Want. This. Light.

So, here's a light source you don't see every day. Dunno know who makes it, or even if it is store-bought or DIY. But it's pretty freakin' cool.

The navel gazing in the Flickr group over what these giant light sticks might be has devolved into a discussion of blow-up lawn ornaments, natch. But Strobist reader Jonathan Camere of Miami, FL (and a bit of a car photographer himself) chimed in with a link to the video.

Lotsa cool stuff in here. The camera (PhaseOne back on a Contax body) is physically joined, offset, to the car to get perfect pans over time exposures. Thus the need for continuous lighting.

Anyone knows anything about those mods, hit us in the comments.

Oh, and let them be cheap please. Nope. Here they are.



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Blogger DMQ said...

I bet that mod is a relative of these things:


Did I see a 4k (or larger?) HMI near the beginning of the clip?

August 02, 2012 12:30 AM  
Blogger - Faini said...

Those look somewhat custom but it is definitely something you can buy...
check out "softube" by K5600


August 02, 2012 12:39 AM  
Blogger Benji said...

They are hmi balloon lights. Not cheap and thy often require a special tech.


August 02, 2012 2:38 AM  
Blogger Benno R-Z said...

Those glass rigs are sweet. Sadly the rent for those alone is bigger than most budgets I work for ;)

August 02, 2012 3:00 AM  
Blogger Benno R-Z said...

Those glass rigs are so sweet.
Too bad the rent alone would blow most of my projects' budget ;)

August 02, 2012 3:01 AM  
Blogger Michael Quack - Visual Pursuit said...

DMQ is right, it is a relative of Airlight Indiustries, very likely by a Munich, Germany based company. Those tubes are only for rent, they don't sell them.

The other thing is the rig, definitely one of Olaf Jablonski's beauties, see http://glasrig.com

Both are professional tools for
the movie industry. And you
thought Profoto was expensive.... sigh.

August 02, 2012 3:37 AM  
Blogger Schaufelberger said...

The lights are not custom. They are used in Cinema. So Cheap? No Way. Not even close.

I know that Arri has them somewhere. The only link I found was this one (in German):


You can't buy the System though. It's only for Rent.

If I'm not mistaken Arri introduced something similar at nab 2010.... I can't prove it though....

August 02, 2012 4:51 AM  
Blogger Ed from Ohio said...

That's like cheating. Sorry, but after shooting motocross and supercross for years, getting a clear shot in a corner isn't all THAT difficult, and I wasn't even a good photographer compared to the other guys out there.

August 02, 2012 7:26 AM  
Blogger Jason Grammenos said...

Based on @Schaufelberger comments i found the following



seems to be some kind of kino-flo system, that goes for $300-$700 a day.

August 02, 2012 10:03 AM  
Blogger Le Grand Lapin said...

@ Ed from Ohio - It isn't about getting a clear shot, it's about selling a product. This is no different than setting up a car shot in a studio. Commercial work is about eliminating chance.

August 02, 2012 10:23 AM  
Blogger Ken Elliott said...

I'm made similar lights, all with issues. Perhaps someone can improve on these.

A cheap DIY can be made as follows:

1 - get a length of ripstop nylon and sew (or glue) the two long edges together to form a tube.
2 - setup two light stands with a background crossbar between them, holding the nylon tube.
3 - At one end, attach a fan. This will inflate the tube.
4 - Attach a flash head to the other end. Use the deepest reflector you have.

What's bad about this is the unequal light distribution end-to-end. This can be helped by mounting a mirror on the fan side, or adding strips of a reflective space blanket.

You can also make one that looks crappy by taking long strips of cardboard and taping aluminum foil to it, and draping the cloth below.
In my lighting kit, I have a very useful tool: stips of ripstop nylon that I folded each side over (about 6") and sewed. This lets me mount them on light stands (vertical) or background crossbar (horizontal).

If I use two crossbars and put them about 2 ft apart, then fire flashes from each end, I'm pretty close to this light. But it is badly affected by wind. Setting a third cross bar at the bottom of the fabric helps somewhat.

August 02, 2012 10:42 AM  
Blogger John Helt said...

The folks at "Underwater Realm" have been developing some hign output LED tubes which can even be used underwater! See: http://www.theunderwaterrealm.com/archives/363 & http://www.theunderwaterrealm.com/archives/367

August 02, 2012 10:46 AM  
Blogger Michael Patrick O'Leary said...

Definitely reminds me of a joker soft tube. I've used the 400's quite a bit but these look much bigger. maybe the prototype for the new joker bug 1600?


August 02, 2012 11:01 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Camere said...


I don't know about cheating... it isn't about having just a clear shot on a corner. That's not what the photographer of the MINI was after. He was after total control over the lighting and highlights to make sure that all the little details of the car are shown. This way it give you a level of control over all the aspects of the photo... not just pray and hope to get the composition, lighting and action just right.

It's a lot of work, and not easy...

August 02, 2012 11:21 AM  
Blogger MikeLastPhoto said...

Similar to the Kobold Litepipe, but softer and longer.

August 02, 2012 12:05 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Another great takeaway here (aside from the lightin) is to notice how very little motion is needed to convey the sense of speed.

It reminds me of an old video from the master himself, Dean Collins, shooting a motorcycle for Yamaha. He had the bike suspended and moved both the background and the wheels (via monofilament)during a 6 or 8 second exposure to create motion in the studio.

Certainly videos worth checking out.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc2rqKP2u6Y

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgfGTxbvKtk

August 02, 2012 12:34 PM  
Blogger Shawn Spencer said...

The best thing about photographing/filming a car is the lighting. Nothing beats the highlights running along the car as it moves. Looks so good!

August 02, 2012 12:38 PM  
Blogger Rick Booker said...

Buy here:

about here;


August 02, 2012 1:33 PM  
Blogger JGL said...

definitely a kino flow bag o light

August 02, 2012 1:46 PM  
Blogger JGL said...

definitely a kinoflow bag o light

August 02, 2012 1:47 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

These can be DIY'd. Think the Silk Oriental Lights on steroids. Then ramp it up a bit. May not work this well but it may be close for the creative mind.

August 02, 2012 3:24 PM  
Blogger Lars said...

Probably be cheaper to rent a hot air balloon, fil her up with SB-800's and go to town :-)
Oh, that and a hell of a lot of triggers!

August 02, 2012 3:39 PM  
Blogger vertizon said...

Makes me think about repurposing those 9' tubes the studio paper comes in...or maybe just a length of smoke pipe used in HVAC work? Too heavy for much, but they'd likely make great vertical strip lights.

August 02, 2012 3:54 PM  
Blogger Rusty said...

It may be possible to make something similar with sheets of sandblasted perspex or acetate, folded into a tube. In this case, the light source would have to be one that does not generate huge amounts of heat. The light source could be duplicated at both ends, or one side could be blocked off, possibly with a mirror.

August 02, 2012 9:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

boy am i glad i live in munich =)

August 03, 2012 2:40 AM  
OpenID fauxtauxgrafix said...

Who is the Photographer? I would like to see their portfolio.

August 03, 2012 2:48 PM  
Blogger Josh Bobb said...

Yep, KinoFlo BagOLight


August 03, 2012 3:59 PM  
Blogger Tim Robson said...

Cool rig, awesome set-up... but to this car mag guy, he's just made the Mini look unnatural, like it's understeering its way into an accident. And wheelspin in a modern Mini? Technique is just one club in the bag; I'd dismiss this shot as just another agency PR wa*k job, or at least wish for better composition.

August 03, 2012 5:44 PM  
Blogger Enginemandrew said...

See also www.prismlighting.net
They are used to light emergency scenes, etc.

August 04, 2012 1:19 AM  
Blogger Patey North said...

Clearly, it's a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Man!

August 04, 2012 8:49 PM  
Blogger Michael Quack - Visual Pursuit said...

The BagOLight link in http://www.licht-technik.com/html/bol_turn.html is exactly the company I mentioned. Interesting to see that KinoFlo now distributes them obviously for sale as well. Last of my knowledge (from 2011) was that they were only for rent.

August 05, 2012 1:53 AM  
OpenID sharethesepictures said...

Those glass rigs are so sweet.

August 05, 2012 10:34 AM  
OpenID sharethesepictures said...

Those look somewhat custom but it is definitely something you can buy....

August 06, 2012 4:44 AM  
Blogger timdesuyo said...

These get used all the time here in Japan as outdoor lighting for construction work or crowd control or emergency situations. A lot of the construction companies use cartoony ones - like this one of a little guy bowing and apologizing for the inconvenience.


August 13, 2012 5:42 AM  
Blogger Robin Leyde said...

Check this light balloon out.. on a night shoot I worked on a few months ago.


August 14, 2012 7:32 AM  
Blogger Janet Ramsay and Keith Winsor said...

On a similar note I am planing a rig for my suburban for doing low angle slow moving shots. Mount in the receiver hitch and allow for slow movement while keeping pace with the bike or car. Movement with out the photoshop fakery ( not that that is bad).
When I get it built I will send you a link.

September 08, 2012 1:41 PM  

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