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Photon Management
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 11:07 AM   #16
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,814
Glen -
Some form of diffusion tends to make the shadows less harsh and directional - for a cheap test you could probably use a white or frosted plastic shopping bag blown up a little and placed over the light... see how it works before you spend any money. You lose a little throw, but losing harsh shadows is a good tradeoff.

FWIW, I use the Sony halogen light with the stofen diffuser (a common approach), and typically mount on a flash bracket so I get a little distance from the cam and can rotate the light horizontal.

Diffusion and the standoff sure help to avoid that harsh light issue for interviewees.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 11:36 AM   #17
Regular Crew
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 30
I understand. The LP comes with diffusers in the filter kit so no fresh money needs to be sacraficed. Also, the wall in my shots is only 6" behind the subject. I would not do that for a real interview. I would separate the subject and background in order to push any shadows out of frame.

But we have drifted...Michael's original thought and the point of my experiment was to see the difference the offset/standoff would make on the subject when using a handheld DVMultiRig vs. an on-camera light.

The conclusion I draw for my own run and gun work is: Offsetting the LP is not worth the effort to setup and fight the imbalance of the rig.
Glen Johnstone
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 05:14 PM   #18
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
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Since the offset isn't worthy, I brought up the softbox. The idea is not to get wider coverage. The value is in enlarging the area from which the light is emanating. It will also reduce the discomfort of a small bright point of light. It should bring down the intensity and soften the shadows if relatively close to the talent. You would need a large softbox to make things really soft, but even something like this should help:


I wouldn't suggest something expensive as an experiment but the idea to put a white plastic grocery bag inflated in front of the light is even better because it's cheaper. If you like the quality of light it provides, the $20-30 diffusers do the same thing and look professional. If you try the grocery bag, put up a still so we can see the results. I've been thinking of an LED camera light and the strong output from your pictures is encouraging.
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