My family background is part-Scots on my mother’s side so I am always keen to follow creativity, innovation and success stories occurring in Scotland, especially in the fields of moviemaking and photography. One such recent Scottish success story is Glasgow-based Blind Spot Gear and their Scorpion lighting system, recently used in Danny Boyle‘s feature film T2: Trainspotting.
T2: Trainspotting is the sequel, set twenty years later, to Trainspotting, a black comedy that was key to the underdog culture and music of the years around 1996 in the UK. I was there at the time. It was brilliant.
Trainspotting and T2: Trainspotting are based on two novels by Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting and Porno, the latter now republished as T2 Trainspotting. T2: Trainspotting hit the cinemas in the UK and elsewhere on 27th January 2017.
Blind Spot Gear Publicity Photographs
Photographs for the T2: Trainspotting feature film, lit with Blind Spot Gear Scorpion lights.
Blind Spot’s Innovations
That deep background done with for now, let’s turn our attention to Blind Spot Gear’s lighting innovations.
For me the ideal core lighting kit for stills photography and videography is affordable, portable, controllable, LED-based, and includes a range of light-shaping options from narrow to broad, hard to soft.
The component lights may not come from the same manufacturers’ stable but they need to be able to work together, in unison, and have high CRI ratings so their light output is as close as possible to full-spectrum.
Sometimes I will need to use one or more narrow lights, sometimes several soft lights and sometimes a mix of the two types of lights. Some lights need to be focusable, and others need to at least be barndoored to narrow the light beam down for a sense of intimacy, even mystery.
Sometimes, just sometimes, product shots and certain types of portraits benefit from soft light devices like soft boxes or chinese lanterns. The ideal kit is something of a chimera, but luckily for digital moviemaking and photography, light output does not have to be as high as it needed to be for shooting with the slow films of the analog era due to the sensitivity of contemporary sensors.
Blind Spot Gear’s Scorpion Light fills the bill in several different ways – affordable, portable, powerful for its size, barndoorable and, uniquely, bendable given its LED light is mounted on a high quality brass gooseneck that can be clamped to almost anything on-set with what the Blind Spot Gear team claims is “one the sturdiest of all the super clamps on the market”. I have experienced a few that aren’t so that will be a relief.
Not to be left behind by demands for other forms of LED lights, particularly with broader light output, Blind Spot Gear has been working on The Tile Light, a flat, rectangular light that can be used alone or in a six-light rig available in two versions, The Light Petal and The Light Petal Pro.
I have yet to try out Blind Spot Gear’s The Scorpion Light, but a kit is on my wish list.
Header image tweak by Carmel D. Morris.