Here are four core ideas that I try and think
about whenever I’m lighting something. So before setting up any extra lights, let’s
do a quick test with what we’ve already got.
This time, I’m not really liking this look with the windows coming in from the sides,
so let’s close the curtains, giving us a blank slate.
Now we can get our lights, but not until we’ve tried out every single light switch that we
can find. Some of them are a bit odd with lots of shadows
on that back wall and others are clearly impractical. But, this fluorescent above the stage – now
that’s something we can work with. So with top down lighting like this, it won’t
really wrap around whoever’s standing underneath it unless we diffuse it, I’m using this scrim
that Westcott sent me, and that’ll spread the light out onto a larger space.
So here’s our first problem – how can we rig this diffusion?
First thoughts are to use light stands, but they’ll probably show up on camera…
So, looking closely at the ceiling, there are some little loops we could put string
through to hang up the diffusion. Now of course, we haven’t brought any string,
and we’re about to use a power cable instead, when Jamie goes and finds a whole bunch of
string in a box. Now we can run the string through those loops
on the ceiling, and tie it to each corner of the diffusion.
After checking the strength of the knots, we’ve got a fairly nice setup, without using
any extra lights, or any light stands. So we could definitely go with that look,
but once we move over to this angle, suddenly Jamie’s silhouette doesn’t stand out from
that dark background. So let’s add some light, and we’re gonna
use our second core idea to decide where to put it.
Now looking at this frame it’s pretty clear where the light is.
The left side is bright, and right… not so much, so we can imagine that any light
on Jamie would naturally to come from that side.
Based on that, we should put our light right here, but, small problem there.
The camera can see it. So we’ll use our third lighting principle:hiding
the light. Now this is the classic situation, you know
exactly where you want your light to go, but for whatever reason, you can’t put it there.
Moving it to the side would mean that camera can’t see it, but we’d lose that nice
back lit look, and some of the authenticity of the motivated light.
So there’s one thing we can still do. Move the light up.
Now i’m using the Westcott Flex that they sent me, but these ideas apply no matter which
light you use. So again we’ll bring in some more diffusion
to spread out the light, rigging it up with a light stand on one side, and a C-stand on
the other. But this time the light isn’t directly above
him, it’s in front, since we’re simulating the light from the stage.
And that’s what we keep going back to: using gels or the temperature control to make sure
that the colour of the light matches, blocking the back of the light so it doesn’t spill
on to the stage. These are all measures we can take to try
and convince the audience that this extra light does not exist. And finally, the other thing I try and remind
myself is to experiment with light. On this shoot we actually had a bit of time
left over, so I grabbed the COB 120T that Aputure sent me, and didn’t use any diffusion
at all. Cos I think it’s all too easy to just get
stuck always using natural light, always trying to make things look realistic.
By doing that, aren’t we missing opportunities to make something that could be more expressive,
could have more of an impact… Ultimately that depends on the project, and
it depends on the scene. But it never hurts to ask yourself, should
we try something unpredictable? My name’s Simon Cade, this has been DSLRguide,
and I’ll see you next week.