This was my second time I used the Westcott Ice Light for some much needed fill doing some outdoor portraits for a consultant a cloudy and grey day. The photos from my first assignment are not yet published, so I will have to wait with those.
Unfortunately I didn’t shoot any portraits without the Ice Light, so I can’t really give you a comparison of how they would have looked if I hadn’t the help of this very portable and flexible lighting tool that I now bring along everywhere.
I think that sums it up. As I mentioned in my quick review of the Ice Light on this blog, it is very easy to work with.
Not only because it weighs just 0,5 kg (1.3 lbs according to their specifications) but more important, you see what you get directly in the camera. And that saves time.
For this portrait, I put the Ice Light on a light stand with a tilt/swivel head so I could position the light as I wanted it.
I don’t know if the photo to the right shows exactly how close the Ice Light is to his face, but it is pretty close, maybe 30 centimeters (one foot) or so.
If you are shooting portraits outside I think you will need to have it that close to get any effect from it. Indoors it feels bright and powerful, but outside in the middle of the day you will barely notice it if you place it to far away from your model.
But that doesn’t matter to me, I am mostly interested in close-up headshots where lighting matters. For half-length or full body shots, it would need to be much darker outside for this light to do anything to the picture.
Easiest fill light so far
What the Ice Light helps me with on this kind of assignment is giving me the chance to take good portraits even in bad lighting conditions, I am, as I said, mostly interested in lighting for close portraits, and with this portable light source I can get the right fill light as well as some sparkle in the eyes in a minute.
Sure, a Speedlight could do the same for you, but it takes a little bit longer to set up. At least for me. And this lighting solution is far quicker to get right. And it is not catching any wind, compared to an umbrella, that is.
But. They could have invented some sort of quick-release connection to a mount you screwed onto the light stand. That would be smart. My current solution for fastest mounting is to have a spigot screwed into one of the mounts at all times, but that results in the Ice Light not fitting very well in the bag.
If I didn’t recommend this in my quick test, I will do it now. It is a great thing that you can have on your backpack all the time, and it will come in handy more often for quick portraits than I thought it would.
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