To achieve the same level of lighting control in underwater photography as in a studio is an underwater photographers dream. With the use of Light and Motion’s Sola 4000 video light, this becomes a reality. Here are the qualities that make this light indispensable to me:
1. Power: Two Sola 4000s are powerful enough to easily cover 150-degree angle. The new Sola Video 2500 offers 180-degree coverage! For example, at a distance of three feet one can shoot at f5,6 or f8…at 200 ISO - how amazing is that? On my last BigAnimals shoot of the Great Hammerhead, I discovered I could shoot video and stills with the same lighting setup - this is a huge cost savings and convenient.
With high lumen outputs and a smooth beam pattern, photographers can see clearly how the light illuminates the subject. This allows the photographer to have enhanced use of shadow and light for creative effect. Prior to Sola video lights, illuminating the subject with strobe lighting was mainly guesswork.
2. Constant Lighting: The photographer is not limited to the shutter speed synchronization of the strobe with the camera. With constant light it is possible to film at shutter speeds higher than 1/250. For example, the photographer can shoot against the sun, freezing the sun light while also illuminating the front of the subject. In order to achieve this effect, the camera must be very close to the subject. By using constant lighting I am able to create dramatic lighting by under exposing the front of the subject and back lighting the subject at the same time. I can see through the viewfinder if my lights are too close and am able to avoid light flare.
3. Variable Intensity: The Sola 4000 lights have at least ten levels of output. (The Sola 2500 has three). This enhances creative lighting, by placing less light on the reflective part of the image, while raising the light output on the dark part of the frame. This helps to achieve more pleasant and balanced lighting.
4. Convenience and Dependability: The Sola lights charge very fast. The Sola 4000 charged up in one hour between dives. If filming in cold water, the switches are very easy and agronomic to control with or without gloves. The Sola lights are lightweight and small to carry - a pure pleasure for underwater photography!
The new Sola 2500 is just in time for all the new DSLR cameras offering 4K video capabilities as well as 20 and up to 36mb raw images.
So go diving, make pictures and take the Sola with you!
Amos Nachoum is an international wildlife photographer and explorer. Check out his work at: amosphotography.com