Every once in awhile there is a piece of gear that changes everything; it’s either because of its portability, or its usefulness and ability to bring more creativity to the table or just because its so new and innovative it just has to be game changer. This was my first impression of the Ice Light.
It also looks like a light saber, which is a plus.
I used the Westcott Ice Light for the first time during this photo shoot for Rangefinder Magazine. Shooting on-location at night in a Parisian square, I wanted and needed a light the was portable while also producing a beautiful output. I used two Ice Lights during this shoot to illuminate my subject from head to toe. That’s some task to photograph a black wedding gown at night.
Introduced in 2012, the Ice Light was the first daylight-balanced handheld LED introduced to the market. This light source was named a Hot One by Professional Photographer magazine in 2013. I had been wanting to try one and after visiting the Westcott stand at PDN Photo Expo I had to get myself a pair, but I wanted to give them a good test run before. So I shot three seperate videos for Rangefinder Magazine for the January lighting issue. All the interviews were lit with the help of two ice lights.
The Ice Light has a daylight-balanced color temperature 5,200K and produces a 1,160 lumen output, easily illuminating my model without changing her beautiful skin tone. Weighing only 1.3 pounds (around 600g), this LED is not only extremely portable, but also exceptionally durable. Designed not only for handheld use, the Ice Light also features standard mounting threads for use on a light stand or tilter bracket. In the case of my Paris shoot one Ice light was being hand held by my assistant and the other was on a boom arm held by my other assistant. This made it very easy to move around on the Paris streets at night.
I tend to use it the mostly mounted on Tilter Brackets like in the series of BW studio portraits below .
The Ice Light has a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery with the capability to run with both AC or DC power. Encased batteries can run for up to 60 minutes at full power or can be run continuously while tethered to an energy source. While on location, I used the available Ice Light Power Pack battery extensions, which increase battery runtime by up to 5 hours.
Each Ice Light comes standard with a compact travel case and 3 international power adapters, which is perfect for photographers like myself, who shoot in a variety of locations around the globe. Recently Westcott launched the Ice Light Pack Kit, so you can have even more creative options, like barndoors, color gels, connector brackets among other things… and a pretty nice carrying case.
For my second proper shoot with the Ice light I decided to create some black and white portraits in the studio. I had recently been at Just Models to have a look at books and polaroids; I am always interested in seeing fresh new faces and some familiar faces that have that summer glow. But then sometimes it’s the older models’ or actors’ faces I fall in love with. Such is the case of Fransico Cipriano.
I set up a date that was convenient for the both of us later that week and I didn’t want to take up more than an hour of his time or mine. That’s actually a lot more time than I sometimes get on certain high profile shoots or when dealing with very busy clients. I wanted to see what I could create using only the Ice Lights. The results are below with some iPhone BTS of the setup. I wanted to focus on the details in his beard and grey hair, so the Medium Format Hasselblad H3D39 was a good choice.
I mounted the two Ice Lights on lights stands, with the rotating head so I could better position them. I like using them in a V position, focusing the main light on the face and having beautiful fall-off. This makes for a nice light gradient. To add a little extra fill I use one of my favorite tools: the Tri – flector (which is no longer available for sale). The next great option and I think over all much better solution is the Eyelighter. Just the fact that it folds up onto a very portable size is fantastic. When shooting on location I like to always have options and sometimes size and transportability are everything. That’s another of the favorite things I like about my Ice Light kit: I can get a lot of options out of a very compact but still very high quality kit of light.