FOSTER VISUALS USES ALADDIN BI-FLEX IN REMOTE LOCATION
There are field tests and then there are field tests.
In December 2012, Boston-based DP Tom Guillemette traveled with a team of meteorologists to the top of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington – 6,288 feet above sea level – to shoot a documentary about extreme weather. The mountain, known for some of the worst weather in the world, did not disappoint. According to Guillemette, the temperature was -17 degrees Fahrenheit with 75 mph sustained winds and a wind chill of -61.
Through the use of nighttime time-lapse, Guillemette wanted to capture the formation of rime ice, which occurs in frozen fog at high altitudes in heavy winds. When conditions are right, super-cooled water droplets in the fog freeze on impact and create delicate ice feather formations.
Guillemette designed weather-tight camera enclosures and a heater to prevent the embedded glass lens opening from fogging or icing. The same heater also kept the camera warm. The system was powered with large deep-cycle marine batteries in insulated containers along with power inverters.
A colleague, Jeff Hamel, advised Guillemette to use LED lighting for the shoot and recommended the Zylight F8-100 LED Fresnel. “I knew that HMI and tungsten fixtures would draw too much power, and I had my doubts about using them in extreme conditions anyway,” Guillemette recalled. “I already owned a Zylight Z90 and was familiar with the quality of the company’s products. Jeff arranged to provide me with a pre-release version of the F8.”
After the first night, Guillemette woke to find his setup had worked; he had captured the elusive shot of rime ice forming in the thick fog. “The camera stayed warm and the Zylight F8 was still burning brightly, even though it was caked in ice,” he said. “This compact instrument is very bright and has a low current draw. It’s also rated for rugged outdoor use.”
In January 2016, Guillemette returned to the summit to shoot new footage for exhibits in the museum located at the top of Mount Washington. This time, he used the Newz on-camera light mounted on his Sony PDW-F800 XDCAM to light the day-to-day operations of the summit crew, as well as illuminate objects in overnight time lapse footage of weather conditions. “The Newz was able to survive 80 mph winds, blowing ice and snow, and extreme -10 degree temperatures overnight,” he said. “Pretty impressive.”
Available in daylight or tungsten, the F8-100’s delivers close to the light output of a traditional 1,000-watt Fresnel, and its patented focusing system provides spot and flood operations. It also features an eight-inch glass lens for single shadow traditional Fresnel beam shaping and an adjustable beam spread (16-70 degrees). The “Flat Fresnel” collapses to less than four inches thick for easy transport and storage, and can be powered by AC or 14.4V standard camera battery. The F8-100 offers full DMX operation and ZyLink™ wireless technology to easily link multiple Zylights for simultaneous remote control.
With variable color temperatures from tungsten to daylight, the Newz delivers a soft yet punchy white light with true color reproduction. An integrated one-touch quick release mount makes setup and breakdown more efficient, while custom barn doors and unique articulated arm allow shooters to easily adjust the height and angle of the light. The fully dimmable Newz is water resistant (IP54 rating) for reliable operation in extreme weather and is equipped with ZyLink.