in, out and around the model's face."
How easy is it to use?
"Growing up in photography, I'm a numbers guy: ISO this, color temperature that. And with that comes a kind of intuition, built on experience. Blender plays to that well. To use it, all I need do is go by my gut and dial up the right blend: "Oh, that looks a little yellow. Oh, that's about right." You set Blender intuitively so the shot looks right. Just to check it out, I shot a test with a grey card and confirmed the color balance on my computer monitor. Right on the money."
How About Crossover?
"You're probably aware that all the hi-end new SLR's have a video shooting mode that is surprisingly good. And that underscores another Blender strength: A quick change-over to video. In the past, when everything I shot was strobe, knocking off a quick video shot would be an impossible chore. Blender, as a source of continuous daylight, tungsten or fluorescent makes the crossover painless."
A light for all reasons.
"I use to live in a very compartmentalized film world. I'd routinely have three or four different film stocks on hand for different shots. Now, with a digital camera and its perfect complement in Blender, I don't worry about something being suitable for daylight only, or tungsten only, or fluorescent only. Blender does them all."
Image 1, Daylight Window
Image 2, Fluorescent Lit Workshop
Image 3, Tungsten Lit Living Room