A Hi Lite is not just for Christmas

17, February, 2014

I often read people are selling their Lastolite Hi-Lite because they are fed up with High Key or white backgrounds for portraits and events.

Is this the usual flared type of image you get?

To assume that the Hi-Lite is a one use piece of equipment is to do it a complete injustice! What follows hopefully is a brief outline of the many uses of a Hi-Lite. As a Social Event Photographer I don't use models, and don't have time for editing in Photoshop, thus I have used Anna my work assistant as a my beautiful model.

1). This first image is to highlight the generalisation that it requires 2 lights to light a Hi-Lite. The image below is showing an evenly lit Hi-Lite using just one Key Light, and one light in the Hi-Lite. I should point out that a completely perfectly evenly lit Hi-Lite is not possible even with 2 lights pointing inside, but comparable levels of evenness are achievable with just one light pointing inside.

And this is the result of putting Anna in front of the Hi-Lite. She is a few inches away from it and as you can see, there is no Wrap Flare of light, the background it evenly lit and there is no shadow cast from Anna visible. The power of the light at the Hi-Lite midpoint and a few inches away is 1/3rd of a stop higher that the that falling on Anna from the Key Light. The edge of the Hi-Lite is purposely shown here to show the eveness of light possible

2). Nice grey!!

White backgrounds can be any number of colours. Grey seems to be an in vogue background colour, so why not turn off the light inside your Hi-Lite.

3). But if you don't like grey, try using a gel!!

4). How about funky silhouettes? I have an old reject H-Lite from Lastolite that I use for demonstration purposes so a touch of Photoshop work would be required here as the creases from the Hi-Lite bottom right hand corner can be seen.

4). Then of course there is the inside of a Hi-Lite to consider!! This particular shot does need a bit of adjusting, but I'm sure you get the idea! A full incredibly soft light.

5). As a light source

In this image the key light is actually produced from a H-i-lite to the right of the camera.

And finally......Grungy!!!

A one click grunge preset and border applied to show what else can be done with shadows, a Hi-Lite and Lightroom.

All of these techniques are demonstrated on my Lighting and my events workshops. To find out more and to join Anna and myself on one of my one or two courses please visit my workshops page


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