Dedolight, the main sponsor for the Spotlight Awards for Photographic Excellence 2018, and its unique system were conceived and designed by Director of Photography Dedo Weigert of Munich, Germany. The project was initially undertaken to fill his own exacting requirement for a powerful, yet highly controllable light source, which would occupy a minimum amount of space, draw a minimum amount of electricity and produce unprecedented light quality. The result of Dedo’s efforts is a comprehensive lighting system offering unique advantages to lighting professionals in film, television and still photography and continues to build upon its extensive range of luminaires and system accessories.
Dedolight went from an idea in the mind of one creative director of photography in Germany to a Technical Achievement Award given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the U.S. In just a few years, the Dedolight had established itself as a significant creative contributor to a long list of motion pictures by top Hollywood professionals. Roman Hoffmann, the PR of Dedolight, revealed in an interview to us how their products adapted to the digital age of imagery, why continuous lighting is so important for professionals in still photography and what their new products are. In addition, some clients have shared their positive experiences with Dedolight’s products.
Production Paradise: The first Dedolight product was created back in 1984. How has Dedolight adapted to the digital age of imagery?
Roman: In some important terms digital image making is much more accurate than it used to be back in the analog times. Today’s sensors see more light, have a higher resolution and are critical in colour perception, so all in all the modern professional digital world is not that forgiving anymore. This means, that the light that is used for image-making, either has to be as perfect as our sun or it has to be as close as possible to it, especially in terms of colour rendition.
No matter how powerful, nice looking or prestigious sounding the brand is, if your lights don’t offer high enough colour quality, the image will not look as natural as it should. With this in mind, we have been working on this for going on 10 years here at Dedo Weigert Film.
The other aspect is the fact that the size of equipment is shrinking while the performance is rising – cameras are small and everything is very compact and versatile. Dedolight has always been the most compact, lightweight and advanced mobile and studio lighting system in the market. So today, where ISOs go up to the hundreds of thousands, in many situations the amount of light is not the first priority anymore. The quality of light and color, as well as how accurate and artistic the light is, has become very important and this is exactly what Dedolight stands for: perfect and even light distribution, small size, but strong output, unique light shaping tools and a huge variety of tools and accessories for every possible situation that is related to creative lighting and, on top of that, our equipment is almost indestructible, so you have really good value for the money.
Production Paradise: What is your best selling product and how does it help the professionals in their daily work?
Roman: We have a very successful system that is our bestseller. It is the Dedolight portable studio, which is a mixture of small either Halogen or LED spots, together with one or two soft lights. It all comes in a very robust and lightweight, cleverly designed soft case and is the smallest mobile lighting studio on the planet.
As Dedolight offers a patented, very advanced, aspherical lens system, the small lights like the DLH4s or the DLED7s, that are part of the portable studio kits, offer more light output and more control over your light in comparison to all other lights of this kind.
This is a perfect tool combination for today’s pros, especially as teams have become smaller and as the habits of an image making has become more intuitive and more creative.
Production Paradise: Why should photographers be using continuous light systems?
Roman: Our photo clients use continuous light because of several reasons. One of them is the advancement of camera and chip technology. In many situations, except for shooting in bright sun, for example, you do not need the light output of a strong, professional flash anymore, because the ISO and the dynamic range of all modern cameras are incredibly high. Working with flashlight systems also requires a lot of experience and you always have to take a test picture before you know how it will look. This is, of course, a different story with continuous light. Working with continuous light gives you the possibility to set and balance light much more quickly and accurately. Beyond that, our lights are very compact and they can be operated from batteries and offer accessories that even our continuous light competitors don’t have. Continuous light is the best choice to accentuate, to manipulate or just to make an image look attractive.
Production Paradise: Are there any new products Dedolight is working on and if so, could you reveal to us what they are?
Roman: Dedolight is very strong in its optical systems, which means that all our spotlights are very advanced. What Dedo has done during the last couple of years is our Turbo series, which means that many of the spotlights have not changed in size, but their output has. For example, a 40W LED spot has now a 90W LED in it, which is exactly what the users are asking for – more light, but no changes in size and weight.
The other interesting direction Dedo is working on is the area of reflected light. The reflected light has a different light character and if you want to deal with it, you need a fixture that can provide an almost parallel beam, which Dedo has created together with a set of reflectors. The system is called Lightstream (check out this video for more information) and it is much in demand all over the world.
Dedolight has helped countless professionals in the film, television and photography industry and below some of them have revealed their experiences with Dedolight products:
Here’s what Pete Burn, a lighting cameraman, says about one of Dedolight’s bestselling products, the Bi-Colour Felloni TURBO:
”A lot of my work is broadcast live, so it’s important for me to have lights that deliver full-spectrum colour reproduction straight out of the fixture – there is no time to grade. My go-to lights for some time have been the Dedolight High Bright Fellonis.
New in the Dedo line-up is the TURBO Felloni. The Turbo Felloni is, amazingly, 5 times brighter than the original high-bright Felloni; it is super bright. With an impressive TLCI of 95, there’s need for green/magenta correction that many other LED panels still require. In the photo below, I used just one Turbo Felloni to light an interview shot against a window on a sunny day. In the second photo another crew had to use two generic LED panels to achieve an acceptable exposure, but still, it wasn’t as bright as my single Turbo Felloni.
Using an un-diffused Turbo outside in daylight releases its full potential. On overcast days the colour temperature of the sky is very high and faces tend to have a slight blue cast; people don’t look healthy. Adding a good quality light source like the TURBO Felloni on days like this make colours rich again and bring back good-looking flesh tones. People genuinely say they look so much better when I use the new Felloni Turbo. The older high bright Felloni was good, but the new Felloni TURBO is truly amazing; it’s a must-have light!”
Anatoly Bisinbaev, a professional photographer, says:
”In all my seminars and workshops I always stress the point that light is the most important aspect of photography. Dedolight allows completely new working methods in studio photography.
The independence from natural daylight, e.g. in the shape of studio windows gives me enormous advantages. With the daylight fixtures from Dedolight, I can let my creativity and moods run wild, independently of which time of day.”
Have you not taken part in our Spotlight Awards for Photographic Excellence 2018 yet?
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Furthermore, all participants, not only the winners, will receive the portfolio review by the potential clients from the world’s top ad agencies, editorials and companies. See the full panel of judges here.