Celebrity portrait photographer Alan Weissman recently outfitted his Los Angeles studio with Litepanels®, giving him cutting-edge technology to create the classic film noir look for which he is known.
“I’ve always wanted to work with daylight balanced lights, like HMIs, to try to achieve a film noir look,” he says. “I used to accomplish that with classic Fresnel tungsten hot lights, but I’ve found that HMIs are not only expensive, they are bulky and heavy.”
With a studio that is filled with windows, Weissman finds it almost impossible to black out the daylight. “I’ve always loved the look of a focusing Fresnel, but if I use tungsten fixtures, the daylight turns blue,” he explains. “Having a daylight Fresnel opened up the whole studio. Because of its focusing ability, I use the Sola 6™ for key lights, hair lights and backgrounds. I sometimes use the tungsten balanced Inca 6™ as a background light because it gives the shot a warm, golden-orange glow. My new 1×1 Bi-Color™ works great as a fill light and hair light for both tungsten and daylight.”
After testing the Litepanels 1×1 as the key light, Weissman became a fan of this kind of setup. ““I’m not a fan of flat looking photos so I was amazed that I got such a beautiful shot in 30-degree spot mode,” he says. “It really balanced beautifully with the natural light that was in the room I was shooting in.
“The best thing about the 1×1 Bi-Color is its versatility,” he continues. “It works as a key light, fill light, hair light, and gives me the ability to shoot with daylight or tungsten lighting!”
When Weissman saw the Litepanels Croma™, he thought it was a tool just for videographers. “But I gave it a try and I was pleasantly surprised,” he says. “I was shooting natural light headshots indoors and instead of getting a fill card I pulled out the Croma. I loved that it was portable and able to dial in just the right amount of fill light. It also really made my client’s eyes pop.
“The next day I was doing a tungsten hot light shoot and I grabbed the Croma, set it to match tungsten, and held it close to use as a fill light to open the shadow side. It worked beautifully.
“I think Litepanels lights are incredibly useful and great for any still photographer.”
Still photographer Alan Weissman is known for his film noir style of celebrity photography. His work has appeared in a variety of entertainment programming from CNN to AMC and The National Geographic Channel. His shots have been printed in Professional Photographer, Backstage West and more. When not shooting celebrity or head shots, Weissman leads groups on photo shoots in locations from South Africa to Vietnam. His location work garnered him acclaim as a winner of Kodak’s International Photography Contest.