Anyway, as a result of you lovely people clicking through to Amazon from my blog, I received my first payout!
So, here is what your kindness has bought me - the power of light!
Getting good quality video means you need good quality light, it's an issue I had skirted around for too long when I started out. Mostly because good quality lighting is expensive and cheap lighting can bring more problems than it solves. You might remember that Andy at Syncrovise gifted me with a great continuous lighting kit recently, which I have used on several shoots and has really helped me light up my subjects. It was such a revelation in fact, that I've been looking to inexpensively bolster my lighting arsenal. And thanks to all of you, I have now been able to, with an LED light bank and a 5-in-1 reflector.
LED light bank
I have seen these online but never really thought much of them, I guess I doubted how much illumination a bunch of little LEDs could offer. But then I saw one in action when I dropped by The Explorer's Collective Live From Forest Hill recording session, and it cast a lovely bright, daylight-balanced white light. So I did my research and took the plunge on this.
Big enough to cast a bright light, but still a compact enough unit to be completely adaptable. Most importantly, the light comes with a dimmer! It also has a shoe attachment meaning you can attach it directly to the camera or camcorder, or even to a tripod with a cheap adaptor. The LEDS run cool too, unlike a lot of other (admittedly far brighter) lights so I can experiment with coloured plastic overlays to give me coloured light. It comes with some plastic inserts that slot in over the LEDS and change the colour temperature when necessary, but the naked bulbs run at a very nice pure white daylight temperature, meaning the light looks natural and not overtly artificial .
This is a collapsible reflector that folds away into a (relatively) small disc, but pops open into a large diameter of 110cm. It has removable covers and can be used as a silver reflector, a gold reflector, a white reflector (different colours mean the reflected light will have a different hue), a translucent disc (to reduce or diffuse bright light) and a jet-black cover for using it as a dark backdrop. A reflector gives you the ability to bounce light around during a shoot, it helps to add a little accent of light to specific objects or to eliminate unflattering shadows around an actor's face.
I had previously used a stiff piece of cardboard wrapped in kitchen foil (a good no-budget substitute!) but this reflector gives a larger, stronger and more consistent result.
I just want to say a really big thank you to everyone who helped me out. If anyone wants to help out in the future when shopping on Amazon, visit my blog first (you can bookmark me, if that isn't too forward of me to suggest) and start your first Amazon search from the box on the right, or alternatively click through any Amazon linked products in any of my equipment or book reviews. It'll take you straight to Amazon where you can shop as normal, I get a 5% commission on anything you buy, and it won't cost you a single penny! Any money made goes towards video equipment, which I'll post on here!