Interview Lighting• in course of developing skills of lighting; lesson most important.• concepts covered will reappear in many other lighting setups• more you understand them, both individually and in the way they work together to create an effective image, the easier it will be for you to adapt them as needed in a variety of situations; will help create your own distinctive lighting style.• can turn on each light in the setup individually to see its effect; can view entire setup to see placement & choice of fixtures too• 4 lights: Key, Fill, Hair, & Edge, form the basics of a well lit portrait
Simple Light Setups• one light will do the work of both Key and Fill• second small light from behind to add a little shine to the hair adds a finishing touch• in example: 500-watt Omni-light w/nylon umbrella worked well for the single Key / Fill light & 125-watt L-light Single light (Omni-light 500 W) w/umbrella, providing shine on hair & shoulders positioned to function as Key light, w/enough• *dont forget to make necessary changes in height of your stand & softness to act as Fill light too; single light exposure change to camera as adjusting result position of lights• Perhaps situation calls for more or less powerful bulb or a different fixture; get feel of working w/small hard source (can really see where shadows are)• then add umbrella & see by increasing relative size of the light source you increase its softness
Background Light:•lighting background of a set; a whole orspecific areas.•lighting objects in background that aresignificant to image•contributes to creating separation betweensubject & background•often function of light is fulfilled by morethan one fixture at a time & possible to usemultiple background lights
Background Light OptionsSetup with Slash Accent Omni-light 500W focusable Setup with Color background Omni-light 500W focusable• slash Accent• treat’ background using slash of light made by • color Background putting two barndoors close together on hard light source • popular technique in news/magazine format; TV• the image to the left shows a slash created by • provides contrast of color & feel between a focusable Omni-light. Focusing the light to environment & subject flood will give a larger and more consistent output level to the slash. • added red gel to Omni-light; focused wide• mix slash w/general background fill (less enough to cover background area of shot prominent) or use slash accent in darker background to increase its effect; coloring • use barn doors on fixture to trim any spill that slash w/gel is common approach may fall on subject
Background Light Options Background Light TechniquesSetup with Highlight AccentL-light with 100W lamp Setup with cookaloris pattern Pro-light, 250W Highlight Accent How you deal with backgrounds depends on whether it is part of the story or A more practical approach to adding visual just a neutral setting for your subject. Either way you may notice the interest to the background would be to add a background level is usually down, or less bright than the subject. However it is not unusual to highlight something in the background for interest. A plant or highlight to an object in the setting. dim lamp is a common set dressing. For the setup used in the Viewer above, we created a mottled shadow pattern In this shot, we used a tiny L-light with 100 on the background by shining a hard light through a cookaloris (a random Watt lamp directed to place a small pool of pattern cut into wood, foamcore, or black foil). It was lit by a 250W focusable light on the flowers and the picture frame. The Pro-light, a hard source. If you look at the Setup shot in the Viewer, you will see the cookaloris, tho the Pro is hidden from view by the Rifa Key light. hard light character of the lamp created a sharp shadow. By the time youve put up your Key, Fill, Hair and Edge lights you might have light bouncing off the walls and ceiling lighting up the background too much. You can try turning off any room lights, or by adding distance between the The result looks like it have could come from subject and the background. In combination with these is the ability to control track lighting or a recessed ceiling light, adding the lights youve placed in the setting. to the natural feel of the effect. Setup with cookaloris patternPro-light, 250W Since large broad sources tend to spill on the background consider using an Egg Crate on any softlights you use. Other lights should all have barndoors to direct light only where its wanted. You can finesse more by specifically flagging spilled light from where you dont want it.
KEY LIGHT Key Light defined: The primary or dominant source of light in a shot. It often suggests an out of frame source. Choice of fixture (hard or soft) and its position will help set the mood of the shot.
Soft Key Light In the setup shown in the viewer, the Key light is a very soft Rifa-lite 88 fitted with a 1000-watt bulb and a soft Egg Crate to control its spill. Look at the cheek closest to the camera. Notice the effect; the shadow line Full lighting with Soft running down the cheek. KeyRifa 88, 1000W Begin to notice how often Soft lightRifa with you see this in movies, Fabric Egg Crate television, and photographs. Its everywhere isnt it? Simple Light Setups
Hard Key Light This is an example of a hard Key light, instead of soft. We are using a 250-watt Pro-light. Notice the difference? The transition between the light and dark areas is more dramatic. If you move the key light until you see a light triangular patch under the near eye, youve achieved what is referred to as Rembrandt lighting. Rembrandt actually experimented with having the main light coming from many directions but this is the look that stuck to his name. You may notice that both soft and hard key lights are approaching the face from the far side of the face, from the camera. What is referred to as the short side. While it doesnt always have to be so, it is very common and a safe place to start. It might be so popular because it has a slimming effect on the Full lighting with hard Key Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan, c. 1658/1660 Pro-light, 250W Focusing Hard light
Key Light Techniques When you practice placing the Key light on your subject, keep an eye on the shadow it creates from the nose. The nose shadow is easier to see if you use a hard light but blends more attractively when you a larger soft source. As a start, find the angle and height for your Key light that places that shadow along the crease between the nose and the corner of the mouth. Now try placing your light so the nose shadow is nearly gone. This will happen when your light is anywhere from directly in front of the subject, assuming they are facing slightly away from the lens, to directly over the camera. You will start to lose the shadow line on the cheek as you come around but the effect may be what you want. Bringing the Key light face-on is effective for lightening the shadows from wrinkles. Used with makeup it is even more effective. While this position tends to allow light to spill onto the background it is usually more Bad nose shadow important to have the subject look good. If possible you could move the subject and lights further away from the back wall to allow the spill to fall off. This position is very flat light so you need to balance the needs of filling Reduced nose shadow wrinkles or a slimming effect. Hatchet lighting Another look is what is sometimes called Hatchet lighting. Here the shadow line runs right down the center of the face. It can be a dramatic effect when paired with little or no fill lighting or some edge lights. You may also have to adjust the height of the key light to better fill deep set eyes. A larger softer light will be able to do this without causing the nose shadow to become distracting.
Fill Light Fill light defined: Fill is used to lighten shadows and control contrast ratios (the ratio of amount of Key to Fill light). Combined with the Key light, Fill light helps define the mood by lighting the shaded areas in a range of intensities. It can vary from none, to a level equaling the Key light.
Fill Light Techniques More commonly, you may begin to consider light placement positions near the camera to hide the shadows behind the subject or more off to the opposite side from the Key light. When the Fill is directly over the camera it adds to the Key lights exposure so consider adjusting for it. The near-the-camera position can be considered when you want to both fill shadows and still maintain a little modeling on the subject. You will most often need a less intense light for the Fill side. As with the Key light you could adjust the distance to lessen the intensity as well as by adding scrims or neutral density gels to the light. While it could be most any kind of light, a Fill light is usually a soft source so using an umbrella or a softbox is common. Images A & B to the right show differing levels of Fill light. Notice how image A looks more fully lit, while still maintaining the Key as the dominant light source, and the reduced Fill in image B increases its dramatic effect. A) Lower ratio of Key to Fill lightB) Higher ratio of Key to Fill lightC) Double Nose Shadow Probably the only wrong way to do Fill is if it adds another set of visible shadows; visible to the camera that is (you only need to worry about whats in your frame). Image C shows a closer view with a double nose shadow. This is caused by having a Fill light that is almost as strong as the Key, placed in a position so that the shadow the nose throws on the A) Lower ratio of Key to Fill light opposite side of the face, visible to the camera. Always look closely at your shot to see if your lights are creating unintended consequences. B) B) Higher ratio of Key to Fill light C) C) Double Nose Shadow
Fill Light Fill light aloneRifa 44, 250W Soft light After setting the Key light, you may find that the darker side of the face is too dark for your tastes. There are several methods for adding Fill light to reduce the shadows. In the setup shown in the viewer at the beginning of this lesson, we have chosen a Rifa-lite 44 soft light, with a 250-watt bulb, with a soft Egg Crate to control the spill. This doesnt just apply to lighting faces. Anytime you are treating the side left shaded by the Key light you are working on the Fill. The amount of Fill that is added depends on your taste (or the preference of the person who hired you). Keep in mind the look you are attempting; especially if you are shooting something that is dramatic. Fill light alone Generally you can most easily alter the mood of a shot by raising and lowering the intensity of the Fill. In fact on some Rifa 44, 250W Soft soap operas the main difference in lighting between a daytime interior scene and a night setting is they drop the Fill almost all together and light the background a darker than normal. light
Reflected Fill Light Another method of providing Fill is by bouncing the Key light off of a reflector. A specular reflector (the shiny hard side) will kick back nearly as much light as the Key light shining on it, in the same degree of hardness that strikes it. In the example shown, the soft Key light is being reflected. A stippled reflector surface will soften the reflected light more and give less chance of secondary shadows. Using a matte white card will provide a very soft reflected fill at close range. You may have natural fill already happening from light colored walls reflecting back to the subject. Indeed you might even plan such a situation. Note: In highly reflective rooms, if your lighting is too flat, you might consider a technique called negative fill. This is often done by hanging a dark Specular Reflector bouncing Soft cloth or piece of black foamcore on the fill side to prevent stray light from providing too much fill. Key light to create Fill Experiment with different amounts of fill and see if you can manipulate the effect to change the feel of Closeup detail the lighting.
Hair Light Hair light defined: A light from behind the subject, often weaker than the Key or Fill, aimed at the head & shoulders. It may also called a backlight. It creates a sense of separation between subject and background, and adds highlights & shine to hair, and is often widened to include a subjects shoulders. Working with Hair light gets trickier with receding hairlines, and may be done without in that situation.
Hair Light Techniques Along with the amount of Fill light you use, you can continue to add finesse to the lighting to reveal the subjects form by using light from angles beyond what you use for the Fill. Both Hair lights and Edge lights fall into this category. Traditionally Hair lights are placed directly opposite the camera. It creates highlights and gives a nice shine to the hair. Small hard lights will make small hard lines and edges, which are appropriate if you are implying the motivation for the light is a hard source. Larger sources provide an even, gentle wash. In the nineteen seventies the extreme backlight was the rage. Find a glamour photo from the era and it will likely have a strong back light blasting directly at the back of the head causing the lions mane hair style in fashion at the time to glow. If this is what youre after, just try to keep the light far enough back so it doesnt start your subjects hair on fire. If you are dealing with thinning hair or bald heads, you probably already have enough separation from the background; either because of the contrast or color differences, and only want to play with adding a subtle edge to the side of the head and neck. You may just need an edge on the shoulders of a dark garment that is blending into the background. See the Edge Light description below for more information. For shiny heads you could have separate lights for each shoulder or Hair light alone put up a traditional hair light and block, or flag, the part of the light falling on the head. Rifa 44, 250W Soft Hair light aloneRifa 44, 250W Soft light light Since all backlights are aimed in the direction of the camera be careful to keep any light from shining into the front of the lens, causing lens flare. Wave your hand in front of the light and see if a shadow falls on the camera. With the advent of modern cameras there is less need for the really heavy use of hair light unless it is to appear as motivated or logical in the scene. Watch for programs done in film or HD and notice how natural these highlights are compared to older video programming.
Edge Light Edge light defined: A light from behind the subject, often weaker than the Key or Fill, is placed to create an edge of definition between subject and background. Similar in practice to Hair light, it is also a form of backlight normally used to define one dark object from another, for example a dark jacket from a similarly dark background.
Edge Light Techniques Edge lights create subtle defining edges, and line- like highlights, which can be added to your setup to delineate the edge of your subject. You may hear them referred to as kickers, liners or edge lights. If your subjects dark hair or jacket seems to blend into a similarly dark background you can add an edge to visibly separate, or cut them away, from the background. You provide a clue to the viewer where the subject leaves off and the background begins. If you have decided to use little or no fill an edge of some sort can enhance the dramatic effect. To experiment with these effects start with small fixtures and keep an eye on the shadow from the subjects ear. It is popular to have a light edge along the jaw line. Try hard sources at different distances and angles. Try using a small light with an umbrella or with a diffusion gel. Edge lights are also aimed in the direction of the camera, so be careful to keep any light from shining Edge light alone into the front of the lens, causing lens flare. Wave your hand in front of the light and see if a shadow L-light, 100W falls on the camera.
Works Cited http://www.lowel.com/edu/foundations_of_lighting.html http://www.lowel.com/edu/
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