© 2012 andrew1287 Motrocycle Helemt

Lighting with an iPad

I wanted to take a minute and go over something sort of fun and technical. This shot was lite with an iPad. Let me explain. There is a realm of photography lighting called Painting with light. It involves a very dark room and a long exposure. In this case I set the helmet up and suspended it  with a black background behind it. I put the camera on the tripod and framed the shot up and focused the lens.

It is important here to make sure you turn your auto focus off when trying this because once all the lights are off the camera wont be able to focus. I set the camera to the Bulb setting. The bulb setting allows you to open up the shutter and then you click it again to close the shutter. With the bulb setting for the shutter speed I wanted to have good depth of field so I set the aperture at f10.  Once the basics were set up I turned off the lights in the studio and opened the shutter.

From here I used the iPad as the only light source. There are a few different Softbox apps for the iPad and I used one called Softbox Pro. It allows you to set the brightness and color, and even a shape or pattern on the iPad. It is great if you want to shoot something small and put it on the screen. In this case I turned it up high with the full screen on white.

With the shutter open I moved the iPad around the helmet to give it a nice rim light around all the edges. I also made sure to get a good exposure on the screen. One key to keep in mind is that the light should always be moving. If you hold it still for to long the item might not be lite as evenly. It takes a little practice to know how long to expose certain parts so you will want to experiment. I ended up painting the light in three stages and the whole thing took about 2 minutes. Enjoy and have fun experimenting.