"The combination of the Gemini with the SNAPBAG® and MAGIC CLOTH® outputs a fully organic look with gentle shadow fall off and beautiful skintone rendering."

DP Justin Aguirre Pairs Litepanels with DoPchoice

Controlling the light with the DoPchoice Octa 5 with MAGIC CLOTH® diffusion

Justin Aguirre comes from a gaffing background. So today as a cinematographer shooting commercials, music videos and indie films, he’s partial to great lighting gear that he can throw on his 2-ton grip truck. He loves using LED lights, which he calls a cross between a soft and hard source. It was when he bought his Litepanels Geminis that DoPchoice became an important addition to his lighting package.

For his 1×1 Gemini, he’s got a dedicated SNAPBAG® and a SNAPGRID®. For his 2×1 Gemini he chose the Octa 5 with a SNAPGRID® that all installs with the versatile RABBIT-EARS® mounting system. Why does he like them? He says that efficiency and quality are the driving factors. “All of their products attach in a few minutes—almost like a grip in a box. I can do it myself—which has been especially convenient in the COVID days when we have to keep on set crews to a minimum.”

He’s also got another secret weapon. “I fell in love with the MAGIC CLOTH® diffusion. I bought all the different diffusion panels but this has become my go-to,” he adds. “The combination of the Gemini with the SNAPBAG® and MAGIC CLOTH® outputs a fully organic look with gentle shadow fall off and beautiful skintone rendering. The quality of the shadows and the softness is as natural as my eye can see.”

He shot a perfect example in an LA location not long ago.

“My goal was to capture the calm serenity a reader experiences when engulfed in their favorite book and translate that for the audience.”

In the pre-dawn hours, the talent was perched on a rooftop reading a book, he says. Using the Litepanels 2×1 Gemini and DoPchoice Octa 5 with MAGIC CLOTH® diffusion before sunrise, he was able to fully control the light. The soft directional light provided the needed exposure for the talent but kept it off the trees and background, allowing her to pop out of the scene. “If I had relied solely on the sun, it would have lit up the whole scene and required massive overheads to shape and bring the exposure down to a level I would be happy with,” he explains. But in this case the lighting set up was simple and quick to rig and the results were stunning.

Soon after, while shooting in a tight space on a quick-paced indie film schedule, Aguirre had another opportunity to blend sunlight and LEDs equipped with DoPchoice. “We were keying from the natural sunlight through a store window while multiple characters entered and exited the scene. We used both the Gemini 2×1 with the Octa 5 and the 1×1 and SNAPBAG® to provide a beautiful wrap-around light with just the right exposure on our talent’s faces.” Then he’s off to the next setup to make his day.

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