We recently added a pair of Photon Beard Platinum Blonde 1,200-watt HMI lights to our lighting inventory. I was looking for a fixture that could be used as a bounce light for soft fills on location shoots. I wanted massive light output, which meant an HMI, but I didn’t want to break the bank or risk tripping breakers of unknown condition when doing shoots running off a domestic outlet.
Not only did the Platinum Blonde meet all those requirements, it did so in a familiar, lightweight, small package. It’s the same as the traditional tungsten blondes we’ve used for years, only with light output a tungsten blonde could only dream of. Familiar to any gaffer, it feels like and behaves exactly like a traditional blonde, with adjustable focus and the same size accessory slots—just with an amazing punch and in daylight.
A big bonus for me is that it’s bundled with the new generation of Power Gems electronic ballasts, which I’ve been using for a while now and really like. That makes a package flexible enough to handle anything, including high-speed work.
I’m a big believer in always picking the right light for the job. After putting the new lights through their paces, I’ve been really happy with the way they have behaved. It really is the perfect bounce light for soft fills, and I love the results I’m getting on camera.
Shane Salyards is a gaffer with Bronco Lighting in Los Angeles.