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Thread: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

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    Default Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Hi guys!

    I'm new to the forum and I'm wondering if you could put forward some solutions for a little problem I've encountered?

    I'm currently working on a photographic project. This involves a ballerina moving through the frame of the camera over a long exposure. To convey the sense of movement we want to have the ballerina holding some sort of light sources in her hands and then these will leave a light trails on the exposure. The light sources must be as small as possible, so as to be easily concealed but they need to be very bright.

    Think writing in the dark with sparklers for reference! This will all be shot against a black background with a final flash shot at the end of the long exposure to show the model/ballerina frozen in movement (this is why the light sources must be small, so they don't show up much in the flash)

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated! Great forum guys, cheers!

    Salazar

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Sgt. LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Ah....................

    I would like to know how long it must run (constant on) for this to work.
    I imagine total flood (beam profile) being good for this?

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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    I'm not sure it needs to be as bright as you think it does... "Really bright" on this forum means "BLINDINGLY BRIGHT"!

    Anyway, try a Photon Freedom (or a few if you need them). They're fairly cheap ($10-$15), tiny, come with different color LEDs (white, red, blue, etc.) and have adjustable brightness. They get pretty bright with the new 2x LEDs, as well...

    I bet with long exposure times these would work perfectly. You probably won't even end up using them on full brightness if filmed against a black background...

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    Flashaholic* Crenshaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1253

    are about as small as they come. you can get a few.

    alternatively, the stuff from

    www.photonlight.com are the original makers...and they have more advanced versions available too. You COULD tape them on with flesh-coloured tape....

    OR, go DIY and just hook some LEDs up with small batteries....those will be alot smaller.

    Crenshaw

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    Enlightened cerberuss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Hmmm interesting . . . I suggest any small reasonably bright light . . Such as kaidomains buckle lights . . . But With a diffuser tip fitted . . . Think tiny traffic wands. . .lambertian type of diffusion.. . This will allow the brightness to stay the same through the dancers entire range of motion, so there won't be any bright spots in the film exposure if the light is faced directly at the camera. . .
    You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in.

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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Attention with the Photon Freedoms, they use PWM (pulse width modulation) dimming and you might see a strobing effect on your final pics. This might make a cool effect though

    The PhotonII lights do have a constant on without PWM.

    If you go for a Photon Light, buy some extra batteries as th econstant-on runtime is not that great, maybe an hour at reasonable brightness.

    Here's a pic of some Photon Lights, mostly the Freedom varianbt with the fashion outfits:




    bernie
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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    I agree with concept0. Since this will be shot with a long exposure, your light source won't need to be very bright. A floody type of light will wash out your subject and if it's directed towards the camera you might end up with some flare. I think a small light like a fauxton might work (might still be too bright though depending on the exposure length). You can always diffuse the light with some tape if you find it too bright. It's going to take a bit of experimenting. Good luck with your project.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Another suggestion for the photon, it even comes in a white body version which would be easy to hide. It would definitely show up on a log exposure shot, you could even put a few on, like on the sleaves, maybe on the shoes...

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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Another option would be the various effect-lights used by the Rave guys and girls, they have small button cell belly button and what else lights that sometimes even have magnets to attack them to fabric and might be able to shine through the clothes of your ballerinan depending on how much she wears.
    Might help to conceal the lightsource itself and eliminate glare and wash-out effects.
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
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    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by nars42 View Post
    Another suggestion for the photon, it even comes in a white body version which would be easy to hide. It would definitely show up on a log exposure shot, you could even put a few on, like on the sleaves, maybe on the shoes...

    White body?
    Show me, please !!
    I want one
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    The Liteflux LF2X might be good for this, it can easy be concealed in a hand and the brightness can be adjusted. It works on NiMH AAA rechargeable batteries (Alkaline can also be used, but they will limit maximum brightness).

    Your can get it from cpf marketplace

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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by concept0 View Post
    I'm not sure it needs to be as bright as you think it does... "Really bright" on this forum means "BLINDINGLY BRIGHT"!

    Anyway, try a Photon Freedom (or a few if you need them). They're fairly cheap ($10-$15), tiny, come with different color LEDs (white, red, blue, etc.) and have adjustable brightness. They get pretty bright with the new 2x LEDs, as well...

    I bet with long exposure times these would work perfectly. You probably won't even end up using them on full brightness if filmed against a black background...

    +1

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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiessling View Post

    If you go for a Photon Light, buy some extra batteries as th econstant-on runtime is not that great, maybe an hour at reasonable brightness.



    bernie
    Some colors and battery combinations run signifigantly longer. A green photon II on a single cr2032 battery will run for days. The white/blue/cyan ones on 2x2016 batteries are only good for 1-2 hours. Still plenty of time for a photo shoot, since they'll only be on for a few minutes at a time. I usually get at least a few months to a year of regular use out of a white photon II, which is a few seconds to a minute every few days.

    edit: I think the photon II's are going to be nearly ideal for your project. They're about the size of 3 stacked US quarters, and weigh almost nothing. The only problem is the light emission pattern from the LED, they project forward in around a 30-60 degree cone of light. If that doesn't work out maybe you could frost the LED domes with some sandpaper or abrasive scotchbrite, it may give better results. The "fauxtons" are cheap copies of the photon II, I'd grab a few of those just to see if they would work, if not it's only a couple dollars down the drain.
    Last edited by Yoda4561; 12-03-2008 at 03:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    The Draco and Drake are extremely small and even smaller. Both are very bright (Draco is brighter) and both have adjustable brightness. Here is the link.

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=166864

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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Did anyone see this ad on the main page?



    I think the issue with this problem is that... and even a photon will have trouble with this. I think ideally, you are going to want the light pointed in the same direction at all times. If the light is moving, and the light gets pointed directly at the camera it will appear much brighter than the rest of the motion... or as the OP was saying, as a stopping point.

    Now, what does not change brightness no matter what direction you point it? A clear incandescent lamp does. Maybe a 12 volt, 10 or 20 watt lamp? Maybe you can string 5 or 6, 2AA battery holders from radio shack on a belt and use some rechargeable NiMH batteries in it.
    "For every good deed, there is an equal an opposite bad deed."

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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiessling View Post
    White body?
    Show me, please !!
    I want one
    went back to the website and noticed it's actually pink, oh well, close enough.

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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by divine View Post
    I think the issue with this problem is that... and even a photon will have trouble with this. I think ideally, you are going to want the light pointed in the same direction at all times. If the light is moving, and the light gets pointed directly at the camera it will appear much brighter than the rest of the motion... or as the OP was saying, as a stopping point.

    Now, what does not change brightness no matter what direction you point it? A clear incandescent lamp does. Maybe a 12 volt, 10 or 20 watt lamp? Maybe you can string 5 or 6, 2AA battery holders from radio shack on a belt and use some rechargeable NiMH batteries in it.

    I think you're making this more difficult than it has to be. If the problem is going to be the directionality of the LED light, then a diffuser should be used on a Photon. I'm thinking a small, opaque, plastic sphere of some sort would be perfect.

    Where to get something like this? Off the top of my head, maybe a small opaque superball (like out of a quarter machine) with an LED-sized hole drilled in it? Although I've never seen a white opaque superball, just flourescent colors.

    There's gotta be a more simple solution for a small Photon diffuser... anybody?

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    Flashaholic* divine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Maybe I am. A diffuser on a photon might be too dim, too.
    "For every good deed, there is an equal an opposite bad deed."

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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by concept0 View Post
    I'm not sure it needs to be as bright as you think it does... "Really bright" on this forum means "BLINDINGLY BRIGHT"!

    Anyway, try a Photon Freedom (or a few if you need them). They're fairly cheap ($10-$15), tiny, come with different color LEDs (white, red, blue, etc.) and have adjustable brightness. They get pretty bright with the new 2x LEDs, as well...

    I bet with long exposure times these would work perfectly. You probably won't even end up using them on full brightness if filmed against a black background...
    Countycomm has some nice Photon style led lights. They come in two flavors - the light by itself is $1.00, the same light with a small clothespin style clip is $1.50. The clip rotates 360 degrees, so it would be ideal.

    As far as diffusers go, just cover the exposed part of the led with rubber cement. It's close to being transparent, yet it should spread the light out some as well.

    Another thought - instead of having the light be a point in space type of thing, have it aimed back at the dancer along whichever limb it is attached to. If the dancer is moving spatially as well as rotating, etc., it should produce some nice ghost-body style effects. Also, instead of using the on-camera flash as an ending of the shot, use a small flash handheld that you trigger with the open flash button several times through the shot. As long as she is in a different part of the frame for each flash it should produce a nice multi-image shot.

    Either way, we expect to see the final results here at CPF!
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  20. #20
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    Default

    as the others already typed: You dont need a bright light for this
    (unf. I dont have pics (stolen from another forum) here, I can add them later if You want. They were made with a Fenix + diffusor cone).

    take a Fenix E01, glue a white, milky plastic pearl on the front. That will spread the light all over
    if it has to be brighter, a Fenix L0D
    Last edited by yellow; 12-04-2008 at 03:01 AM.

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    Flashaholic* hyperloop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Just get those dealextreme fauxtons, surgical adhesive tape them to the back of her hands and to the ballet shoes. If you're taking photos in the dark, it will be more than enough
    Why are all the contestants in Miss Universe only from Earth?

  22. #22

    Cool Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    As a photographer, I suggest you do this in Photoshop. Less hassle, better result.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks to everyone for your responses, great to get such a variety of input!

    As some of you have picked up on, the light source must be non-directional. We will need a constant, even light source to move throughout the frame. I'd imagine we'll need it to run for 2-3hrs constant.

    Perhaps it will not need to be as bright as I initally thought and of course the cameras ISO and aperture settings can be adjusted accordingly. And no I definately don't need it "BLINDINGLY BRIGHT"!, thanks Concept0 foir the warning on that one!

    The LiteFlux LF2X with its small diffuser would be a good option, thanks HJK for the link.

    The photon lights look like they might be a touch small, although using quite a few for that 'limb movement mapping' kind of look they'd be perfect.

    This is what I've found will be a good option -

    http://www.glo-toob.co.uk/acatalog/Glo-Toob_FX.html

    It has several programable options but most importantly 25% and 100% constant power options. It will give a constant light source at 360 degrees. If it needs more diffusing, I think some opaque tape should do the job. These lights are still relatively small at 2.75" x 0.75".

    Thanks for your input JSG, we had thought of doing it post-production if all else fails, how would you suggest accomplishing the task in Photoshop?

    Anymore thoughts, let me know! Cheers

    I'll let you know how we get on, we're shooting this Tuesday. Thanks again!

    Salazar

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    Flashaholic cdosrun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    Hi Salazar,

    The Glo-Toobs are quite interesting but not terribly small, and the lower modes use PWM, so could end up with dots instead of a continuous path of light as previously suggested.

    A number of us met up and I took this photo http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...-LLdmGcPD9VNOA I have a feeling that is the sort of thing you have in mind. The torches used here were coloured Orb Raws and are quite bright, but against a darker background you could get away with something much dimmer.

    The cheap DX fautons listed earlier are probably your best bet, with a little light sanding of the LED, the light will be more diffuse and less likely to flare etc within the lens. I trust you will not be working wide open for this sort of thing anyway. Rear curtain sync can be quite fun!

    Andrew

  25. #25

    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    I second the glo toob comments. 1, they're not really all that bright, and 2, they're actually kinda big - think a 35mm film canister, about half again as tall as a normal one. Makes it kind of tough to hide it. Plus, it's really just a few 5mm LEDs that point down through clear acrylic, which MAY (though I'm not a photo expert) just show up as several streaks in your picture.
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  26. #26
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    I once stole these pics from another forum.
    is something what You have in mind?

    Light used was a Fenix L2D


  27. #27

    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    If you go with the coin cell photon style lights, sand the LED all around to smooth out artifacts.

    Photoshop is awesome, but you'll not be documenting the performer's movements should that be your goal.

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    Flashaholic* photorob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    This is a trusted online dealer that makes cheap keychain lights with a constant on clicky built in. I have recieved these for free a few times with orders and have nothing but good things to say about them.

    http://www.lighthound.com/Lighthound...D_p_0-967.html

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Ballerina requires a very small, bright light source... please help!

    google search for "led throwie"
    I'm sure these manufacturers make nice lights, but for an art project you should make your own.

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