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Brighter ideas


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Brighter ideas

17 May 2020 7:20AM   Views : 470 Unique : 303


Again, thanks to mistere for suggesting a topic: and apologies for dealing with it only in part. There’s a lot more to write about unconventional light sources, but a couple or three IKEA offerings will do for one day.

Appropriately for Silly Sunday, IKEA give their products some very silly names. The only ones I remembered were Billy bookcases (short, easy to remember in English) and the wonderful Dudero floor light, which has ceased to be listed quite recently. But if you’re not a member of the Duder family, it’s less memorable.


But two lights stick in my mind for their usefulness. The Nävlinge work light, using a single LED to produce a small area of light, so suitable as a bedside or writing lamp: and the spotlight one. I discovered, through eBay that it’s called Isbrytare (and mistere immediately bought the one I found). I should remember now, because I think it’s some sort of Scandinavian play on words – is brighter? (In the shot of the Nävlinge it's sitting in front of a rather expensive box that provides light for closeup images - if you want something that gives smaller (and dimmer) pools of light than the IKEA device, let me know. It belongs to a friend who used to shoot pictures of electronic components. Complete with little colour filters, no reasonable offer refused.)

I’ve posted quite a few images shot by the light of my Isbrytare, and a few other people have shot using it, but I must admit I haven’t explored all the possibilities. It came with a diaphragm, to narrow the beam, a number of gobos, and a few pieces of textured glass, all of which will give varied lighting effects with the aid of a lens that focusses the light on the subject.

(I must look those out and play with them – as mistere will be doing as soon as his lamp arrives! And there’s scope for jury-rigging* your own gobos and other modifiers, of course.)


With all three of these lights, you will be exploring higher ISO and wide apertures: an f/1.8 lens is your friend; a massive f/4 zoom may not be so much of an asset without a tripod.

The Nävlinge will be good for dramatic light for still life or close-up portraits, while the Dudero provides a soft light for figure studies (and can either conceal most of the figure, or provide contrasting curves). But the Isbrytare can do both, so may be worth tracking down – there are a few still in existence. Beware, though, that the lens arrangement is fragile and quite temperamental, and the lamp housing gets quite hot, with a halogen bulb inside.


* And here’s your random factoid: ‘jury-rig’ means a temporary arrangement or repair, often to a sailing ship’s broken mast, and may come from either the French jour (a mast for a day) or the Latin adjutare (to aid).

The model in both of the portraits is Rachelle Summers: an amazing and hard-working model who runs her own photoshoot trips abroad: some already sold out for next year.

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saltireblue Avatar
saltireblue Plus
13 14.5k 89 Norway
17 May 2020 10:17AM
John - Isbrytare is Swedish for Icebreaker.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
17 May 2020 4:46PM
Thank you, Malc...

I don't see it as seaworthy: but it could melt the ice ahead. And I still suspect that there's a Scandinavian joke at the expense of the English in there... And why not?
mistere Avatar
mistere Plus
10 37 8 England
17 May 2020 5:57PM
Thanks John.
You can tape a slide into one of the holders and use the Isbrytare as a projector SmileSmile
I'm looking forward to having a play wit it. When it arrives.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
17 May 2020 6:26PM
I imagine all manner of things are feasible with the aid of gaffer tape and florist's wire.

But then - they always are...
mistere Avatar
mistere Plus
10 37 8 England
17 May 2020 6:48PM
As I may have mentioned before, gaffer tape is like the force. It has a dark side, a light side and it holds the universe together...

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