Portable on-camera lights are certainly among the common tools utilised by professional videographers, particularly in documentary and ENG style shootings. The best part is that such a small and compact light panel can also be used in a variety of other situations besides the conventional on-camera setups for lighting subjects.
Typically, this type of lights can not only be a decent source of light when mounted on top of your camera, but they can also fit in various tight spaces due to their small and compact size. Ahead Doug Guerra from B&H will demonstrate some off-camera tricks with the Litepanels Brick Bi-Color Portable LED Light, and will showcase just how versatile these type of lights can be.
Although the Litepanels Brick Bi-Color Portable LED Light is excellent for lighting your subject on the front while being mounted on top of your camera, it certainly can be used in many other creative ways. For instance, by mounting it on a small tripod, you can use the LED brick as a fill light for your scene. This way you can support your main light source, by using one or two smaller lights to complete your portable lighting setup.
Plus, these compact LED panels produce considerably less heat which is another important consideration when you want to make your subject feel more comfortable in front of the camera. The small size of the LED brick along with its ability to be dimmed will allow you to control the light without sacrificing the quality of your lighting setup at the same time.
Furthermore, you can use such a light to improve the background look of your composition when filming. You can also use it to add more dramatic or stylish flare to your set. Casting light on the wall behind your subject is another fantastic way to separate the foreground and background in your frame, thus making your videos stand out even more.
You can even use an onboard light source on narrative projects. The most common approach is replicating the practical lights on set. An LED brick can augment a practical light or fake it entirely. Whatever the case, it’s always great when you have a couple of these units in your backpack. The trivial example is using such a light to replicate the glow of a computer’s display on your talent’s face. You can also utilise the produced light as an eye light to add a settling touch to your shot.
Lastly, you can also use such a compact light unit to create dramatic moods and separate colours in your scene. For instance, by utilising this light in the opposite colour temperature of your key light, you can create the effect of a warm sunny highlight in the background. The LED panels are constantly evolving and can deliver enough quality to make every professional shooting shine, so don’t underestimate their efficiency and always take at least a couple of those with you when traveling. You’ll be surprised how powerful they might be on set.