Monday, January 26, 2009

Is That a Soft Box in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

The LED lights that come built-in to our cell phone cameras are generally useless. But not so the lights built into the cell phone screens themselves.

I am pretty much married to my iPhone now. Well, maybe not technically, but we are sleeping together. I am a huge fan of the BBC podcasts: Global News, Business Daily, FOOC, etc., and listen as I fall asleep.

Something else I am digging on the iPhone: Using the free MyLite app, you can turn your iPhone into a little 2x3.5" light panel that is surprisingly close to daylight balance...
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Mrs. Right vs. Mrs. Right Now

Using a cell phone as a light source is kinda like the old CSN song, "Love the One You're With." Is it gonna light a group shot? No. Is it gonna nuke the sun? Hardly. But it is available.

And what it can do is to get a little kiss of light in there that can provide a nice accent in a low-light shot. In a pinch it can be a quickie, hand-held key light at close range if you are shooting in very poor ambient.

Think twilight, or night shot, handheld with some of these ISO-Wonder Cameras like the D3 and 5D Mk II. Shoot with your right hand, add a little close-up light in with your left. Especially when you a shooting something moody against waning sunset, or just want a kiss of normal color light on someone's face on a night street shot.

The phone is wireless, flat, can be taped anywhere -- lots of possibilities. As long as you recognize its limitations (low light only) the ideas just start to pop into your head.


A Tripod Makes it Brighter

Of course, since the light is continuous, time (and a tripod) is your friend in a darkened room. Additionally, you can move it around during the exposure, so you can make the light source do things that a static flash could not possibly do.

Reader Jann Lipka, of Stockholm, demonstrates by using his cell phone screen to "light paint" a photo which was shot with a PhaseOne back. (How's THAT for a budget mismatch!)


(Via Jann Lipka, on Vimeo.)

You may at first write this off as a gimmick, but just realizing you always have that little light source with you can spark you to find ways to use it.


Little Lights for the Big Boys

Hollywood has already latched onto the idea. If you happened to pick up a DVD of the movie "Collateral," with Tom Cruise and Jamie Fox, check out the extras on disc 2. There is a feature on how they filmed all of the car scenes at night without lighting the exteriors. They just cranked the gain (it was shot digitally) and let the exteriors light themselves.

This left the interior of the car far too dark -- but remember that exposure level was very low. Enter flat-panel lighting. Michael Mann used (if memory serves) flexible panels which were originally designed to be backlights for laptop screens. He simply covered the interior of the back of the car in black velcro (ceiling, backs of the seats, etc.) so he could position the flat-panel LEDs wherever he wanted for the different shots.

This is way cool, IMO, and brings a whole new ethic to lighting the scenes. You are letting the ambient do the heavy lifting, and shaping up your primary subject matter with small lights that do not need to be very powerful. Sound familiar?



You can see the results of this "shaped ambient" style of lighting throughout the whole movie. I like it, and hope to do some low-light shooting with this technique first chance I get.


If you wanna play like Mann but need a little more light than your cell phone, you'll want to pick up a Rosco LitePad HO, pictured at left.

These are far brighter than you cell phone, and can run on 110v, cig lighter, or AA's. It is essentially a matrix of LEDs in a stiff, flat panel that is about 1/4" thick. They start at about $100 US for a 3x6" panel which is rated at 6000K for color.

For still shooters, they would be pretty specialized. But for the PJ's out there who are looking to do multimedia with a 5D Mk II or a D90, the LitePad would certainly merit a little space in your Domke. They are small, thin and rugged -- and ready to go whenever you need an accent in a low-light situation.

Have you put a normal cell, an iPhone or a store-bought panel into service for a shot? If so, hit us in the comments with a URL to the results.


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90 Comments:

Blogger Henry said...

It is a neat trick. I use Flashlight on my iPhone. It has different colors like gels and you can control the intensity of them all.

January 26, 2009 12:37 AM  
Blogger Barak said...

I shot a picture of my daughter while we were zooming down the California coast at night before Christmas. My wife was driving. Her face was lit using the iPod she was drawing on (Scribble if you have to know). For ambient, I waited until we passed a small shopping center.

http://flickr.com/photos/barakyedidia/3228055686/in/pool-strobist

January 26, 2009 12:53 AM  
Anonymous Alan Lapp said...

Very cool, I really like that LitePad, seems to be very flexible.

Several years ago, I used computer monitors to create colored light for tabletop shots. Just fill a photoshop document with color and voila, a colored light source.

Maybe you can hit up the iPhone folks to update their app to include a user-selectable light color.

January 26, 2009 12:56 AM  
Anonymous henoire said...

That is a really neat idea, especially if you're in a pinch and need some extra fill light. I usually just use the light from my cell phone to look for things in my camera bag.

I did catch that part on the bonus features of the dvd about Michael Mann using LED light panels to light the taxi cab scenes. I wonder how bright they can get and if down the road they can make them as large as say for instance, a soft box?

henoire

January 26, 2009 12:57 AM  
Blogger jaylifoto | Wedding Photographer said...

here you go, Nicolas lit by Nintendo DS:

http://jaylifoto.blogspot.com/2008/07/nicolas-and-mario.html

http://jaylifoto.blogspot.com/2008/07/nicolas-and-mario-2.html

January 26, 2009 1:25 AM  
Blogger Andrew Beattie said...

In a similar vein, this is just a grab shot of some fellow 'togs but I was pleased with the lighting. In a dark tent, the ambient is from fairy lights out of shot, and the girl's face illuminated entirely by her laptop.

http://www.tug.com/blog/Three_Flags/Photographers/400/img_6182.jpg

Andrew

January 26, 2009 1:50 AM  
Anonymous Ken Vogt said...

Has anyone tried using the flexible electroluminescent sheets? Not being handy with electronics DIY (I'm as likely to electrocute myself as I am to produce anything more useful than an ashtray with wires) I've shied away from picking up a kit online, but the stuff looks plenty interesting for photo applications.

January 26, 2009 2:04 AM  
Blogger Samuel Seth said...

I've had the same idea to do some portraits when I'm out with my friends some night. Most of them have iPhones, so I would have access to roughly 7 iPhones at one time.
I like to use an app called FiatLux. Its pretty good because it will turn the color of your choice. I like to use white the most though. I'm going to make it a point next time we're out to use them.

January 26, 2009 2:14 AM  
Anonymous northern Virginia Photographer said...

Thanks. I'm downloading that app right now. Mostly I'll be using it to find the memory cards I lose under the car seats. Makes a great softbox for my son's Star Wars figures YouTube attempts.
We missed you a Pho.

January 26, 2009 2:35 AM  
Anonymous Norton Zanini said...

I've done this like 2years ago using an iPod 80gb one of those that has a little screen.
I had no Idea that time that I was gonna become really focused in Strobist stuff.

http://c4.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/35/l_c1dd472f2f1f4ce8a2f660f55895073f.jpg

January 26, 2009 2:38 AM  
Blogger Virgil Lund said...

Like the idea of the Rosco light but $100 is a bit steep for and experiment (and not really in the Strobist way!). STILL don't have an iPhone (waiting for the current contract to expire!). So found this on eBay...

Can run off mains or batteries...

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Mini-Light-Box-Light-Panel-For-Fuji-Kodak-Pro-Studio_W0QQitemZ200301436505QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Photography_OtherAccess_RL?hash=item200301436505&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1301|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318

January 26, 2009 3:07 AM  
Blogger Rockhopper said...

For UK readers try this link

http://www.litepanels.com/


they have a dslr fit

January 26, 2009 3:31 AM  
Blogger Stephan Ahonen said...

Bear in mind when using your iPhone for lighting... The device uses an ambient light sensor to adjust the backlight brightness to be in tune with its surroundings, and apps normally have no control over backlight intensity. Since you will presumably be in a dark environment when you are doing this, the backlight will be fairly dim... You will either have to turn off the auto-brightness and manually turn it up yourself, or unlock your iPhone and use the unlocked version of the flashlight app (available in Cydia), which automatically cranks your backlight intensity to full when it's run (it goes back to normal when you exit the app).

January 26, 2009 3:32 AM  
Blogger Ilkka said...

Great, especially interesting about Collateral... but:

Does anyone know of a flashlight app for the Nokia Internet Tablet? I've been looking but no luck so far.

January 26, 2009 3:48 AM  
Blogger PartTimeAllTheTime said...

I wonder if you can use Surface Mount Diodes to make a "ring of light" - et voila a ringlight?

January 26, 2009 4:55 AM  
Blogger Barnacle said...

I have a small light table for viewing slides I need to dig out and try! Great idea.
Here is one using the camera's LCD.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3177/2592888435_dd054ae135.jpg

January 26, 2009 4:55 AM  
Blogger Hilton Hamann said...

Hi David. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks and as a photojournalist with more than 30 years experience I always believed that. That was until I came across your blog about 18 months ago. You most certainly have opened my eyes to new possibilities and taught me a whole heap of new techniques.
Thanks, this is just another example of one of those "I wish I'd thought of that moments!"

My photographic blog: http://thelightstuff.blogspot.com

January 26, 2009 4:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not exactly a softbox but iphone works pretty well as fake motorbike brake lights...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dannybird/2848119511/

January 26, 2009 5:04 AM  
Blogger Iain said...

I've used 'White' LEDs for light once.

http://flickr.com/photos/iainisbald/3228525746/

I wanted hard light very close to the face so LEDs were perfect because they are so small. It worked for this shot, but I would hesitate to use it for anything else because the the quality of the light is not very good. 'White' LEDs are actually blue LEDs with some yellow phosphorescent stuff in there to make it appear white-ish.

January 26, 2009 6:02 AM  
Blogger soccerjoe5 said...

I shot a self-portrait using nothing but the light coming off a Nintendo DS. It was my first self portrait, and my first off-camera lighting shot :)

January 26, 2009 8:04 AM  
Blogger Grant Lee Neuenburg said...

I have been experimenting with using the TV screen and computer screens for low-key lighting recently. Here's Jessica lit by the screen of the MacBook Pro. (Nikon D300 with Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/2.8)
Please let me know if this link works: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1456961946#/profile.php?id=1421381331&ref=profile&pub=2305272732
this is supposed to be vertical but somehow went in horizontal.
grant

January 26, 2009 9:47 AM  
Blogger Dusey said...

This was kinda mentioned already, but don't forget you can open up the google home page on a laptop, crank up the back light and have a pretty large, mostly white light source. Tablets would be amazing for that.

January 26, 2009 10:05 AM  
Blogger Milan said...

Here is a cell phone illuminated shot that I ended up being quite happy with:

http://www.sindark.com/2008/03/11/sectoral-solutions/

I like the contrasting colours.

January 26, 2009 10:54 AM  
Blogger mike3k said...

You no longer need a separate flashlight app - Tweetie added a built-in flashlight with the latest update (see "popularity enhancer"). I uninstalled Flashlight to free up some space.

January 26, 2009 11:14 AM  
Blogger Charlie Thiel Photography said...

This post made me remember I have a flat panel light table from way back in the days I shot film. I can't wait to see what I can do with that!

January 26, 2009 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ME here,..

http://www.luxeonstar.com/

( no affiliation to any of these links, btw )

for all DIYers out there.

You'll get Moar Gooder(tm) CRI
( color rendition index - check the CRI for any fluorescent you buy, you want closer to 100(%) )
with a mixture of warm-whites & daylights
( which may require 2 circuits ),
and those Rebel modules do look good, but high-power LEDs can get hot
( applies to all high-power LEDs, not just some LuxeonStars ).

Use heat-sink epoxy
( http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_alumina_thermal_adhesive.htm )
to stick the slug under the the die onto copper
( as in pipe )
and use your entire rig's structure for heatsinking, and they'll live much longer.

Also, http://www.thomas-distributing.com/index.htm carries both the Maha 8-cell chargers
( stick 8 or 16 D-cells on an LED panel & you've got video-usable time/light )
& the don't-self-discharge-fast D-cells ( Accupower, iirc ).

As for OTHER uses for the D-cells, get a power-cable for your speedlight ( sUNpak, etc ), check the polarity your OEM external powerpack provides, wire-up some D-cell holders to the power cable so it's wired right, and you should have nearly unlimited oomph in your remote-mounted speedlight, then.

( not to mention FAST recycling, if you don't melt your strobe...

hmm... )

Cheerses, eh?

d :

January 26, 2009 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Stefan said...

The app is real cool. Half a year ago I did this one http://is.gd/hhdb

January 26, 2009 11:20 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Here's another Nintendo DS shot. The scene was a black-lit mini golf course in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cybjorg/2937691093/in/set-72157594337816996/

January 26, 2009 11:47 AM  
Blogger MajorMantra said...

Interesting post. I really liked the effect I got when I shot someone whose face was lit by their PDA:

http://flickr.com/photos/matthewallen/2123718826/

...but it hadn't occurred to me to use this approach with the device out of the frame and acting as a main light source.

Cheers,
Matthew

January 26, 2009 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Darrell said...

Yes - very cool. When watching the movie trailer you can actually see those lights reflected in Jaime Fox's glasses at 1:14 into the video. I gots to find me some of those!

January 26, 2009 2:01 PM  
Blogger James said...

Wow...and to think I just use my phone display as a flashlight sometimes to get around in my place if I don't feel like turning on the lights.

I'll have to try this one day.

January 26, 2009 3:50 PM  
Blogger Paulo Rodrigues said...

Some might find it a little underpowered for shooting people, but it can work.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulophoto/2424606839/

January 26, 2009 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Mat said...

Well!
I use this for 20 years and I am working.

January 26, 2009 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can also use the light from your phone screen (ipod or not) to help your camera focus in low light when you need the autofocus to hit (my eyesight is too poor to manually focus on low light by hand). I have my model hold the phone close to her face, get a lock, and have her pocket the phone. Great when I can't find my flashlight!

January 26, 2009 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a shot that I came across a while back on flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bitrot/373626339/

January 26, 2009 5:21 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

I've been using the iPod as a light a lot lately, and use FiatLux, or even an appropriate image file. Several recent posts on my photo-a-day blog, including yesterday's, were done with an iPod and/or cellphone. :)

www.photernal.com

January 26, 2009 5:37 PM  
Anonymous kate w said...

I shot my husband lit by his new macbook: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cinnamongurl/2192957911/, although the macbook is in the shot too. After reading this post, his chances of getting an iphone are looking a lot better. ;)

January 26, 2009 6:27 PM  
Blogger Days said...

Following that thread, it would also be simple to go generic and create a plain white picture in my favourite photo editor, it could be loaded and displayed in any hand help device.

Avoids the need to install the Strobe, Trippin or Rock concert lights.

January 26, 2009 7:25 PM  
Blogger bob blakley said...

I shoot a lot in low light and find that people using their cell phones make good subjects because the light is dim enough and directional enough to light their faces but not the surroundings.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulophoto/2424606839/

January 26, 2009 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Project7 said...

Leave it to DH to use an IPhone while the bosses struggle to use their fancy, shiny Profotos.

Proud to be a dirt-poor strobist. Yawza.

January 26, 2009 9:57 PM  
Blogger Nelson said...

laptop lcd iluminated girl:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nelsonmello/1108146300/in/set-72157594513849368/

January 26, 2009 10:13 PM  
Blogger Brian Kolstad said...

After reading this post I had a fun idea... Here are the results:
http://flickr.com/photos/btkolstad/3229593405/

January 26, 2009 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Chicago photographer said...

Modern cameras have truly allowed us to rewrite the book on what works as a light source. Cee Lite has some cool panels, but they're pretty expensive. Big though.

January 27, 2009 12:31 AM  
Blogger penance said...

In a dive bar (the V-Room in Long Beach, CA, to be specific) my wife was having focusing issues due to the low light dive bars are required to have by law. 2nd generation ipod touch with the flashlight app installed & problem solved plus a nice lightsource:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/angeldye/3109945052/

January 27, 2009 1:10 AM  
Blogger hrdina said...

If you have an iPhone/iTouch just make solid color images and upload them as a photogallery. You can create as many colors as you want and there is no need to buy a flashlight App

January 27, 2009 2:37 AM  
Blogger Kitty said...

I figured this one out by luck. I was trying to get a long exposure of my daughter and she wouldn't stay still. Then she opened her phone to do some texting:
http://thecuckoosnest.wordpress.com/2008/09/26/gen-text/
And I got one.

January 27, 2009 5:02 AM  
Anonymous Roger Lim said...

Well I used a couple of round LED lights bought at COSCOs

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rogvon/2788861964/in/photostream/

January 27, 2009 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Alanna said...

Is there anything the iPhone cannot do?? What a great idea. I look forward to (someday) trying this out once me and the iPhone eventually get married :)

January 27, 2009 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Slightly OT, but seeing you mentioned BBC podcasts, I'd like to give a plug for my favourite: BBC Radio 3's Arts and Ideas - fabulous! And thanks so much for this blog which is teaching me lots.

January 27, 2009 1:06 PM  
Blogger bobby said...

another thought.... your new netbook: how bright is the lcd on battery power? in a pinch, you could make a solid white image and go full screen with it. heck, you could have a selection of colors ready to go. a 9" light source would be nice, no? and if need be, mask if off and you can make a strip light or a circle.

would that not be a similar solution?

January 27, 2009 1:25 PM  
Blogger TegyAuto said...

My iPhone was used recently on a movie shoot I was shooting production stills for its not a very good shot but here is one capturing it in use

http://www.flickr.com/photos/grantz/3056694517/

January 27, 2009 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Matteo said...

thanks, great trick!

January 27, 2009 5:09 PM  
Blogger Jack Cabbage said...

Not bad!

January 27, 2009 5:42 PM  
Blogger Amanda Matthews said...

Great idea...downloading this app right now. May post a photo later.

-AM
-Twitter
-Website

January 27, 2009 6:53 PM  
Blogger Tim Kroskie said...

I have been using LED lighting for years for Vision systems and the manufactures rape you on the the price a 200mm sq. light sells for like $500. Its good to see new competition to drive the price down. Here's a link to a company that has been working bringing the price down and has a good selection of LED lighting that could be used for small product lighting. www.bannerengineering.com/en-US/products/5/Vision/61/Vision-Lighting

January 27, 2009 7:13 PM  
Blogger Norton said...

I actually liked the Idea and found that my TV could serve as a 32" Softbox as well :)
check this out:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nortonnn/sets/72157613070721140/

January 27, 2009 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

I haven't jumped over to thhe iPhone yet, but this app makes me want to get one now.

January 27, 2009 11:21 PM  
Anonymous virginia photographer said...

I went to yesterdays food shoot fully intending to use this as a supplemental fill or catch light. This is a great app and I'll post something once I fulfill this to-do.

January 28, 2009 2:46 AM  
Blogger xavier said...

That pic whas shot during a party, using a toy lightsaber :
http://blog.xrpix.com/index.php?showimage=611

that one using a head lamp i had in my bag (i use it to ride my bike at night also ;))

http://www.flickr.com/photos/xavtek/3232720038/?addedcomment=1#comment72157613037579281

January 28, 2009 4:52 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

My niece Meghan lit by her new DS on Christmas Day.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pejophoto/3161534941/in/set-72157612089144502/

January 28, 2009 11:37 AM  
Blogger DVD Steve said...

Hey, you made it onto the PhotoJoJo newsletter as a full article titled "How to Use your Phone or Laptop as a Quick ‘n’ Dirty Softbox"

January 29, 2009 4:40 AM  
Blogger Sunny Archibald said...

I read this post the day before we had an ice storm and lost power for 25 hours. I had loaded the app of my Touch....I can't believe how useful it was, even though it wasn't used for photography. Thank you!

January 29, 2009 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend Daniel Bray, lit by his cell-phone.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielbray/361287428/

January 29, 2009 4:52 PM  
Blogger Michelle McGee said...

What a freaking great idea!

January 29, 2009 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Eric Strauss said...

Loved the post. Especially dug the video. Results were amazing! I did a shot with a computer being the main light source.

http://www.ericstraussphoto.com/post/73703115/bianca

But I'm def. going to try the iPhone.

January 29, 2009 11:59 PM  
Anonymous Eric Strauss said...

Loved the post. Especially dug the video. What a great shot. I did a shot using a computer as the main light source. I've always admired shots like that.

http://www.ericstraussphoto.com/post/73703115/bianca

I will have to try the iPhone soon. I like how in the video he described it as "painting" the light.

January 30, 2009 12:01 AM  
Blogger Mostly Lisa said...

Flashlight was the first app I downloaded, and it didn't take me long to figure out the old iPhone Soft box trick. People generally give me a sneer when I shine my iPhone in their face, but when they see the shot they shut up.

You can also do pretty cool light painting with Flashlight set on strobe with different colours. NB. looking directly at the strobing iPhone may induce violent eye twitching and nausea.

January 30, 2009 3:50 AM  
Anonymous Ron Miller said...

For anyone using a Symbian phone......that's lots of Nokia, LG and Samsung phones (amongst others) there are various free "torch" applications. My phone uses the S60 version 3 operating system and there's a free application download here:

http://3lib.ukonline.co.uk/nonagss603.htm

Ron

January 30, 2009 4:16 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Your use of sexual innuendo in the subject is crude and offensive. Do you communicate like this with your family members? I doubt it. Then, I ask only that you show your readers the same respect. This is a continuing pattern of crudeness that I hope you will abandon.
Robert W. Gartner

January 30, 2009 11:03 AM  
Blogger Rekanize said...

I've gotten some great shots where my fill was a laptop screen... Here are some of Gregg Gillis (aka Girl Talk) performing

example #1
example #2
example #3
example #4

January 30, 2009 12:05 PM  
Blogger David said...

Dear Bob-

I am sorry you were offended by the use of what I consider to be very mild sexual innuendo on the site. As for your suggestion that I speak to you like I speak to my family, I do not think that is an idea solution.

If I talked to you like I sometimes talk to my kids, you would probably find it condescending. If I spoke to you like I sometimes speak to my wife, you my find the innuendo to be far more overt.

Kidding aside, the tone I set for this blog is one of an over-the-lightbox type of conversation. I make a conscious effort *not* to make sure I never offend any reader. If I did that, it would be bland and uninteresting. Ditto the level of assumed lighting knowledge, too.

I understand there will be people at the margins who are affected by that, but that doesn't mean it would be a good thing to turn myself into a Ned Flanders, gosh-doodly-darn-it.

I have always been a little bit of an "al dente" kind of person -- rough edges and all. I do appreciate your position, but as Popeye said, "I yam what I yam..."


Best,
DH

January 30, 2009 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Cancun Wedding Photographer said...

Great idea. I have downloaded 100's of apps on my iPhone, Lux Touch, Flixster, Pandora, Live Poker... etc but for some reason I never downloaded the "flashlight" apps, just thought they would be kind of lame, but great idea using it for a softbox! As always awesome reading!

January 30, 2009 7:32 PM  
Blogger Pat Niemeyer said...

I call this one iPhone glow...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/patniemeyer/3240466136/


Pat

January 30, 2009 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Brendan Falkowski said...

Used my roommate's iPhone to light a "Vote Obama" card back in November.

Obama + iPhone + Strobist on Flickr

January 31, 2009 12:24 AM  
Blogger Sir Blogalot said...

Off the subject I know but since you mentioned the BBC podcasts, they all come from BBC Radio 4 which doesn't usually appeal to people under 40 years old but if you discover it sooner then you are enlightened. Check out the Friday night comedy podcast or listen live at 6.30pm UK time....

January 31, 2009 12:00 PM  
Blogger Dusan Smolnikar said...

My samsung sgh-e370 has a nice little continuos flash that I've used before for painting. I pointed it trough a cardboard cylinder (similar to one found on toilet paper, just a bit more narrow) to limit the beam.

See the result:
Card game

February 01, 2009 2:50 PM  
Anonymous David Bennison said...

Thanks for the great idea, I used this last night!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dbennison/3245802170/

Works well with Ipod Touches!

February 01, 2009 11:28 PM  
Blogger D. Shankar said...

I used this strategy a couple weeks ago for a photoshoot with a girl and the local police department.

http://flickr.com/photos/dshankar/3225763359/

I just used the indoor car lights and a police-issue flashlight. I lowered the shutter and let the ambient do the "heavy lifting."

February 02, 2009 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Tony said...

Boy, there were may times i wish i knew this a long time ago. Shooting almost in the dark and my camera wont focus. This would have come in handy.... But now I know.

February 02, 2009 11:48 PM  
Anonymous Christian M. said...

Not having an iPhone is no real hindrance. Just take a photo of something white (sheet of paper...), crank up display brightness and let yout cellphone show the display.
Works well with my Sony Ericsson K810i.
The white picture is stored as pocketlight.jpg...
Christian

February 03, 2009 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Brian Storey said...

http://flickr.com/photos/thestorey/2921631182/ was done with my iphone

February 03, 2009 10:12 AM  
Blogger Cristi said...

...god damn mac products.

February 03, 2009 11:21 PM  
Blogger Dusan Smolnikar said...

A fresh one from me. Used the iPod touch for a bit of fill light. myLite application can glow red! :)

shiny Mustang | GT

February 08, 2009 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Carl T said...

Thats a great idea. I just made an application for the iPhone for creating long coloured trails on long exposure shoots but I never thought of using the colors as a light for a shoot. Its a genius of an idea. If you have an iPhone then check out Airluminate because you might be able to use it for your work :)
Keep up the good ideas
Carl

February 12, 2009 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Norby said...

BTDT - good to remind people that light is light though:

Heat-seeking missle

-/\/

February 14, 2009 12:06 AM  
Blogger ricardo said...

Hi David great post as usual,I'm a young Photojournalist in Jamaica where we don't necessarily have the opportunity to learn a lot about lighting in Photography and I really was getting bored and trust me Strobist has made me into a new animal I basically am addicted to your site after first learning about Strobist by reading a copy of professional photographer which I borrowed.
Keep up the great work your doing,Photographers like myself need Strobist it as become our lifeblood.

February 25, 2009 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Blaneyphoto said...

And for those of us who still shoot some film, its a pretty nice portable light table too...

March 02, 2009 8:39 AM  
Blogger captaindash said...

Yeah I'm late to the party here, but I'll post anyway. Quick comment, but I gotta address "bob" first. If a very minor innuendo is all it takes to offend you and you won't speak to your family like that, then I feel for the ones you drive to school everyday because they will be exposed to far worse by about grade 4. Keeping such tight lid is like pinching off a garden hose in the cartoons. You handled it with class, Mr H.

I digress.

The blackberry storm has a most powerful light for video. I had a 'roid monkey threaten me the other day at a bar because it was too bright, and he was a solid 20' away. It lights beyond belief.

March 30, 2009 1:02 AM  
Blogger Grant Lee Neuenburg said...

What about using the chimping screen as a lighting source? see:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?v=feed&id=1421381331#/photo.php?pid=30306457&id=1421381331&ref=mf
bst.
g)

March 31, 2009 6:42 AM  
Blogger Rekanize said...

I remembered this post last weekend when I was out with my g/f in rainy New Orleans... I was trying to shoot with available (low) light, and thought for a moment, handed her my iPhone and told her to just load up some bright pages.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rekanize/4188317363/

December 17, 2009 5:06 PM  

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