Jesse Rosten Uses iPad Studio Lighting

Jesse Rosten got his hands on $4500 worth of iPads and decided to do a photoshoot with them. You may be thinking that this is totally pointless and for stills I might have to agree that this is overkill but a single iPad could be used to add softlight to extremely low lit scenes; something a small strobe could never do. An iPad can also change color temperature to match the ambient light around it. I see this being used more for video that stills anyway. Don't believe me? Well you can buy this light panel for $500 and I'll stick to my iPad.

iPad Photoshoot from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

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Rafael's picture

ohh yeah, that's the first reason for me, why I need iPads!!! ;-)))

C'mon's picture

Photographers are so lame. Stop worrying about gimmicks and getting a buzz for geeky stuff like this and take good photos.

Lee Morris's picture

@C'mon: Sadly, these pictures are better than most. If the pics were bad I wouldn't have posted it.

Alex's picture

Definitely gimmicky. I agree the final product is nice but it's nothing a softbox isn't capable of, and I don't think you have the grounds to argue that they're "better than most." Better than most on Flickr and the rest of the internet, yes, but not really better than any other fashion work done in a studio setting. This is just about the romanticization of the holy iPad.

Daniel Suzuki's picture

Wow. If you had a flashlight app, you wont even need gels.
Freaken magical.

Andrew Benes's picture

This is somewhat interesting, but it feels like it was influenced by to the original iPhone photoshoot by fstoppers. And, instead of proving a practical point like the iphone video did (that the lighting is more important than the camera, even if the camera is an iPhone), this is just a look at really impractical lighting.

Still, an interesting video.

Dey's picture

hmmm $4500... you can get kinos for that price right? yeah we agree that it's possible... BUT is it practical? plus all the labour you need to do to put them up together... is it worth it?

Stefan's picture

I hate talking crap about another photographer, especially one that obviously is a good one, but this is pointless. The gimmick and cheese factor is off the charts, its almost an SNL parody. Lee, your iPhone shoot was practical and educational, this was just watching money being flushed down a toilet.

I will say though he produces a good video and I hope he works on something with more substance in the future.

Jeremi Blurton's picture

Pointless and nothing but a gimmick. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. I can wait until the next video when he invokes different emotions from models with his farts.

Jonathan Wilson's picture

Any way you can promote yourself, you may as well.

For me though the whole thing just seems empty, by the end of the video and by the time I wrote this post I feel like I've forgotten everything about it.

Jesse Rosten's picture

Lee - Thanks for sharing. This is my first encounter with fstoppers. Lost of great content here. Some colorful characters as well.

chad's picture

One day we may shoot will LED panels and "programmable modifiers". Imagine a panel that had a gradient fill capability. One of these days....

Lee Morris's picture

Thanks for stopping by Jesse. You have hardly seen "colorful characters" until you have read the comments on my iPhone video:

Glen's picture

Wait a moment here..
Who has nearly 12k views on a video thats been up a couple of days.. and who DOESN'T.. I'm sure this will likely draw in new clients.
If you check some of his work you'd know he doesn't take himself too seriously and I doubt this is totally serious either..

Chord's picture

Speaking of this LCD Panel lighting stuff, I once did it before the age of iPad.

Here is one of the result:

At that time, the light in my room was broken. Looking for a good light source for simply shooting some small gadgets I just got, I found my 24" LCD monitor being a light source with consistent luminosity and stable color temperature! Of course the light is not as powerful as one may hopeful (otherwise I would have gone blind already), but certainly worth a try.

Here is a BTS setup shot:

The small Canon DC photo was shot using this lighting, with 30sec exposure @ f14 /ISO200.

Jesse's picture

Can someone get that model to smile in one picture?!

tj ponds's picture

oh great!! hard working photographers are struggling and this idiots prancing around with an ipad strip light! - very creative but very retarded in the same breathe - this has got to be the exact opposite of the iphone fashion photoshoot post which i think if i'm not mistaken was meant to inspire us and this just takes it in the other direction and pisses me off

- p.s. not really pissed i just wanted this comment to be one of the many "colorful characters" aforementioned.

Tomas's picture

This is my favorite website in the world so it's ok that you guys have a flop on your hands.... The stuff you do is amazing but this was just terrible. I love my iPad but $4500 for less than flatering lighting is lame.

Remy Musser's picture

That's the stupidest this I've ever seen

Alexander's picture

Not especially inspiring as the cost involved is immense- with that kind of money you could just invest in top end lighting gear with light modifiers. Why would anyone have 12 ipads lying around spare.

Keven's picture

This is a real joke video. Seriously, I can't stand Mac freaks anymore, come on!

Mike's picture

Like someone already said, the cheese factor is off the charts, but so what, it's a fun video.

FWIW the PCB Einstein light ( will go down to 2.5WS, so its output might be lower than that of a few iPads. I might go test that theory later and report back :D

arnold's picture

The most ridiculous video. I just do not get it why would someone use $4500 of Ipads that lets you shoot at ISO 800 at f1.2 and saying that it puts out a nice amount of light. But shooting for me with my fast glass at f2.8 at ISO 3200 is not a good amount of light. I think everyone would agree that for that much money you can get a really over the top studio light setup. Nothing to learn from this video. I am sure Apple loves this video.

c.d.embrey's picture

@ arnold, $4,500 is chump change when it comes to pro lighting.

Best thing about the video was the Ramones T-shirt she was wearing.

I've enjoyed reading all the posts - I like whine with cheese!

Jason's picture

I'm not sure why people are so up in arms over this video. I don't think that the photographer was seriously suggesting that everyone run out and get the latest greatest lighting system of iPads. Just seems it was more for fun than anything else.

Thanks for the link anyway. Not every video needs to be 100% serious and/or a learning experience.

Lee Morris's picture

I agree Jason, I think its funny how similar this is to the Iphone fashion shoot. People acted like they were furious that I would waste my time and theirs to create a video but at the same time hundreds of thousands of people loved that video and we are getting close to 1 million views now.

I am beginning to learn that doing something, even though it may be silly, is far better than doing nothing at all.

Richard Grebby's picture

"I am beginning to learn that doing something, even though it may be silly, is far better than doing nothing at all." -- Lee

Exactly, this is more about having fun with photography. Even though some of us do this as their job it doesnt mean we cant play around, have ideas and just do things because you can.

It shows that we could use an ipad for a little extra catch light if need be, even more use on video footage because the cameras handle low light so well.

Godo work, thanks for posting.

Rafael's picture

oh my god! are there so many people who can't take a joke? i think it demonstrates, that you can have light with everything you want ...

the intention of the video in my opinion (for all the serious readers): "you can take good photos with every kind of material - just push your (serious) brains" ;-))

Mr Blah's picture

Funny, interesting but not very practical.

I find the catch light AMAZING with 2 rows(of ipads)! Makes for a much sharper edge to the light.

M K's picture

lol c'mon guys. give the photog (Jesse) here a break. yes it's not exactly practical or economical. but hey fwiw, it looked quite fun.

Blargh's picture

Aww, I at least expected him to network them together and write a cool app so that he could change the light colour from his iPhone or something.

Steven Roark's picture

Need to direct more traffic to your portfolio? There's an App for that...

Since when does photography have to conform to anyone's lumens/cost expectations?

Eric's picture

I thought it was funny. I liked it as a funny video. I turned to my wife and said... so... I need an iPad.. she looked at me, laughed, and said.. no.
~ This video must have been a joke. The photog must have been playing around. Because no one could possibly think this is actually a good option compared to all the good lighting out there.
Fun stuff! :D

dofl yun's picture

This is what I exactly thought. Check iMoodlight app for iPad what I made. I am planning to add more functionalities such as more setting and remote function. Let's me know if you are interested in talking more.

DPC's picture

I think Cory got busted playing Angry Birds!! ;-)

Douglas James's picture

cool vid..and while it does glamourize the iPad it also shows how one of these could be used when other lighting isn't possible a closet or a small area where flash and tripods just aren't practical.