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Tungsten Making a Comeback?

On set lighting has changed quite a bit over the last 20 years, from Tungsten fixtures and HMI's with large magnetic ballasts, to modern day LED technology and RGB lights. I had an opportunity recently to use old school tungsten lights on a recent shoot, and had a great opportunity to remember my roots coming up in set lighting.

This was a shoot for Maiden Voyage Jewelry (, a jewelry company in Santa Fe that makes very intricate, unique, and detailed gold and diamond pieces. To really work with the product, I wanted to match the gold with warmer lights. It was a blast to look at the jewelry, get inspired and have the pieces themselves really drive the creative.

This shoot was a collaboration with the talented photographer Amanda Powell of Adrift A Dream Photography ( ). She had brought up the idea of using silver mylar material to make some very interesting reflections on the shoot. The mylar gives off a reflection like water from a swimming pool when it gets hit by light. So bang a warm, tungsten source in there and you have golden shimmers happening on golden shimmery jewelry.

Not to mention how I love using tungsten as a key light, I really feel like it has a very regal quality to it. Our key was a 5k tungsten fresnel bouncing in to a 4x4 bounce that had gold mylar on it, pushing through a frame of light grid with a control grid.

Photgraphy by Adrift A Dream Photography ( ).

I am grateful to the folks over at Serious Grippage and Light in Albuquerque for allowing me to work in their studio space. It was the perfect place for us to be, especially with the creative direction we were attempting to accomplish. Serious Grippage had all the resources we could possibly want, the right lights, production supplies, the right power for the lights and set, and all the grip equipment needed to build this world. They are a great film production resource out here in New Mexico, visit them at

Enjoy the video along with all the stills from Adrift A Dream Photography!

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