Lowel EGO lights

I’ve been wanting to get these lights ever since I read about them on the Steamy Kitchen website. I don’t have much natural light in my unit. I’ve been shooting outside to get the best pics, but it’s getting too cold to go outside. I finally bit the bullet and bought Lowel EGO lights from Vistek. When I went to Paris for my honeymoon we rented a lens from Vistek and they were super about not charging us an extra day because our flight was delayed and couldn’t make it back in time. Great customer service. I used them again to get the lights and some other things. When I found out they price matched, I saw the items I had just bought were much cheaper at a competitor. So when I inquired about the price match I was treated in a very unprofessional manner. In the end, it took the power of Twitter and some very helpful individuals to rectify the situation. I believe Vistek is the only place in Toronto that sells these lights. B&H has them for much cheaper, but once you factor in shipping, tax, and customs they are about the same price as Vistek. So B&H is probably the better deal if you have other big items you need to buy. I only have one light as they don’t sell the kit with 2 lights that B&H has (another con for Vistek).

Putting the lights together was a bit tricky. The plastic flaps that you’re supposed to fold down are very rigid and I was worried about cracking them if I was too forceful. I talked to Jaden from Steamy Kitchen about it and she had no problems at all. So maybe it was just my kit.

I also bought the sweep which comes with construction paper in a variety of colours. I don’t think I’ll be getting much use out of the papers, but the sweep makes for a good background and as an extra reflector. Much needed for me with my only ego light and dismal indoor lighting.

Here are some test shots.

Le Roux Salted Butter Caramels
The most delicious caramels I got from France that I haven’t posted about.

IKEA cookie cutters
One of the rare times I will use the paper that comes with the sweep.

Portrait with Lowel EGO light

I still need to fiddle around with the lighting set up as sometimes my photos look blown out from the lighting. I’m wondering if I need a lens that has more zoom so that it’s not too close to the lights.

These lights are great for me because I’m also a night owl. Procrastination may have something to do with that, but for some reason I work better at night. This means a lot of the time my baking starts late at night (around 10pm or so). Many of my pictures need to be taken the next day, but with these lights I can finally start taking some night shots. I can also start taking more dinner photos too if I knew how to make them look more appetizing.

Here are some other food photography sites that I found helpful:

Pioneer Woman Photography a lot of good basics material. I just learned how to change the aperture from this site.

Make a macro photo studio for $10
Food portfolio. Tons of info here on food photography.
VeganYumYum Food photography for bloggers.
Jaden’s review of Lowel EGO lights

And while we’re on the subject of photography I am addicted to Photoshop actions. I will usually run my images using the Pioneer Woman’s action set.

Look at the difference it makes:

Pioneer Woman actions

The colours pop out much more. I like using the boost and quick edge burn for my food photos.

You can download the action sets here.

If you’re looking for a free photo editing program that’s super easy Picasa is awesome. R uses it a ton even though he’s a PhotoShop wizard because it’s so much easier.

These lights are a great investment for a hobbyist. It’s pretty inexpensive and gives great results. Because my lighting is so dark I think 2 would work much better and will probably purchase another one in the future.

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2 thoughts on “Lowel EGO lights

  1. Julie

    I just got the Lowel EGO lights and sweep for Christmas (I take a lot of food photos too). Is it just me or is the sweep somewhat a waste? I feel like they could have provided better quality background papers (instead of construction paper that came from the kids arts & crafts section). Or just give me two pieces of heavy duty cardboard, two binder clips and I could’ve made that thing myself!

  2. Nervous Chef

    Hi Julie,

    I love your blog! Great pictures!! The sweep pretty much is a big piece of cardboard. I wish the papers were glossy so you can use them on food, but I hardly use the papers just because the colours don’t really appeal to me.

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