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SPC - Single Person Crew
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Old February 16th, 2013, 12:45 PM   #1
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Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
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The Urban Solo Crew

As an "urban" solo crew myself much of the time I'm dealing with putting together a kit I'd need to use on public transportation. I use Sony EX1, Lowel Omni and ProLight. There's more of a kit when I have an assistant budgeted.

I'm particularly challenged since much of my shooting is in extremely small offices whether it be an apartment or office. I't not uncommon for me to work within a room that's about 8x8 which contains a desk, shelving, credenza and such. I'm talking about cramped confines and this is common where I am.

What I'm about to experiment is a Sola ENG and two Digital Juice 128s. Yes I need small. I need to carry camera, tripod, lights by hand most of the time. I can see moving to three Sola's or experimenting with a panel.

The motive for me to switch to LED is that even an Omni and Pro can generate enough heat to make the talent (often not used to being on camera) feel uncomfortable. I'm also trying to avoid potential issues with some older buildings with poor electric.
Craig Seeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 17th, 2013, 02:26 AM   #2
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
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Re: The Urban Solo Crew

Craig,

Are you using batteries as your power source for the Sola? If so, how one man band friendly is it as in weight, size and how long will it power the light for? I've got my eye on a Dedo, as much for its battery plate as for the light itself.

Dedolight Ledzilla Mini LED Daylight Camera Light DLOBML-SH B&H

Also, looking at a couple of lights similar to the digital juice you've got. Being completely DC powered is important for an upcoming shoot.

What light stands are you using? Most of what I've got are way over the top for this type of set up if I really want to be mobile. The exception is a couple of hobbyist type stands that were given to me. Their max height is barely enough if the subject is standing, nor do I trust them at that height.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 09:28 AM   #3
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Re: The Urban Solo Crew

Craig, I have been using Cool Light's 256 LEDs for a while and they are very portable. I find having a 5600k light is more useful than 3200k lights. Most of the time I have a 1/2 CTO gel in front of them because it seems so often I am at a white balance of ~4000k The lights are light enough to hotshoe mount and small enough to put in the camera case.

So I would say you will be happy with LEDs compared to the hot lights.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 10:24 AM   #4
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Re: The Urban Solo Crew

Jase,
I'm just plugging in the Sola at the moment. I can certainly see where batteries would be good but I haven't needed them in my shoot circumstances. In fact, in most environments I feel a little bit more at ease plugging them in since the low power draw means I'm far less likely to blow fuses in some office/home wiring that hasn't been maintained in 50 years. The downside of batteries is that it's another thing that adds weight to the gear kit so I do try to avoid it.

I've seen the Dedolight Ledzilla. It's got a nice feature set. The reason why I went with the Sola ENG is that it's very much like a Fresnel. At some point I may add the Sola 4 to my kit but as a solo shooter I'm very much concerned about adding weight. I'm even considering a 1x1 at some point.

The ideal, for me, is two lights (one soft) and a bounce for the person being interviewed and another to use, possibly with cookie, on the background. Some of the spaces I've shot in don't even have room for that given that the talent may have to be within inches of the wall. Some of the spaces I shoot in are so small that using my Sony EX1 on tripod is a tight fit... so I have to consider shooting through the door... and then there's the interruptions as people walk down the hall.

Tim,
I agree with you about daylight being more useful. Especially when you may be going into a space with daylight coming in. That's just one of the hassles that I'm going away from by moving to LED. The 256s do look nice. Have you used them with the soft box? Curious how you end up with 4000k. Are you in mixed lighting circumstances?
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Old February 20th, 2013, 03:23 PM   #5
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Re: The Urban Solo Crew

Craig, I have only used the 256s open or with some diffusion. I do not have soft box for them, but they are decently non-hard :)

It seems a lot of indoor lighting I come across hovers around 3500-4000 these days. Gyms, stadiums and warehouses, flo or the awful sodium vapors all seem to WB around ~4000k.
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