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Old January 3rd, 2009, 10:41 AM   #16
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I started a spin off of this thread on the lighting forum here (hadn't noticed it before).

The thread is

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/photon-ma...questions.html

In that thread I address somerthing I had totally forgotten about here: the color scheme of the room! I am starting to fear that my placing of sound deadening fabrics on the walls might cast problematic lighting.

thanks,

brian
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 12:50 PM   #17
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Ok, so the key is being accomplished via an angled bounce as well as the fill, both using a separate reflector. If I use a key light softbox would that weaken the light enough so that pointing the key right at the subject would be a good approach?

I have searched for online tutorials but haven't found good ones dealing with bouncing methods. If you could point me the tutorial you refer to that would be great.

thanks,

brian
The key is accomplished however you end up doing it... in my example, yes both key and fill are done with angled bounce. I would only do this if I only had one light to work with and a small room that needed illumination as well as lighting my subject. The bounce would catch the shotgun "cone of light" on the way and make that large spot on the wall the new light source (but dimmer than the original due to the distance travelled).

Having this new light source be larger in relation to the subject, we get a soft light from it (remember all light sizes are relative to the subject: small and/or far away = hard light, large and close to the subject = soft light ... even a 5 foot wide light if far enough away will be a hard light ... the sun is really big, but casts hard light due to its distance).

As we are generally looking for soft light on the Key side of the subject (unless you want a hard light for emotional/stylistic reasons), we need to use a large light. If you have a softbox, use that directly... otherwise, bounce using either the wall or a grip/grip stand with a bounce card.

Do you have any scenes from existing movies in mind stylistically when picturing this shot? Could you find framegrabs from it (or even just point us toward a timecode in the movie). We can pick apart the lighting used in it and see if we can fit it into your existing location (pictures of the location would help as well to see the space we have to work with... as would a list of the current lighting fixtures you have to work with).

There is science behind this stuff, but that's not what makes it look good. The art of years of experimentation and failure are what makes it look good. Even painters had to deal with these same issues hundreds of years ago. Hit the art museums/galleries and look at how they use light in the paintings. Watch tons of films with the pause button warmed up, stop on a scene that strikes you as well lit, well composed, well done:

Look at the light and shadow in the scene to figure out where they've placed lights... the shadows always fall away from a lighting fixture.

Look in the eyes to find the light sources as well... a semi reflective sphere at the front of the subject's face reflects the lights so you can place them spatially to deconstruct the scene.

This is a visual medium... a picture is worth a thousand words (which is probably why I type so much ;) ). Here's a link to some tests we did with light proximity and diffusion proximity: Y.A.F.I.:Underground Media
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 02:01 PM   #18
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I was just on youtube looking at a bunch of instructional guitar DVD clips. Here are some styles I wouldn't mind emulating:

I like this for the general approach:

YouTube - Guitar Lesson - Playing the Dorian Mode Over the Blues

I like background with the fabric folds. I would have my amp behind me in such a shot. Where can one find those sorts of backdrops?

ALso, I like the approach where the background is dark and the player appears to materialize in the middle of the shot. That would be cool to know how to do! Something like this:

YouTube - John Petrucci Guitar solo
YouTube - Art of Acoustic Blues Guitar - Early Roots Lesson 1

I could maybe have the intro to the video filmed like that and then for the remainder switch to the backdrop style.

I don't have any lighting gear so I would have to buy everything.

Here are some photos of thew room:

http://www.guitar-dreams.com/video.php

Any help in setting up using a flo light, reflectors and backlight is greatly appreciated!

thanks,

brian
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 02:26 PM   #19
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Forgive me, but the room's a mess - you've got so many different colours the background is going to be so distracting. What colour is the ceiling? It's common here in the UK to have white matt ceilings, even if we have coloured walls, and they are really useful for bouncing light off to soften it. The pinky/red material is quite shiny, so I fear unless you really know what you're doing it's going to look very odd. These wall colours will also introduce colour shifts to the light, making your face and any white surfaces tinted which may look weird.

I suggest what you do is set the camera up with a monitor so you can see the results and then start with a key light, something a bit softer to fill in the shadows on the other side of the camera, and then experiment with somekind of background light to make you stand out from the background - as the room's farly small, it might also light your back and act as a kind of backlight too? Don't forget that earlier you menationed the shots would be longish. I'd try to change that if you can, putting in break points where you can offer the viewer a different camera angle - or it will be really, really boring and people will start to look at the clutter in the room, not what you're showing them how to do. That's the big snag with youtube tutorials - they are mind numbingly dull because on real TV we never see shots that last more than a few second, let alone minutes and minutes!
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 03:10 PM   #20
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I like background with the fabric folds. I would have my amp behind me in such a shot. Where can one find those sorts of backdrops?
Cheap DIY (Homemade) Muslin Photography Background | DIYPhotography.net
They have a project for a stand there as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Huether View Post
ALso, I like the approach where the background is dark and the player appears to materialize in the middle of the shot. That would be cool to know how to do! Something like this:

I could maybe have the intro to the video filmed like that and then for the remainder switch to the backdrop style.
For that shot, if you have a smooth black backdrop (not draped like the other one), leaving the background unlit and lighting the subject brighter will force you to close down the exposure (or ND filter) on the camera which will push the unlit parts darker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Huether View Post
I don't have any lighting gear so I would have to buy everything.
You can get away with work lights on 6'-7' stands. They don't take much room, but they're REALLY hot, of course my Smith-Victor 500W lights are really hot too. You can build barndoors for them to control the light spill on the background as well ( http://www.coollights.biz/wordpress/archives/21 )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Huether View Post
Here are some photos of thew room
Couldn't see any of the photos/video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Huether View Post
Any help in setting up using a flo light, reflectors and backlight is greatly appreciated
Playing around will get you the best answers. You can ask a thousand questions until you think you understand, or go place a single light in place and go "AHHH, I GET IT NOW!" Try out the things that have been recommended here keeping in mind the physics bits I've hinted at in earlier posts (distance makes light dimmer and harder, light emits in a cone no matter what you do to it [sometimes it just has shadows forced into the spray of photons]) and reflecting makes the new surface the new light source with whatever properties it has... you can even color the light this way). You'll gain much more knowledge faster with an hour of playing with the lights than you would asking questions for a month. It'll also bring up new questions that are more focussed questions. Start out with a single 500-1000w work light on a tallish stand and play for an hour, then see what questions you have. Don't forget to hit record on your camera so you can look at the results later... I also like to either write down the changes I'm making and record them with the scene in camera, or speak them to the camera so I can remember what the specifics were a month afterwards when I desperately want to recreate that one cool shot I got in a test.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 03:21 PM   #21
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I rearranged the room. Here is what the camera sees now:

http://www.guitar-dreams.com/misc/video/IMG_0101.jpg

I just tested that link and it worked. You might try copying and pasting it into a browser.

I plan on getting a fairly dark backdrop to go behind everything (dark blue?). And I plan on covering the floor with some black fabric to get rid of the cluttered floor look. And I am getting some fabric at an art store to better cover the desk (I won't be using that shiny blue material).

I guess you could say the ceiling is a textured, white, matted ceiling.

thanks,

brian
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Old January 5th, 2009, 12:24 PM   #22
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You've received some well-expessed messages since our last exchange, but let me sort out what I was saying: Use a soft (broad) light source. The cheap way to accomplish this is to bounce the light from a small, hard source (read: cheap, harsh photo light) off something that will make it a large, soft source. If you have the bucks, you can buy a large, soft source (softbox, Rifa light, fluorescent bank, etc) and achieve much the same thing. Someone else proposed using reflectors (foamcore) to catch some of the key light and use that as fill. Fine if you need fill, it works very well. I'm usually not using fill with a softbox (or light bounced off a wall to achieve much the same effect) because the light bouncing around the room is usually enough to modify the contrast, which is the purpose of fill.

As someone pointed out, there is BACK light (portrait photographers call it hair light, it is light pointed at the back of the subject to separate them from the background and BACKGROUND light, which is illumination behind the subject to bring out detail in what is behind them or to provide a splash of contrast to add visual interest.

Because our job is pretty much on-the-run we perforce must keep things simple to meet deadlines. Thus we have adapted the 60-Minutes style of interview light --- soft source to the side and hairlight --- or, if it's not a closeup interview but in a room setting, we bounce whatever light we have off a ceiling, umbrella, white wall, etc to provide an acceptable overall illumination that looks natural. Hope this clears up any confusion, best wishes! Let me know if I can explain this better somehow, happy to help. /Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old January 5th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #23
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I am about to buy the CoolLights single bulb softbox kit. But I am not sure about the back light. How do you guys normally position it so it isn't in the shot? With big bulky booms or wall mounted? I want to be able to experiment with placement so I don't want to have to mount, unmount, remount, etc...

thanks,

brian
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Old January 5th, 2009, 01:16 PM   #24
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I am about to buy the CoolLights single bulb softbox kit. But I am not sure about the back light. How do you guys normally position it so it isn't in the shot? With big bulky booms or wall mounted? I want to be able to experiment with placement so I don't want to have to mount, unmount, remount, etc...

thanks,

brian
C-Stand. You should probably own a few.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 01:17 PM   #25
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Is it that critical that you shoot in this particular room? If you are truly concerned about the visual results, you could do a whole lot better as the best you can achieve in this space is simply shooting against a blank wall or backdrop. Shooting virtually anything in a room this small is a big challenge as all the gear is backed up against the walls. It may be "easier" to shoot in the room that you already use, but if you are this concerned with how to light it, you may want to invest some of that energy into looking around for another space you can use for your shoot that is more visually arresting to begin with.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 01:41 PM   #26
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Unfortunately I really am stuck with this room. Otherwise I would have to move my audio/guitar gear which would screw up my audio work. Basically, I just want a decently lit scene. A plain backdrop ios ok. My target audience mainly want to see flashy guitar playing but I want to go above and beyond and have it appear decent as well.

I researched C stands and I don't quite understand how they would enable me to place the light out of camera's view.

thanks,

brian
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Old January 5th, 2009, 01:57 PM   #27
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I researched C stands and I don't quite understand how they would enable me to place the light out of camera's view.

thanks,

brian
It's a lot more obvious when you have one in front of you, but essentially, you place the base of the stand off to the side, extend the arm, and place the lighting fixture on the end. Position as necessary, and shoot.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 02:14 PM   #28
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Ok, you are talking about this stuff:

Century Stands | B&H Photo Video

What was confusing me was that I didn't see an arm in any of the pictures except a couple. I take it people normally buy a stand and arm separately? I might try and build one...

thanks,

brian
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Old January 5th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #29
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Well, I bought some items at coollights. I can't wait to apply what I have learned in these forums.

The one thing that I am still a little hazy on is the placement of the flo. I understand the goal is to get the white ceiling to work for me. What does that imply for angular placement? I know I'll want it pretty close to the ceiling (ceiling is 9 feet so probably around 7 feet), but do I point it towards me?

There also seems to be 2 different approaches with the flo - a softbox and without softbox approach. Does the softbox approach depend on the softbox for wide spreading of the light whereas the non-softbox approach depends on the ceiling for spreading?

Also I have some white foamboard (6 pieces of 20" x 30"). I take it these won't be necessary if the flo is used correctly to create an even tone?

thanks,

brian
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Old January 5th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #30
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Ok, you are talking about this stuff:

Century Stands | B&H Photo Video

What was confusing me was that I didn't see an arm in any of the pictures except a couple. I take it people normally buy a stand and arm separately? I might try and build one...

thanks,

brian
Get this:

Matthews | Hollywood Century C Stand with Sliding Leg, | 756040

Get that. There are a multitude of uses for C-Stands. Some uses don't need the arm, some do. So they sell it with and without the arm.
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