Stars in the eyes, version 1.5

It was 1998 or maybe 1999, when I made the first version of the light which makes a reflection in the eyes that looks like a lot of stars. The idea came from movies, where they used similar lights in theatre stars wardrobes around the mirrors where the stars put their makeup on. My version was not rounded but had five sides where I fixed the bulbs. Light was soft with special reflection in the eyes. This is how the first photos with the light looked like.

Špela Stramsšek

First stars in Špela's eyes

Špela Stramsšek

Tiny stars in the eyes

The only serious photographic equipment that I had back then was a camera Nikon F90x so I also had to make a stand for the light which reminded me of gallows. I looked something like that.


Light and stand scheme.

The light was very impractical to carry around and preparation for the stand could take forever. Not the most user friendly light. I carried it with me for a long time but not the stand. I got rid of it soon and after some years of not using the light I throw it away too.

When Tjaša asked me to make a portrait of her for her book Poljubi me, miss! (Kiss me, miss!) we decided that the photograph must be something special. I quickly remembered the stars in the eyes and she agreed. I had to make another light. I had version 2.0 in my head for long lime, but there was no time for the upgrade because we did not have much time. So I made almost the same light, slightly bigger and without the big stand cause I bought myself some real stands in between.

The materials cost 33€ and I had bulbs from before (Metalka, 3.840 SIT, 10.9.2003). I build the light over the weekend. I had no problems with the frame. But sadly I bought inappropriate material for it. It had sharp edges, it was too soft and too heavy. I fixed the light sockets. The most tiresome process was connecting the sockets. I connected them paralleled.


Material before the build. Two sides are already cut and screwed together.

Začetek povezave žarnic.

The process of connecting the bulbs.

Uporabil sem reflektorske žarnice.

I used reflector bulbs.

I used reflector bulbs so I didn’t have any light spill on the lens. Combined power of the light is 750W. I wanted to use energy saver bulbs with cooler color temperature but they are hard to find and expensive. Maybe for the 2.0 version. I have the plans already. I just need a few parts and I can start building it.

The light preformed beautifully for the portrait of Tjaša Kokalj. The reflection in the eyes was better then with the first version. Stars were bigger.

During this week I will post photos from the shoot so you can see how to use the light.