A lighting style defined by a £42 accessory
It was just under three years ago that I decided to create a set of gobo (go between) filter gels. I wanted to utilise the clips on the barn doors of the then new Lupolux LED spotlights. Luke and I set to work and between us we created the Lovegrove ScatterGel™ collection.
01. I usually just use one light with a Scattergel to create my looks. The shot top left however has three lights, two of them with Scattergels.
Here are my favourite shots taken with Scattergels. They are all taken using Fuji X cameras. In this post I share and the tips and tricks needed to get the most from these fabulous light modifiers.
02. Scattergels are designed for use with spotlights with fresnel lenses. They need a point source of light to project the pattern on the subject. They are not compatible with flash systems because the light source in a flash unit is shaped like a horse shoe or doughnut. The two tungsten lights shown in the photograph top left are the Arri 300 Junior and the Arri 150 Junior. These are the most powerful hot lights that can be used with Scattergels and only if they are used briefly for a minute or two at the most. Scattergels work best with the LED and HMI range of luminaires from Lupolux.
03. Here are the 5 designs that Luke and I came up with. Some are more subtle than others and each luminaire/ Scattergel will have it’s own characteristic look. Some lamps like the Lupolux LED 1000 have a larger light source and deliver a more diffused calmer look than let’s say the Lupolux HMI 800.
Lupo Dual Colour LED Spotlights from Damien Lovegrove on Vimeo.
04. Sometimes I use an ‘Alto’ Scattergel to add a dappled effect on a plain studio background.
05. They work well when lighting the background and your subject with the same light. By rotating the barn doors slightly it is easy to align the clear parts of the pattern with your subject’s position. It is this process that is almost impossible when using a Speedlight or another light source without a modelling light.
06. One light magic on the top shot and Chantelle in the bath. For the Film Noir shot of Chloe-Jasmine at the bottom left I used a Lupolux 650 as a back light too. The key light was a Lupolux 1000 with a ‘Crunch’ Scattergel.
07. A thoroughly modern twist on boudoir uses a single Lupolux LED spotlight and an Alto Scattergel. You can add a 1/2 CTO gel too to reduce the colour temperature as I have done here. The next generation of Lupolux LED spotlights due to be released in July 2015 have an adjustable colour temperature control built in. How cool is that!
08. Each Lupolux LED spotlight has a built in dimmer and the colour temperature remains constant throughout the range of adjustment. I use the dimmer in conjunction with the ISO/ exposure on the camera to control scene contrast.
09. Low key works well too when using the Scattergel and Lupolux LED spotlight combination.
10. I like to be brave with design and shape. I rarely let shadows disappear into blackness but occasionally it can work quite well.
11. High key works well too. I used a Lupolux LED 1000 to capture this fun scene with top international model Wlada Schuler. I left the house lights on in this studio in Munich to keep the contrast manageable.
12. There are so many subtle uses for Scattergels that just add that bit of magic to a simple scene.
13. It’s easy to see how a lighting style can be so well defined using simple Gobos like Scattergels.
Scattergels are available here, the Lupolux 1000 spotlights are here and the great value 650 spotlights are here. From time to time there are great deals on lights or gels. We notify our customers with discount codes in our occasional newsletter. Feel free to comment below.