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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Holy Cheap Lighting Batman! Its the Batlight!

Bianca poses in her livingroom, the Batlight held above her face, just out of frame.
I am not one for hardware stores. To me, they are useless places. I may as well be stethoscope store or an astronaut's outlet. I am not the home handyman type. So large hardware outlets like Bunnings are not my kind of place. However, they do have cheap AA batteries in large quantities. So...I go. A few months back I was wondering through the place with my wife, trying to look all 'home handyman' and be impressive. All of a sudden we encountered a large pile of lights on special. That always takes my attention. Light is my main tool of the trade, and suddenly it seemed like Bunnings might be the place for me after all. 

These lights were on special for $27.95 and they were called Batlights. "Holy Cheap Lighting!" I said to myself as I punched one hand very Robin-like into the other. We bought one, and went on home. 
We were surprised that its colour temperature was close enough to daylight so that it could actually be used without any need for correction in post, or filtering when in use. This was a very pleasant surprise. So....we went back and bought another, eagerly looking forward to the first real opportunity for the Living in Pictures team to use it on a shoot.
Along came Mel and Travis' wedding. Their wedding was held in the height of summer and the Batlight, while quite bright, was not as useful on their wedding as we would have liked it to be. Even the indoor photography was bright. Nick and Bianca's wedding, however, was a different kettle of fish. Their wedding was more recent and with the Australian summer over, the light was softer and nowhere near as bright, especially inside. So out came the batlight.

Tash holds the batlight for Bianca's indoor portrait
The Batlight has the option of opening and closing, which can focus or spread the light as you see fit. It also has a very bright spotlight option. It is rechargeable at home or in the car and the battery allows for hours of lighting. It is light, very manageable and easy to include in your photography kit.

There is much talk among photographers about Jerry Ghionis' Icelight, and so there should be. It is an incredibly practical and creative tool that many photographers around the world are utilising for a host of different photographic assignments. However, in this humble photographer's opinon, it is also too expensive. There are about $1200 good reasons why I haven't invested in a couple of these babies yet. That's not to say they wouldn't be used. They would be. But there are many uses for a photographer's money, and at the moment, the Icelight is not among them. I have long used and taught the benefits and versatility of off-camera flash and we use it at every wedding. However, when the Batlight came into view it whispered in excited tones that we needed to own a couple and use them. I have a feeling that it will be used again...and again.




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The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

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